Man faints after receiving hefty telephone bill

Kuala Lumpur: A Malaysian man said he almost fainted when he received a hefty telephone bill of USD 218 trillion for outstanding arrears and was asked by the authorities to settle the bill within 10 days or face legal action.

Yahaya Wahab, 63, received a bill for USD 218 trillion (806,400,000,000,000.01 ringgit) issued by a debt-collection company, commissioned by Telekom Malaysia, the New Strait Times reported today.

The bill was sent to the residence of Wahab's late father, which had been vacant since his death.

The letter, from a debt-collection agent based in Sungai Petani was dated April 3, and demanded that the house owner settle the bill within 10 days or face legal action.

Wahab said he had settled the previous bill of USD 23 (84.82 ringgit) on Jan 13 and requested that the telephone line be disconnected since no one was living in the house.

"If the company wants to seek legal action as mentioned in the letter, I am ready to face it. In fact, I can't wait to face it," he was quoted as saying by the paper.

He alleged that the amount was larger than the total telephone bills of the whole country and the company was careless to send such a bill without checking.