Saturday, December 9, 2006

Top Rated Post at YouTube! 2006-12-09

I just found out that the post of my audio (as a video) is the top rated post at YouTube today! Wow, this train is barreling!

vcents on YouTube


Mike said...

Just went to YouTube. There was an ad for Verizon Wireless. Too much!

Jason said...

slightly unrelated, but still..

Yad said...
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MrEiki said...

SHEEEESH!!! I had no idea there existed so seriously freaking dumb people out there.

Yad said...

Keep on fighting it. Maybe someone at Verizon knows math.

Jim said...

Dude, do not give in and pay $.002/kb. they've told you repeatedly the rate is .002cents/kb.

Sibby said...

I wonder how many others got a phone bill one hundred times their real bill.

Monty said...

George, given that the official Verizon position, reiterated at every level as you escalated this, is that ".002 cents / kb is the correct rate", you should consider contacting your state Attorney General's consumer fraud office. IANAL, but I think a decent one could make a case that this is deceptive advertising.

MasamuneXGP said...

The fact that the YouTube video is the most viewed for today isn't surprising, especially considering it was Slashdotted a while back. Keep fighting George!

Phil said...

Just so you know, you were also slashdotted

Theorist said...

I would like to just commend both your patient and courage to continue fighting. It is not about the money but making wrongs right. Verizon must either admit they have misquoted you or make you pay at the quoted (and repeatedly confirmed) price. A lesser person would have taken their half-ass-ed offer of $36 in credit. It is not even about money anymore at this point, but corporate arrogant.

notMe said...

here's the only way i can see you explaining this in a way that they can visually verify:

tell them to enter "1.00" into a calculator and multiply by ".002" they should get ".002" dollars. have them multiply by the kb usage (35,896kb) and write it down. ($71.792)

then tell them to enter ".01" and multiply it by ".002" this will give them ".00002" dollars. have them multiply by the kb usage (35,896kb) and write it down. ($.71792)

tell them to compare the 2 numbers and then try to tell you that the two numbers are equal.

Monty said...

Here's the reasoning you have to use:

Let's start with .002 cents per kilobyte. Put that into your calculator. Now say I download a file off the Internet that is three and a half kilobytes. Then 3.5 kb times .002 cents per kb is .007 cents, so I should be billed .007 cents, right?
This is the key. Make them agree to this, and you win.


Let's say I use ten times as much, so it costs ten times as well.
35 KB is .07 cents, right? *
350 KB is .7¢ *
3500 KB is 7¢ *
35000 KB is 70¢.

* At each of these three places, there's a chance they do the conversion of cents to dollars. Do not allow it. They quoted cents, you use cents. You must refuse to talk about dollars. Crossing the decimal point doesn't suddenly change the unit in question. That' s precisely the error they're making.
Alternatively, let us note that the Japanese Yen is worth almost a US cent, even closer to a Canadian cent. For the sake of this argument, let us suppose that it is precisely so, and that the rate quoted was .002¥/kb. Let's figure out how much the charge should be for your usage in yen, then do the currency conversion to dollars. The result will of course be correct.

The thing most likely to work against you is the signs in stores that say you can get something for .79¢, where everyone knows that what they really mean by that is $.79 = 79¢. A mathematically-challenged judge is no more likely to understand it than the Verizon people. That's why you must reiterate that you asked the person who gave you the quote to be sure that it was NOT $.002, and that the only reason you made use of this service was that it seemed reasonable, and that your normal rate (0) is lower than that.

Andrew said...


Andrea's mailbox is full already!

Anonymous said...

it's so sad that people in such a huge coorperation are so incompetant. I admire your patience with dealing with each of these people. I wouldn't have been able to hold it together. I don't think this is about money anymore, I think now it's about competance in one of Americas largest coorperations. Keep on fighting.

By the way, you succeeded in being the content of my very first blogspot entry :)

Ishan said...

I cannot imagine that five adults could all fail to recognize the difference between .002 cents and .002 dollars. They were following a script, and could not quote a rate different from that on the screen. The rate said .002 cents, so that's what they said. If they had said anything else, they would be legally liable and their jobs would be in jeopardy. As it is, they are open to a massive class action from all individuals quoted a .002 cent rate but charged a .002 dollar rate. If that number of customers is in the thousands or tens of thousands, there's quite a few tens of millions of dollars (not cents) that will have to be refunded. Merry Christmas, indeed.

Yad said...


I wanted to share the following email I just sent Verizon:

Dear Verizon,

I do not know if you are aware of this issue, but Verizon has gained a lot of attention on the Internet lately. See the following links:

The above links have been reposted all of the Internet, including popular technology sites such as Digg, Slashdot, and Howard Forums.

The fact that no one at Verizon seems to know the difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents is astounding. Here is a direct quote from one of your floor managers-

(Customer) George Vaccaro: Is $1 the same as 1 cent?
(Manager) Andrea: No.
George: Is .5 dollars the same as .5 cents?
Andrea: No.
George: Is .002 dollars the same as .002 cents?
Andrea: Yes.

I will never consider Verizon as a cell phone carrier, and I am sharing this with all of my friends and family, including some who are now Verizon customers. I am hoping they will make the swtich to a company that knows math.

Maybe it should be less about the network, and more about teaching your employees basic math skills.

*My Name*

I encourage everyone to send them similar emails. I am also planning on contacting my local news stations and pointing them to here.

georgevaccaro said...

Thanks Yad, and everyone else who might have sent similar messages.

I think we've all probably managed to get Verizon's attention. Certainly correspondence like that will help.

Please let me know if you hear anything back.


TheDanimal said...

Oh man, I hate Verizon so much. I had a family plan before they had the in-network thing, and when that came out I thought all the lines were part of it. Nope, even though the bill marked all the calls as 'in', and the website confirmed they were 'in' minutes, and the 'see if your number is 'in'' showed it was 'in', I wasn't in. That was a huge bill too :(.

Yad said...


No problem man. Do not give in and pay the $70.. I just contacted the Consumer Watch at my local ABC channel- KMBC 9 ( I just can not believe that anyone could confuse .002 dollars and .002 cents.

Maybe ask them what they would rather have- .002% of 1 billion dollars or .002% of 1 dollar. Andrea would probably say there is no difference in those two numbers either.

Keep on going!! Someone there must understand basic math!

Majician said...

MAKE SURE YOU PAY YOUR BILL ON TIME! Write out a check (cheque?) for the .72 cents and post a picture online.

badabing said...

You are going to have to do the math after the Verizon attorneys come after you for libel. It is illegal in every state to record someone without their knowledge. And more so to publish said recording without written consent. It's gonna cost you a lot more than the data usage buddy.....I'll be watching the papers for your court appearance. =-)

McKenzie said...


ever hear the message when you call a call center....goes something like this....

"This call may be recorded for quality assurance..."

Takes care of that problem you mentioned...


Yad said...


Only one party has to consent, which George did when he place the call to customer service in the first place. IANAL, but Verizon has no 4th Ammendment rights here.

Do you know the difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents? Hint: There is a difference.

badabing said...

The law for recording expressively states if you record the party you are speaking to you must advise them so. that is why you hear that recording when you call in. By speaking to the Representative you are granting legal consent to be recorded. The guy didn't tell the Rep he spoke to that he was recording him. Done deal. Add that up. No consent=illegal. =-(

badabing said...

He is up a river without a paddle. Start researching libel law. that Rep he talked to can sue him for use of the recording without consent. He didn't know he was being recorded, and he did not consent to it. Do you know the difference between .002 dollars and .002 cents? Hint: There is a difference.

Yad said...


You are wrong. The law says only one party has to consent to the recording of the call. George consented to VZW recording his phone call, so it doesn't matter if they knew he was recording it or not. Please know what you are talking about before posting.

Brian said...

badabing, you should research what you want to talk about instead of spewing verbal diarrhea.

here is a state by state listing of telephone recording laws.

Yad said...

How about you check out section 2511(2)(D) of Title 18 in the USC?

badabing said...

When this blog is pulled down you will know why....end of subject and comments. And yes I know what I'm talking about. My law professor already said this guy made a boo-boo.

Yad said...


Let me spell it out for you. You can access the USC from the Internet. Try going to 2511(2)(D) of Title 18 like I mentioned in a previous comment. It says:

It shall not be unlawful under this chapter for a person not acting under color of law to intercept a wire, oral, or electronic communication where such person is a party to the communication or where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent to such interception unless such communication is intercepted for the purpose of committing any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State.

So please, stop making up fictional law professors when you are losing an argument and go back to trolling the internet.

Kelly Hawk said...


Darwin would be most unhappy about this.

George, your patience is admirable. Take'em to the wall!!

Josh Mervick said...

@Badabing: Besides being wrong about the laws themselves you're still wrong about him having any issues.

Even if you ignore the massive PR issue they'd cause if verizon brought him to court over these non exsistant laws he'd still be fine. If you bothered to listen to the recording you'd actually have heard him say "I'm recording this and I'm going to post it on my blog later". To which he got the reply, "you can do that if you like".

Please note they arn't exact quotes (at least I don't think they are). Feel free to listen to the entire clip if you want exact quotes.

mynameisjonas said...

I thought the call was within Canada, so state law doesn't apply.

Besides this could be horrible for Verizon, if George was quoted 0.002 cents/kb many, if not all customers could have been quoted the same.

Josh Mervick said...

@mynameisjonas: The call wasn't in Canada. It was about usuage in Canada but it was made from the states.

Greg said...
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little Alex said...

Just came from YouTube. I'm sorry Verizon is being stupid. I hope you get this resolved soon. And good luck, 'cause you're gonna need it, dealing with stupid people like this.

little Alex said...

sorry, it's me again (I just posted a comment). but now that I've thought about it a little, I don't think they're stupid; I think they're pretending to be so that they don't have to admit their mistake. 'cause no one can indeed be this stupid, right? (or at least I hope not)

tracer said...
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tracer said...

dude, don't buckle, don't pay. send your blog to good morning america. it was after the cable guy's video was aired that he got fired. GMA would jump all over this. Or try Letterman, he'd love it!!

don't buckle, don't pay. even my 12 year old kid could clearly see the diff between .002 dollars and .002 cents ... oi vey, the sad state of affairs when even a 'supervisor's manager' doesn't get it. of course, it seems to only take 6 months on the job to be a supervisor there ... makes ya wonder about turnover. lol

Don said...

For all the illegal call recording folks...

Listen to recording at 22:30
George: "Well you know what? I'm going to post this recording on my blog, and..."
Andrea "if thats what you want to do thats fine..."

Oops. Looks like the Verizon floor manager just gave George permission to post the recording in his blog.
George ANNOUNCED that he was recording the call.
George ANNOUNCED his intent to post it on the internet.
Andrea said it was ok if that is what he wanted to do.

Yad said...


George didn't have to tell her that, and he would have still been okay. I posted this earlier from the Federal law concerning these matters: "where one of the parties to the communication has given prior consent". George gave prior consent when he got the "this call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance".

Dale said...

Has anyone posted this to and the other big video sharing websites? If not, could someone please? I would, but it's blocked for me here. Keep this ball rollin'.


Wayne said...

Monty said:
IANAL, but I think a decent one could make a case that this is deceptive advertising.

Well, Monty, I am a lawyer, and I have to say that even a very BAD lawyer can make a slam-dunk fraud or unfair business practice case out of this one.

Amber said...

As a math teacher, I'm horrified! this will make great material for class this week. Not only do I have justification for always requiring units, but also for requiring them to show their work, even when using a calculator. Calculators don't do math. People do math.

Saskboy said...

Fantastic example of why math is important for people to learn, even when "the computer does it". "I'm not a mathematician". No duh, lady.

Luke said...

Oh dear, what a pair of morons.

MadMat said...

Those call center bozos are so used to just keying into their calculator and seeing a number come up and thinking "oh dat is dollar thingies". If they calculated using $0.002 they would get the same answer then you'd say: "OK, how come the answer is the same you morons!"

The really funny thing is that if the call center had been offshored to India there would be no problem!