Teen charged £180,000 for Dominos pizza

Shocking tales of overcharging - from pizza to bread and energy


Teen charged £18k for pizza

Nathaniel Bolwell, a 19-year-old from Newport in Wales, popped into Dominos on Chepstow Road in the city for a cheese and tomato pizza. Unfortunatetly a staff member accidentally added a four digit bank code to the sum he was charged, so his £17.99 pizza was charged at £179,932.22. Astonishingly his bank accepted the payment, pushing him dramatically into debt.

It's not the first time a retailer has taken a staggering over-payment.

The BBC reported that Bolwell paid with his bank card, and the money went through without question. He only realised there was a problem when he had his card refused when he tried to use it at the supermarket. When he checked his account he discovered be was £179,020.82 overdrawn.

He called the bank, and after an investigation, the money was refunded two days later. Bolwell, who works for a health food company, said he had been terrified his credit record could be damaged. A Lloyds Bank spokesperson told the Daily Mail it would give Mr Bolwell £100 compensation - and "sincerely regretted a significant level of distress and inconvenience".

All's well that ends well in this particular case - although Bolwell's dad says he will insist the teen makes his own home-cooked food in future. However, he's not the first to have been stunned by an overcharging incident.

There are isolated incidents on the high street. Back in March, for example, Asda apologised to a customer who had been charged £450 for a loaf of brown bread bought from the self-service check-outs. They explained it was the result of a system glitch, refunded the money and offered hm a 'goodwill' payment.

However, by far the majority of overcharging is done in a way that's far harder to spot - on utility bills. A survey by uSwitch found that 70% of all customers have been overcharged in the past year - and more than a third were overcharged more than once. On average people were overcharged £196 each - although 11% of people have been overcharged by £400 or more. The most common problem was that people were charged for things they shouldn't have paid for. Others were put onto the wrong tariff or didn't receive a discount they had been promised.

In one shocking case last month it emerged that British Gas had overcharged a church hall by almost £10,000 for its gas - after reading the wrong meter. The bill was only reduced after the intervention of the Ombudsman.

In February, a retired electrical engineer spotted that the clock on his meter was wrong. He was charged different tariffs for different times of day and as a result of the error he had been overcharged £2,300. Two months later Scottish and Southern Energy admitted that 16,000 of its customers could be in line for refunds over faulty meters which automatically switched back an hour after any power cut in the winter.

It goes to show how vital it is to check bills, statements and receipts for anything out of the ordinary. It's easy just to assume everything is in order, but with 70% of people being overcharged each year, it's clearly not safe to assume anything of the sort.

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