Feeds

Deceased Malayan hit with $218 trillion mobile bill

Roaming in the valley of the shadow of death

Seven Steps to Software Security

What otherworldly ectoplasms lurk in the oblivion of such an unholy place as accounts receivable?

A Malaysian man who paid off a $23 wireless bill and disconnected his late father's cell phone back in January has been stiffed for subsequent charges on the closed account, MSNBC has reported. Telekom Malaysia sent Yahaya Wahab a bill for 806,400,000,000,000.01 ringgit, or about $218 trillion, for charges to the account, along with a demand from the company's debt collection agency that he settle the alleged debt within 10 days, or get a lawyer.

Bring it on, bean counters. Funereal topcoats, ghostly visages and all.

"If the company wants to seek legal action as mentioned in the letter, I'm ready to face it," Yahaya claimed. "In fact, I can't wait to face it."

No one apparently at Telekom Malaysia is quite sure whether the bill was a mistake, or, cryptically, if Yahaya's father's phone line was used illegally after his death. This correspondent not long ago got his sh*t pushed in by Verizon for $117 in roaming charges during a week-long conference in Montreal, but even at Verizon's ultimate 'screw you' rate of $4.99 per roaming minute, yours truly would have to clock 43.7 trillion pure, hardcore roaming minutes to ring up $218 trillion in charges, or roughly 727 billion Verizon-hours of internet surfing and chit-chat. The $218 trillion total is roughly 17 times the GDP of the United States.

Yahaya, from northern Kedah state, said he nearly fainted when he saw the new bill, and here at El Reg we're curious what supernatural force allowed the grim reapers inhabiting the nether regions of collections and legal to avoid a similar state of semi-conscious disbelief.

The recent discovery of previously unknown life forms in the hinterlands of deepest Africa lends hope that science may yet elucidate the inscrutable nature of the number-crunchers. Of course, Montreal is not exactly on the banks of the river Styx, but if a math-challenged gringo can extrapolate from that mobile billing clusterf*ck, the bean counters at Telekom Malaysia surely can do better.®

Burke Hansen, attorney at large, heads a San Francisco law office

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.