Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Perils of Smoking

From the Telegraph tomorrow:

A New Hampshire man has said he swiped his debit card at a gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes and was charged over $23 quadrillion (£14 quadrillion).

Josh Muszynski checked his account online a few hours after the purchase and saw the 17-digit number – a stunning $23,148,855,308,184,500 (twenty-three quadrillion, one hundred forty-eight trillion, eight hundred fifty-five billion, three hundred eight million, one hundred eighty-four thousand, five hundred dollars). Mr Muszynski told WMUR-TV that he spent two hours on the phone with Bank of America trying to sort out the string of numbers – and the $15 overdraft fee.The bank corrected the error the next day.

Bank of America said the card issuer, Visa, could answer questions. Visa, in turn, referred questions to the bank.

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