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$23 Quadrillion Cigarettes Burn Me Up

Thursday, 16 Jul 2009 | 1:54 PM ET

Debit cards and me, definitely not BFFs. So the story of the quadrillion-dollar pack of cigs has me a tad smug, as much as continually amazed at just how crazy debit cards can be.

I’m not taken aback so much by the mathematical error, which is bound to happen at some point—though to this extent, pretty amazing. I’m set off by the TWO HOURS it took the poor gent with the expensive smoking habit to get this whackadoodle charge off of his account.

Two hours of his life when he could have been earning money or enjoying his friends, family or more smokes (I hope not). Instead he wasted that time on the phone explaining how this charge really wasn’t right.

Even better, the bank referred him to the little boxed-logo on the lower right of your cards that says VISA. Then VISA referred him back to the bank. Now really, if your bank can’t wipe off in 30 seconds a debit charge bigger than our national debt, TARP and a few trips to the moon combined, why be friends?

If he had swiped a credit card instead, the gas station would have been more likely to get an old-fashioned response: “Declined.”

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Watch Related Video:
$23 Quadrillion Question Remains Unanswered (Youtube)