The letter request:
Virgin Mobile keeps sending me bills for $0.00. I’ve called them several times and they’ve confirmed over the phone that I have no outstanding payments due, but the bills for zero dollars keep coming. Now they’ve sent me a final notice which threatens to cut off my service if I don’t pay them… nothing. Please help.
Dear Virgin Mobile,
The history of numbers goes back a long way. I saw a documentary about this once – it was really interesting despite the crappy re-enactments. It’s pretty complex but, in a nutshell, the earliest known base 10 system (they system we use today) dates back to 3100 BC in Egypt.
The numeral 0 came later. At first it was just a placeholder but, eventually, it was accorded its own numerical value which it maintains to this day. That is: zero, naught, naddah. For a long time this concept was the cause of much philosophical discussion. The ancient Greeks asked themselves, ‘How can nothing be something?’ But eventually everyone agreed that it just can and life went on. (I’m skimming over the nuts and bolts here but you get the gist.)
Skip forward to present day Australia and it would appear we’re all in agreement about the value of 0. On a scoreboard it equals no goals, right? When the law says a learner driver’s blood alcohol concentration must be zero that means the alcopops stay in the fridge. And while we’re talking beverages, how many calories do you think are in a can of Coke Zero? Yep, you guessed it, 0. (Or so they tell us, Virgin Mobile, but I’m sure it’s no shock to you that sometimes corporations tell lies).
So you see I’d come to believe that the concept of 0 was fairly easy to comprehend. That is, until I received your letter of final notice herewith attached. Oh Virgin Mobile, you’ve really made a fool out of me! I sure do have egg on my face now! Despite my long held fervent belief, I now find myself asking the same question the ancient Greeks asked two thousand years ago, namely, how can nothing be something? More to the point, how can I make an overdue payment of $0.00? Because I certainly don’t want my credit rating tarnished by not paying, as forewarned by your letter.
Now I could be wrong – I have been in the past – but from where I’m standing, my account is fully paid up with nothing owing and you should refrain from hassling me with threatening letters. As I said, that’s how the situation looks from my vantage point.
Maybe you could humour me, Virgin Mobile, by putting yourself in my position. Imagine if I were to send you a letter of final notice accusing you of being long overdue on a payment that’s simply not within your ability to make. Can you see how absurd that would be? Like, for example, what if I demanded of you a decent internet connection administered with quality service that didn’t SUCK DICK ON THE MOON?
What a crazy world we’d be living in then.
When Virgin Mobile obstinately refused to see the error of their ways, and sent another bill for $0.00, we tried another tactic…
Dear Virgin Mobile,
Attached is a copy of the last letter I sent you but since you don’t seem to get it, I’ll spell it out in terms you’ll understand.
Q. If Richard Branson went jet-skiing with one naked girl clinging to his back and the naked girl fell off and into the water, how many naked girls would he have clinging to his back?
This is how much I owe you. Please stop sending me letters.