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Marketplace Scratch Pad

A rounding error?

Scott Jagow Jul 17, 2009

You can argue there’s plenty of fishy math going on at the banks, but can you imagine if you clicked on your bank account and saw this number:

-$23,148,855,308,184,500.

That’s what Josh Muszynksi of New Hampshire saw when he checked his account balance after buying a pack of cigarettes at a gas station.

He used his debit card and was charged more than 23 quadrillion dollars. For a pack of cigarettes. I mean, I know they’ve increased taxes on tobacco, but…

From AP:

Muszynski says says he spent two hours on the phone with Bank of America trying to sort out the string of numbers and the $15 overdraft fee.

Yes, of course, the $15 fee for going 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 in the hole.

The bank did correct the error the next day, but in typical fashion, B of A told reporters Visa would answer their questions, and Visa directed questions to Bank of America.

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