Man Hit with RM806.4 Trillion TM Bill

First and foremost, a simple introduction for HTNet’s non-Malaysian visitors; TM: a monsterous Malaysian GLC, which holds an almost total monopoly on fixed telephone lines and broadband internet access in Malaysian. If you think these guys can’t be good, you’re absolutely right. To put it simply, they’re like Microsoft, minus the innovation and R&D.

Anyway, TM decided to slap a poor guy with a bill for RM806.4 trillion (roughly US$212 trillion)! Unsuprisingly, Yahaya Awab was shocked when he received the bill… it’s just slightly below ten times of Malaysia’s GDP.

I’ve heard about hundreds of tales regarding the incompetence and stupidity of TM, but this one is the best one ever.

5 responses to “Man Hit with RM806.4 Trillion TM Bill”.

  1. at@at.com Says:

    not suprising, i cancelled my 013 line after a few billings that were late and phone disconnected, The last straw is my call to enable roaming which they didnt do resulting in my calls (total 20min) from hotel to home when overseas costing me a total RM1,200/-. The very day i reach M’sia, I asked for disconnection. It took several tense calls and a good 1 and half month for them to eventually disconnect.

  2. vincent Says:

    I actually find it amusing that people are so willing to slaughter TM over such a thing. We all know that the bills are computer generated and NOT done manually one by one. A small glitch in the program would of course cause the bill figures to go haywire. And if you want TM to check each and every bill just before it goes out…why the heck for? We demand efficiency and the system is pretty efficient as it is at the moment, seeing as to how the computers make mistakes less frequently than humans.

    Nobody has charged him in court, and nobody has banged on his door asking for money. All he got was a letter which was probably computer generated as well.

    It’s really not easy pleasing Malaysians is it?

  3. Site Admin Azmeen Says:

    It’s so easy to blame “computers” for every cockup committed by huge companies, which when I last checked had human accountants, auditors and support personnel.

    Would an accountant with even a hint of credibility fail to notice an explosion in the billings for the month/week/day?

    And “small glitch” my ass. If hundreds of trillions is a small glitch to you, you either have a saint-like forgiving nature or just plain foolish to think that a computer system can cause an error of this proportion without human detection.

    It’s not a question of pleasing, but of logic.

  4. Dabido (Teflon) Says:

    Vincent – As someone who worked as a programmer for the Credit Unions here in Australia, I’ll try and put things into a little perspective about accounting / banking software. [This is just for reference so you have an idea as to how it’s supposed to work, and not an attack on you or anything … just trying to be helpful. Not everyone knows how these sorts of systems are supposed to work].

    First, they put heaps of checks into the system, so that when something stupid like this does occur (ie an outrageous bill or huge amounts of money moving around), then someone is signalled by the computer to check that it is correct.

    [In fact, any unusual transaction over $1000 is reported to the Government in this country … not that the people who are using the bank know it even happens].

    So, if the computer system was written correctly, there should ahve been a BIG BLIP on the radar for a human to have checked that bill before it got sent out.
    Obviously it didn’t happen (or if it did, then the person responsible didn’t do their job).

    Plus, as Azmeen has pointed out, their are usually [or should be] accountants etc who do daily checks to make sure weird things aren’t happening. [Which is similar to a job I used to do at Toyota for a while, as a database manager].

    So, the big questions are:
    1. If the software DOES have a bug in it, who did the writing of it? Who did the testing of it? And why did neither group pick up this before.
    2. Once the bill was created, a HUGE amount like that SHOULD have been flagged by the software. If it wasn’t, then why isn’t the normal checks and balances built into the software. If the checks and balances ARE built into the software, why didn’t they work? If they did work, then WHO checked the anonomly, and why didn’t they pick up on it as a problem?

    I remember a similar incident at the Credit Unions where someone testing some new software accidentally left a BILLION DOLLAR transaction on a live system (the transaction was for a test), and that night a flag occurred.

    The next week or so was a little hectic, as the billion dollars was sent to one of the banks [before anyone had checked the flag], and we suddenly found the Credit Unions a billion dollars in debt.

    The manager for the group who were in charge of sending the files etc, had to get the banks to send the billion dollars back, and the Credit Unions were fined a couple of hundred thousand dollars for being idiots.

    None of this was released to the outside world, as it would have embarrased the Credit Unions … and something similar should have happened for this bill. Somewhere, the system would ahve been out of sorts financially, and someone somewhere should have been notified to investigate, and they should ahve been able to get to the guy and explain to him that he should ignore the bill when it arrives.
    In a proper system, the guy would have known within 24 hours of the bill being sent.
    [I assume your postal service is as bad as everywhre else in the world, where it takes days for a bill to get to someone]. 🙂

    Hope that’s helpful.

  5. deslack.com » Blog Archive » TM Sent a Man a RM806.4 Trillion Bill Says:

    […] While I was scouring around for things to write in my blog, I found this entry posted on a friend’s weblog. […]