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Last updated: Tue 04 Aug 2015
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11.7 quadrillion phone bill row
October 11, 2012

A WOMAN in Pessac, near Bordeaux, was stunned when she opened her telephone bill from Bouygues Telecom - it was for 11,721,000,000,000,000 or 11.7 quadrillion.

Solenne San Jose said it nearly gave her a heart attack - and it got no better when she contacted Bouygues Telecom customer service and the woman there refused to believe there was a problem.

She told Sud Ouest she was on the phone for 45 minutes and still the woman refused to accept there was a mistake.

"When I explained that there was obviously a mistake she replied that the totals were calculated automatically and that the debits would start automatically."

Solenne's bill - which came after she lost her job and decided to cancel her contract - is 5,800 times France's GDP and she said she told the agent: "It's not possible. With so many zeros it's not one lifetime I would need - it's millions of lifetimes."

Now after several phone calls and starting formal action to contest the bill - which cost her 12.50 - Bouygues has admitted there had been a printing error. Her bill should have been 117.21.

The company director of customer service called her to say that it was dropping the bill, wiping the slate on her 117.21 debt and refunding her 12.50 legal fees.

Photo: Wisky -

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