Paypal Charges $81 Billion To Fill Your Gas Tank... Demands Proof It Didn't Cost That Much

from the maybe-last-summer...-but-not-now... dept

Gas prices have gone down quite a bit since highs last summer, but it still shouldn't take long for anyone to realize that charging someone $81.4 billion (with a b) to fill your gas tank is a mistake. Yet, that's what happened to Juan Zamora when he put what he thought was $26 worth of gas into his car using a PayPal debit card. And then the best part: PayPal customer service people weren't ready to believe him, arguing with him for at least 10 minutes, before realizing that, perhaps, there was a mistake on PayPal's part.

Filed Under: gas, mistakes
Companies: paypal


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  1. identicon
    Rekrul, 3 Mar 2009 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Customer Service....

    "But you know why they treat you that way? Most of the people that they deal with actually ARE wrong, lying or scamming. Sad but true.

    Here's a quick funny on the subject of "wrong"."


    Here are some of my encounters with customer service from the users' point of view;

    1. I had a dialup ISP that outsourced its Usenet access to Supernews. In order to access the server, I had to use my ISP email address and password, which would then be sent to the ISP's RADIUS servers for verification. One day I couldn't logon to the server for over an hour. I called the ISP's "tech" support to report the problem. I was asked what error I received. I attempted another logon, then read the error directly off the screen. As near as I recall, it was "Winsock Error 502: No valid RADIUS response received." When I read this, I was informed "A Winsock error means that your network configuration is corrupt. You're going to have to re-install Windows Dialup Networking and recofigure your connection from scratch."

    2. Several times I wasn't able to logon to the ISP at all. When this happened, I'd call tech support and after explaining the problem, the first words out of the CSR's mouth were "Ok, I need you to go into Dialup Networking..." At that point, I'd cut them off and ask them to try my name and password themselves. This invariably resulted in "Yeah, it's not working for me either. I'll let someone know and it should be fixed within the hour..."

    3. When I joined the dialup ISP, they worked as well as could be expected for a dialup company. Downloads ran at about 6K per second according to my bandwidth meter, using a single connection or "thread". Then, literally overnight, the speed went from a steady 6K/s to an average of about 2K/s. I called tech support and was told that there were no problems. They blamed line noise, even though my USR modem's diagnostics confirmed that line noise wasn't an issue. I even had the phone company come out and test the line and they told me that my phone line was as clean as a phone line can be. They then blamed the sites. I told them that my friend with broadband was able to download at over 100K/s from the same sources. Then they blamed my computer. I told them that I could use the free Juno internet service (which otherwise sucked like a vacuum) and get perfectly fine speeds to the same places. Then they blamed "general internet congestion". A former employee of Supernews volunteered to help me. He connected to the same access numbers using his system and discovered that the ISP's network was suffering major data loss. I tried to report this to the ISP, but was told that their network was working perfectly. When I collected all the previous evidence and presented it at once, I was told that 2K/s was "normal" for a dialup connection. When I asked why my speeds went from good one day to absolute crap the next, they stopped answering me.

    4. I live in CT and get all of the network TV channels from New York. One day I noticed major problems with all the NY stations, such as bad interlacing and repeating frames. I tried to report this and the cable company said that was the first they'd heard of it and they couldn't do anything until they sent a tech out to check my connections. They sent the tech, I showed him a tape of the problems and he said "That's not here, there's nothing I do about that." Duh! He called his boss, and was told that they were working on it. He said to give it a week and if I still saw problems, I should call again. I did continue to see problems, every single hour on the NY stations. I called again, described the problem and was told that was the first they'd heard of it and that they'd need to send a tech out to check my connections. I explained that they already did that and that the tech department was supposedly working on it. She then cheerfully replied "Oh, well if they're working on, I'm sure they'll have it fixed soon! Why don't you give it another week?" A week goes by and I repeat the whole thing all over again. I'm starting to feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

    After about two months of them denying that there's a problem, some of the CSRs I talk to say they've seen it too, but there's no official comment on it. One day, a friend confirms that he's seeing the same problems on his (different) cable system. Ok, maybe the problem is with the stations, although that seems unlikely given that all the NY stations are affected. I contact one station and the head engineer says I should tell my cable company that they have a "head end" problem. I try, but it goes nowhere. I also contact a person in NY, who confirms that the problems I'm seeing don't occur in NY. I think that maybe my friend's cable company will be more receptive. He doesn't want to deal with them, so I start emailing them proof. I asked them to tape one of the NY channels and the next day I'll send them a list of the times the problems occurred so that they can check them themselves. After a couple days of this, someone from that cable company calls me, the main gist of which was "You are not one of our subscribers. We have no problems here so stop bothering us!"

    One night, while trying to report the problem for at least the dozenth time, the CSR offered to connect me to the engineering department. The man I spoke too worked in a different department, but he gave me the direct phone number for the head end department. I called the next day and the person who answered the phone seemed surprised to be talking directly to a customer. I explained the problem and he agreed to look into it. The next day he said he'd seen the problem and that it was caused by a transfer link that relays the stations from NY to both cable companies. He said they switched feeds and that the alternate feed was causing the problems.

    The problems went away. Then they came back almost exactly two months later. I called him again, he contacted the transfer station and the problems went away. Two month later they came back. Another call, the problems went away, two months later, back again. Finally, I wrote a letter to the head engineer and included a tape of the problems collected over the last several months. I explained that the other engineer was very helpful, but that he didn't seem to have the authority to make a permanent fix. The problems disappeared permanently after that.

    5. When that same cable company went to all-digital for the pay channels, there were some transition glitches, then everything smoothed out. A few months later, almost every single pay channel started experiencing glitches that went on for several minutes at a time. Choppy movement, wildly out of sync audio, etc. I reported this every few days, had techs sent out to my house to "check the connections", swap out the boxes, etc. I discovered that I could manually 'fix' the glitches by temporarily switching channels. This fixed it on that box, but the glitches would continue on any other boxes tuned to the same channel, indicating that the problem was in the box. I called, I wrote letters and they still denied that there was anything wrong. It probably took at least six months before this problem disappeared.

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