Dean Baker, a father, got a major shock when he realized the wrapping paper he bought for Christmas didn’t cost $7.22, it actually cost him upwards of $70,000.
Baker bought the gift wrap at a local store called the Card Factory on December 22nd, and used his debit card to buy four rolls of wrapping paper and a pack of gift tags. Everything was fine until two days later, when he noticed that he was overdrawn by more than $70,000. He had wound up paying more than 10,000 times the actual cost of his purchase.
“The girl on the till was a trainee,” Baker said. “When I first put my card in the machine to pay, she said it hadn't worked and asked me to do it again, so I did. I didn't think any more of it.”
Baker said he realized something was wrong when he was attempting to pay for lunch at a local restaurant on Christmas Eve and his card was declined.
“I knew I had plenty of money in my account so I couldn't understand it,” he said.
Baker then checked his account balance and was stunned by what he found.
“I went to a cashpoint nearby and couldn't believe my eyes when the balance came up on the screen as being nearly $73,000 overdrawn.”
The massive error made the bank freeze Baker’s account, and he was unable to go food shopping or buy some last minute gifts for his two young daughters, Harriet and Eden.
“I was supposed to be buying an iPad for Eden but obviously I couldn't do that,” he said. “And we ended up having to beg food off relatives to pull a Christmas dinner together.”
The 32-year-old dad said he was “disgusted” by how the bank and the store have handle things throughout the whole ordeal. The store, in particular, told Baker that he might not get his money straightened out until January 12th. “I'm appalled. Christmas has been ruined for us.”
The bank later refunded the money and informed Baker that he would not face any overdraft charges. A spokesperson for the store said they became aware of the situation on December 23rd, and were unable to get in contact with Baker initially to let him know.
“We received confirmation from our card service provider on December 23 that the reversal was being processed. Unfortunately, we were initially unable to reach the customer directly as we had no contact details,” the spokesperson said. “After establishing contact with the customer, senior management have been liaising directly to ensure that they are not disadvantaged by the situation and have apologised [sic] for any inconvenience caused.”