Billion-dollar phone bill sent to French distillery

19th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

The manager of a French distillery in the renowned Burgundy wine-making district was sent a sobering phone bill for 716,414,273 euros (1.02 billion dollars).

"It's so enormous when you see it written down, you can't believe it, so several of us had a look," said Gerard Chaussee, who runs the Maison Vedrenne making various luxury spirits in Nuits-Saint-Georges in eastern France.

"At first I thought it was a forgery, what with all the things you can do with a computer these days. I looked at the bill from every angle," he said.

Phone operator Orange said that "there was a computer glitch when the bill was being printed."

"The figure inside the computer is correct. If the client hadn't looked at his bill, which happens sometimes, he obviously wouldn't have had that amount taken out of his account."

"We're having a close look at what might have happened. Fortunately, it's more of a fright than harm done to this customer."

© 2011 AFP

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