Cents versus Dollars

How important is it to actually understand the meaning of words?

There’s a thing going on with Verizon Wireless where a customer was quoted .002 cents per kilobyte when using the data feature in Canada.

So the customer gets roughly a $ 71.00 bill for data roaming and he’s pissed. Should he be – you bet. He was actually charged 100 times the quoted rate of $ .002 dollars per minute.

Who quotes .002 cents a kilobyte? No one pays their bills in cents, they pay in dollars. Isn’t that .00002 dollars anyway?

So a 3 Million Bytes sized download of a song is…
       3000 Kbytes x .00002 = .06 cents

But at $.002 dollars per kilobyte the price is?
       3000 Kbytes x $.002 = $ 6.00 dollars

The bad thing here is that many customer service people didn’t get it. They didn’t understand the difference between .002 cents and .002 dollars. Many times throughout the conversation they agreed that they quoted him .002 cents per kilobyte.

This just goes to show you that when you use language you should be careful to actually know the meaning of the words you are saying. Now the really hard part is to actually take your knowledge of the meaning of words and put them into a sentence to actually communicate a real thought!


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