Pricing Error: Bill Off by about $200 Trillion

Yes, that’s “t” as in “trillion.” A Malaysian man received a phone bill for $218T (or 806,400,000,000,000.01 Malaysian ringgit) after disconnecting his deceased father’s phone line. If your calls cost $1 per minute (perhaps some kind of international dialing), you’d need to talk nonstop for over 400 million years to rack up this kind of bill. So I’m guessing it’s a mistake.

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again– pricing errors are expensive. You only here about the ones in your favor, so if you underprice, you generally don’t know (unless you accidentally price a $200 item at $10 on the web, and you suddenly get thousands of orders). The time and labor required to resolve these discrepancies can cost millions for large companies and delay the accounts receivable pipeline.

Automated sanity checks on new pricing rules can help prevent bad prices getting into the market, and automated checks on exceptional invoice prices can help avoid situations like this. Wouldn’t you like to know all the number of customers who bought more than say $1,000 worth of phone service in a month? And flag any customers over $2,000? Or $10,000? (Somewhere short of $218T?) A top customers report helps a company stay on top of critical accounts, and avoid egregious pricing errors.

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