Credit Card
In March 1992 a man living in Newtown near Boston
Massachusetts received a bill for his as yet unused
credit card stating that he owed $0.00. He ignored
it and threw it away.

In April he received another and threw that one away
too. The following month the credit card company
sent him a very nasty note stating they were going
to cancel his card if he didn't send them $0.00 by
return of post. He called them, talked to them, they
said it was a computer error and told him they'd
take care of it.

The following month he decided that it was about time
that he tried out the troublesome credit card figuring
that if there were purchases on his account it would
put an end to his ridiculous predicament.

However, in the first store that he produced his credit
card in payment for his purchases he found that his
card had been cancelled. He called the credit card
company who apologized for the computer error
once again and said that they would take care of it.
The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that
payment was now overdue. Assuming that having
spoken to the credit card company only the previous
day the latest bill was yet another mistake he ignored
it, trusting that the company would be as good as
their word and sort the problem out.

The next month he got a bill for $0.00 stating that he
had 10 days to pay his account or the company would
have to take steps to recover the debt. Finally giving
in he thought he would play the company at their own
game and mailed them a check for $0.00. The computer
duly processed his account and returned a statement
to the effect that he now owed the credit card company
nothing at all.

A week later, the man's bank called him asking him what
he was doing writing a check for $0.00. After a lengthy
explanation the bank replied that the $0.00 check had
caused their check processing software to fail. The bank
could not now process ANY checks from ANY of their
customers that day because the check for $0.00 was
causing the computer to crash.

The following month the man received a letter from the
credit card company claiming that his check had bounced
and that he now owed them $0.00 and unless he sent a
check by return of post they would be taking steps to
recover the debt. The man, who had been considering
buying his wife a computer for her birthday, bought
her a typewriter instead.