Phil's bill for two cents
PHIL Taylor could only laugh when a petroleum company sent him a bill for two cents earlier this month.
The owner of Taylor Made Cars in Murwillumbah has been a client of Pacific Petroleum, based at Rocklea, for several years, but this month was the first time he had been asked to cover such a small debt.
“I received a statement for $33.02 last month, so I sent a cheque for $33,” Mr Taylor said.
“Then earlier this month I got a bill for two cents; I guess because I hadn't paid that bit extra.
“I originally thought it was a joke, because how am I supposed to pay that amount when the currency isn't legal anymore.
“It would cost me more than the total bill to send them a cheque in postage and banking costs. It's stupid.
“I know these companies use computers to generate their monthly statements, but for another statement to be generated for such a small amount seems a waste of the com- pany's time and money to me.”
With tongue firmly planted in his cheek, Mr Taylor said he believed he had the solution to clear his unusual debt with the petroleum company that supplies fuel used in his hire car and used car sales business.
“I guess I could find a two-cent piece and send that to them; but that will still cost me 55 cents for the stamp and a few cents for the envelope, so I don't think I'll do that.
“I'll just wait and see if they send me another bill.”
General manager of Pacific Petroleum Michael Hollows said he was unaware a statement for two cents was sent to Mr Taylor and confirmed all bills are generated by a company computer and are “not necessarily checked by a staff member”.
“This is the first time I have heard of a monthly statement for such a small amount being sent to a client,” Mr Hollows said yesterday.
“Normally when something like this comes to our attention it would appear on an overdue debtor statement and one of our staff would just journal-off (write-off) the cost.
“There are ways you can change the parameters for automatic statement printing, but this is the first time I have heard of this happening.”
Mr Hollows said Mr Taylor would not be pursued if he chose not to pay the two cent bill.
“We certainly won't be hiring a credit company to chase him down for two cents.”