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Computer Credit Card Processing Fiasco

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,274 Monty - the one and only

    In March 1992, a man living in Newton near Boston, Massachusetts
    received a bill for his as yet unused credit card stating that he owed
    $0.00. He ignored it and threw it away. In April he received another
    and threw that one away too. The following month the credit card
    company sent him a very nasty note stating they were going to cancel
    his card if he didn't send them $0.00 by return of post. He called
    them and talked to them about the problem. They said it was a computer
    error and told him they'd take care of it.

    The following month our hero decided that it was about time that he
    tried out the troublesome credit card figuring that if there were
    purchases on his account he could end this ridiculous predicament.
    However, in the first store that he produced his credit card in payment
    for his purchases he found that his card had been cancelled.

    He called the credit card company who apologized for the computer error
    once again and said that they would take care of it. The next day he
    got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue. Having
    spoken to the credit card company the previous day, he assumed the
    latest bill was yet another mistake he ignored it, trusting that the
    company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out.

    The next month he got a bill for $0.00 stating that he had 10 days to
    pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the
    debt. Finally giving in, he thought he would play the company at their
    own game and mailed them a check for $0.00. The computer duly
    processed his account and returned a statement. It reported that he
    now owed the credit card company nothing at all.

    A week later, the man's bank called him asking him what he was doing
    writing a check for $0.00. After a lengthy explanation the bank
    replied that the $0.00 check had caused their check processing software
    to fail. The bank could not now process ANY checks from ANY of their
    customers that day because the check for $0.00 was causing the computer
    to crash.

    The following month the man received a letter from the credit card
    company claiming that his check had bounced and that he now owed them
    $0.00. Furthermore, unless he sent a check by return of post they
    would be taking steps to recover the debt.

    The man, who had been considering buying his wife a computer for their
    anniversary, bought her a typewriter instead.