Alain Lavie, a regional director for pension fund Organic, said a computer glitch was behind the mistaken mailings, adding that the accounts held by the recipients of the letters would not be affected, according to the Associated Press.
The letters demanded payment by January 12.
“I had to sit down when I saw the sum,” recipient Christine Vallee, a bar manager in the Loire Valley town of Tours, told the Associated Press about her letter. The sticker shock prompted Vallee to call a lawyer.
“I wasn’t laughing when I read the last paragraph: ‘We take this opportunity to offer you our best wishes for the new year’,” she said.