A technical snafu left some Visa prepaid cardholders stunned and horrified Monday to see a $23,148,855,308,184,500 charge on their statements.[From Glitch hits Visa users with more than $23 quadrillion charge – CNN.com]
How can you charge more than the GDP of the entire world to a prepaid card without a red light going on somewhere in the system? Once again, the golden rule is proven. Someone will always make a mistake, so make sure your payment system fails safe. A simple bounds check ought to do it: if PAYMENT_AMOUNT is greater US_NATIONAL_DEBT then “refer authorisation to a human operator”, or something like that.
OK, so everyone makes mistakes. If this happened to me, by the way, I certainly wouldn’t call and complain — remember the old adage that if you owe bank a thousand dollars then you have a problem, but if you owe the bank 23 quadrillion dollars then the bank has a problem? I’d just call my bank, calmly, and ask for a service-not-rendered chargeback.
These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]