Day by Day cartoon

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

When electrons go bad...

I discovered last night that my grocery bill that I used my debit card to pay, had in fact been deducted from my checking acount twice! The cashier, after not getting the proper response from the machine when I tried to use the card as a debit card, explained that the system had not been working properly, and could she run it as a credit instead of a debit. And of course, I said yes. It makes no difference to me how things get billed.

Except when I get billed twice! Once it was on the debit and once it was on the credit side, just like the cashier manipulated the transaction. It seems that the part of the computer deducting the money was working but the reporting back of a successful transaction wasn't reporting back as instructed.

I wasn't the only person that the electrons struck back at this weekend. After a couple of phone calls, I discovered that I was about person number 7500 to call, so far! It seems the electrons went on strike throughout the country for anyone that shopped at a DOD commissary. Oops! Some folks had their acounts hit 3 or 4 times depending on the diligence of the cashier to force the computers to comply.

I've received a promise of a call-back with the commissary's corrective action, but as I said, I'm number 7500 so I might have a long wait. The commissary is also uncertain how they will reimburse anyone who's account might have been overdrafted by their error.

Bad electrons, naughty electrons!

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