Telecom Italia soothes ofn 1900 dated bill (...declared itself fully millenium compliant...) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Telecom Italia Soothes on 1900-Dated Bill

Updated 4:18 PM ET December 28, 1999

By Stefano Bernabei

ROME (Reuters) - Italy's biggest telephone company Telecom Italia sought to calm millennium bug fears on Tuesday after sending a bill for the first two months of 1900.

Telecom, which recently upgraded all its software and has declared itself fully millennium compliant, said the erroneous bill sent to a Rome-based Reuters reporter was an isolated case.

"Regarding the case brought to our attention by Reuters, of which we have not yet seen evidence, Telecom Italia repeats that its billing procedure is immune from problems stemming from the date change or millennium bug," a spokeswoman for the former state monopoly told Reuters before being faxed the bill.

A copy of the bill was sent to Telecom. A company source said Telecom staff were checking and the firm would respond once those checks were complete.

In the bill, Telecom requested advance payment of 36,000 lire ($18.76) for line use in the first two months of 1900. Other dates were correct, such as a deadline for payment of January 17, 2000 and a bill issue date of December 6, 1999.

The total charge was 43,952 lire including 7,265 lire of taxes, 325 lire for the cost of sending the bill and 362 lire of rounding up adjustments.

A spokeswoman for Italy's Year 2000 Committee contacted Reuters, saying the organization wanted to see a copy of the bill so it could take up the issue with Telecom Italia.

The so-called millennium bug relates to concerns that computer programs which record dates in two instead of four digits could fail to recognize the new year as 2000.

A Telecom Italia official earlier said the mistake appeared to be a one-off occurrence.

"After a first check it appears there are no errors in the bills. This must be an isolated case," the official said.

He added that the bill would "not have repercussions of any kind for the user because of the error in the reference period" -- meaning late payment would not incur 100 years of interest charges.


($1-1918.7 Lire)

-- Homer Beanfang (, December 28, 1999


As an old mainframe batch-oriented guy, I gotta say you rarely see isolated cases of ANYTHING. If it's wrong, there will be 10,000 others just as wrong.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), December 28, 1999.

The Italians need to work on their spin.

You see, the reporter's bill was actually hand-typed by a chimpanzee on loan from the Rome Zoo. The chimp has since been returned to its cage. ;-)

-- cgbg jr (, December 28, 1999.

As I said on the Toronto Hydro 1900 thread...

Too many of these 1900 dates cropping up. If these have not been found, and they're easy to find, they appear on the output goddammit, I fear heartily for the internals.

Bad Sign!!


Yet another, and I agree with BW, as another MF Batch oriented guy!


-- Ron Davis (, December 28, 1999.

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