$100,000 Spectacular Norwegian Parking Cock-up

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by rawbone8, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. rawbone8

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    Norwegian city accidentally charges some motorists over $100,000 to park

    Published: Friday, December 14, 2007 | 11:15 AM ET

    Canadian Press: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


    OSLO, Norway - It can be hard enough to pay for holiday gifts without being charged $148,000 just to park a car.

    At least 26 motorists were left baffled and broke when they used their bank debit cards to buy parking time in the central Norwegian city of Trondheim last week.

    Because of a computer glitch, the machine multiplied the amount of parking time they bought by 10,000 and automatically deducted it from their bank accounts.

    For many, the withdrawal of the vast sums left their bank accounts spectacularly overdrawn, and their debit cards frozen in the midst of already hectic Christmas shopping.

    One shopper had her bank card rejected when she tried to buy groceries and described the situation is very stressful.

    A spokesman from the city parking company says banks are racing to reimburse the accounts before the weekend.






    I'm speechless. Computer bank cards are quite more risky than I thought. :eek:
     
  2. Principessa

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    What's this nonsense of a parking ticket fee being automatically deducted from ones account about? Thank God they don't do that in the USA! I am reasonably certain there would be rioting in the streets.

    Computers are only as perfect as the people operating them.

     
  3. dong20

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    I'm impressed (well, actually I'm dismayed) that Norwegian banks honoured such large (and clearly atypical) transactions to allow what must have been so awesome overdrafts. Also, that some folk must have had enough lying round in their current accounts to support such a transaction without going (far) into the red.

    Clearly, Norwegians have far too much money and very pliable banks.:smile:
     
  4. rob_just_rob

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    The oil industry has boosted the Norwegian per capita GDP immensely. Still, that's a pretty heavy tax.

    And this shows that it pays to have someone watching your bank account.
     
  5. Not_Punny

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    Ach, it'll get fixed.

    I wish we had debit-card parking meters in Los Angeles. I almost never have change on me, and the cost of a ticket is outrageous.
     
  6. rawbone8

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    It is puzzling, since my debit card has a daily charge limit that I can set.

    That's why canny car jackings happen just before midnight so the thieves can force two daily limits from the victim.
     
  7. BuddyBoy

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    Just theorizing, but the transaction probably came in as a forcepost - an ISO 8583 type 220 - since many small dollar systems like parking don't use real-time authorization.

    In Canada, at least, banks cannot refuse a forceposted debit transaction, even if it mean exceeding your daily limit or specaturlarly overdrawing your account.

    Fun, no? :D
     
  8. rawbone8

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    Thnx BuddyBoy. I needed that.:yikes:

    I am consoled that my meager balance is safe.
     
  9. AlteredEgo

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    debit card
     
  10. simcha

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    Actually we have it in Oakland. They are eliminating individual parking meters and replacing them with big boxes that are put evenly spaced at 2 per side of the street per block. You can pay with change or with a credit/debit card for however much time you need up to the limit, which is 2 hours in most places. You get a little ticket that is printed from the machine and you place it on your dashboard on the street side so that the parking enforcement people can see proof that you've paid for parking. It displays the date and time when your right to park there expires.

    So, it's mightily convenient to use the ol' debit card I have to admit because I'm not one to carry vast amounts of change in my pockets.

    It's scary that such an error may occur. That's why I always have some cash on me as a backup. And I have enough food to last me a month. :biggrin1: (OK, so it's canned and dry goods mostly but good for a famine, war, disaster, etc.)
     
  11. dong20

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    Nor me. My (paying expenses) life would be much more tedious without my Debit card.

    It is, and I can't help but wonder how many smaller scale foul ups go unnoticed. I know I don't check my statements as closely as I know I should. I'd certainly notice an overcharge of $100,000:eek: but one of $100 I'd likely miss completely and one of $1000 I'd possibly miss until I received my statement. That worries me when I think about it - but it's an entirely self inflicted worry so I have no one to blame but myself!

    That said, I've started to use pre-paid cards for some things, low value automated and some online purchases - they may add a fraction to the cost of some expenses (usually a commission on loading funds) but they almost entirely avoid such worries as ID fraud and overcharging. I never keep any more funds on the card than I need for a given transaction, or than I can afford to 'lose'.

    They cannot so easily be force charged and even if they were, the card issuer would need to chase me to recover that overcharge - but because some cards available here are anonymous that's simply not practical. If they were registered to me then the error and thus liability could be correctly re-assigned.

    They're not foolproof or perfect by any means but I've found them useful. Also they make great gifts.
     
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