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Email exchange with a county clerk who didn't get the difference between dollars and cents

The names of the clerk, the county, and the state are all fake for anonymity. I also left out email signatures (except in her first email, because "Sincerely," doesn't make sense without it). Everything else is completely unmodified.


FROM: Hayden Schiff
TO: Jane Doe
DATE: Thursday, 5:46 PM

Hello,

I'd like to purchase the Foobar County voter registration list. I'd like records for all parties, all precincts, all districts, and both active and inactive voters. I'd like to get the list via email.

According to the Bazqux Sec of State's website, there are about 26.6k voters in Foobar as of November. Based on the voter list prices on your website, I guess the price of this list would be about $2.66. Can I pay via credit card?

Please let me know if this all sounds good.

Thanks,
Hayden


FROM: Jane Doe
TO: Hayden Schiff
DATE: Thursday, 5:55 PM

Hi Hayden,
My staff, Lisa, will be back on Monday and can provide you with the list at that time. It is .01 cent per name so the cost would be closer to $260.00. Lisa will contact you with a total amount and you can pay by credit card over the phone.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe
Foobar County Clerk
jdoe@foo.bar


FROM: Hayden Schiff
TO: Jane Doe
DATE: Friday, 11:50 AM

Hi Jane,

If the price is .01 cent per name, then the cost should be $2.66. 26,600 names at a price of .01 cents per name comes to a total of 266 cents, or $2.66. Is the price of ".01 cents" correct?

Thanks,
Hayden


FROM: Jane Doe
TO: Hayden Schiff
DATE: Friday, 2:22 PM

Hi Hayden,
260 x .01 = $2.66
2600 x .01 = $26.00
26,000 x .01 = $260.00.


FROM: Hayden Schiff
TO: Jane Doe
DATE: Friday, 3:37 PM

Hi Jane,

26,000 x .01 = 260.00, this is true. However, you also need to consider the units. You started with cents, so your end result will also be in cents; the total is 260.00 cents, not dollars.

Here's a screenshot of Google, where I've entered the same math problem and gotten the result $2.66:

embedded image

You can see for yourself here: https://www.google.com/webhp?ion=1&espv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=26600+x+.01+cents+in+dollars

-Hayden


FROM: Jane Doe
TO: Hayden Schiff
DATE: Friday, 4:44 PM

You can argue all you want but 26,000.00 times .01 is $260.00. 26 names would be .26 cents right? 260 names would be $2.60, 2600 would be $26.00 etc. I am sorry but we will not accept a payment of $2.60 for a voter list containing 26,000 names.


FROM: Hayden Schiff
TO: Jane Doe
DATE: Friday, 5:39 PM

Hi Jane,

It sounds to me like the true price that you are charging is not .01 cent per name, but rather, it's 1 cent per name. I'm not yet ready to spend $260 on the voter list; I only contacted you based on the lower rate.

I would recommend that you change your website to say "$0.01 per name" or "1 cent per name", so that it reflects the true price of the records and doesn't cause more confusion in the future. Right now, it says ".01 cent per name", which is the same as saying "$0.0001 per name".

Thanks for your time.

Regards,
Hayden


FROM: Jane Doe
TO: Hayden Schiff
DATE: Friday, 6:03 PM

You are the first person who has ever had a problem with.01 cent per name. If you use money figures, $1.10, it is one dollar and ten cents. If it is $1.01, it is one dollar and one cent. Since there is no rate lower than .01 cent let me know if and when you would like to purchase a list.


FROM: Hayden Schiff
TO: Jane Doe
DATE: Friday, 6:21 PM

If you write $1.01, yes that means one dollar and one cent. But that's only because the dollar sign is there. On your website, you don't have a dollar sign; instead, you have the word "cent". "$0.01" and "0.01 cent" mean completely different things.


FROM: Jane Doe
TO: Hayden Schiff
DATE: Friday, 6:23 PM

Well, there is nothing less than a penny.

Have a good afternoon.

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