I’m very excited today, because my monthly Foxtel bill has arrived. Ordinarily, a pay TV bill would not get me excited (not even me!), but this bill is very special to me. You see, when we moved house some two and a half years ago, Foxtel was not readily available, so I cancelled the service and switched to Optus. It’s basically the same thing anyway, especially now that they both have digital.
Since that time, every month Foxtel have sent me a statement showing that my account is in credit for the princely sum of $46.20. For a while I was collecting them, accumulating them on the office noticeboard. The fantastic thing is that the whole time I did have Foxtel, I didn’t receive any statements – that privilege would have cost me an extra $2 per month. I figure it costs them around 80 cents to produce, print, and mail process a bill (single page printed on two colour base stock). I really don’t have the heart to call them and point out the problem, or even ask for a refund.
The whole thing did get me thinking. Firstly, about how many of their customers are receiving statements like this month-in, month-out? I’m guessing there would be at least 10,000 such accounts who have gone into this state over time. Who knows if they bothered calling to ask for a credit?
I also thought about their billing system, how it deals with disconnected services, and with customers in credit. I’m thinking about how a very large organization with many, many customers can even spot such a thing. In theory, they would be transferring information from the billing system into the financial system for every bill run, and when they do, the customers in credit should be dealt with as a liability that should eventually be cleared. There could be around $250K+ in that account. Perhaps this is too little for them to worry about?
Do you get any bills like this each month?