Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Extremely petty cash

I've heard of getting nickled and dimed to death, but this is ridiculous:
A 74-year-old blind woman was shocked when her daughter found a letter from the city saying a lien would be placed on her home unless she paid an overdue water bill.

The amount? 1 cent.

Eileen Wilbur told The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro the letter sent her blood pressure soaring, and pointed out that stamps cost 42 cents.

City Collector Debora Marcoccio said the letter was among 2,000 sent out. A computer automatically prints letters for accounts with an overdue balance, and they are not reviewed by staff before being mailed, she said.

The letter warned of a lien and a $48 penalty if the overdue bill is not paid by Dec. 10. The charge was from the previous fiscal year, which ran from July 2007 to July 2008.

"My question is, how come it wasn't paid when the (original) bills went out?" Marcoccio said.
Um, I dunno, maybe because she's old and blind? Or maybe she just made a mistake and was off by a cent when she wrote you a check.

My question is, instead of being kind of a bitch about it, why don't you just apologize and cancel the overdue amount? Especially seeing as how the paperwork on the whole thing has probably cost at least forty times what she owes you.

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