A New Hampshire man had his debit card charged $23,148,855,308,184,500 for a single package of cigarettes.  That’s stupid.  But mistakes can be made.

But the real mistake is how the man was treated when this obvious error was made.

He was on the phone for two hours with Bank of America to try to reverse the error and get them to waive the $15 overdraft charge.

We have written about how service has declined in our “Are Companies Training Customers to be Jerks?” but we never thought service could be so bad that it took two hours to clarify something so obviously an error.  And the fact that there was even an overdraft fee adds insult to injury.

A final note that shows how shoddy responsibility for customer service is, the Bank in question took no responsibility and pointed their finger at Visa.  Who, in turn, pointed back at the Bank.

I have had this same shirking of client service with my cell phone company who blamed the hardware while the hardware company blamed the cell phone company.

This kind of abandonment has created more and more customer distrust.  That costs marketers as they have to try to buy it back.

Long term the cost to repair the damage is far more than anything that could be saved by dodging responsibility.

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