And we thought gas prices had fallen…
When Juan Zamora refueled his car at a Conoco service station in Richland, Washington, the gas pump showed a total fee of $26. But in a freak computer glitch, the PayPal debit card he used recorded the transaction as $81,400,836,908, i.e., 81 billion dollars. “That’s a B, as in billions!” Zamora said.
Zamora got the shock of his life when he received an email later that afternoon informing him that his debit card was maxed out. At first he thought it was a joke. But after contacting PayPal customer service, Zamora was surprised to see that the company wanted its 81 billion dollars.
“Somebody from a foreign country who spoke in broken English argued with me for 10 to 15 minutes,” Zamora said. ” ‘Did you get the gas?’ he asked. Like I had to prove that I didn’t pump $81,400,836,908 in gas!” He would have had to fill up more than 3 billion cars to reach that outrageous sum.
Eventually Zamora was able to convince PayPal how ridiculous his bill was. The cause of the glitch is still unknown. “I guess the moral of this story is to pay cash,” Zamora said.
Article published on March 13, 2009
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