Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Ballad Of Bewildered Muszynski

Brilliant reportage from America's hindland, where the state motto is, "Live Free, Or Figure It Out":

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- When Josh Muszynski checked his bank account online, he didn't expect to find a $23 quadrillion debit.

Muszynski swiped his debit card at a local Mobil gas station to buy a pack of cigarettes for a few bucks, Instead, his Bank of America account indicated he spent $23,148,855,308,184,500 at the gas station -- an amount for which he probably could have used to buy the entire company.

"If it were to be true that someone actually compromised that money and got that money, they could do some severe damage with that amount of money," ... "I thought my card had been compromised. I thought somebody had bought Europe with my credit card," Muszynski said. "It was very concerning."


(snip)

"The cashier says she couldn't help me at all. She didn't know anything about it," Muszynski said. "It's a lot of money in the negative, something I could never ever afford to pay back -- my children couldn't afford, grandchildren, nothing like that."

Muszynski called the bank about the string of numbers on the screen and a $15 overdraft fee the bank tacked on to his mysterious debt... Nearly 24 hours after the hole formed in his bank account, Muszynski checked his statement again. The bank corrected his statement a day later.

"It was back to normal. They reversed the negative balance fee, which was nice," Muszynski said.

WMUR News 9 contacted Bank of America about the statement mishap, but representatives said the card issuer, Visa, could only answer questions. Visa, in turn, recommended that WMUR News 9 contact the bank.


( via WMUR-9, A New Hampshire Television Station, not affiliated with the Oxford English Dictionary, or Strunk and White's A Manual Of Style for the usage of written English.)