Misplaced decimal point creates very expensive pumpkin

SUSAN EDMUNDS
Last updated 22:26 15/03/2017
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Countdown said it had delivered more than 1000kg of pumpkin. It hadn't.

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Emma Jelsma was charged more than $4500 for this pumpkin.
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Emma Jelsma says she's furious that the payment was allowed to go through.

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A Countdown online shopper has been left with a maxed out credit card after she was mistakenly charged more than $4500 for pumpkin.

Emma Jelsma ordered a 1.018kg half-pumpkin as part of her online grocery shopping.

But when she received the bill, she saw she had been charged $4570.82 for 1018kg of pumpkin. 

She was told by Countdown that the payment had already been processed.

READ MORE: New Zealand's top online banking mistakes and how to avoid them

Jelsma assumed it would bounce because her credit card limit was not high enough to accept the payment.

But it went through, sending her card way beyond its $1500 limit.

She said she had not yet been charged fees for going over the limit "but they are coming. Plus no one can explain how it happened, the fraud team should have been all over it.

"ANZ can't explain it – waiting for a manager to call me back. They're scrabbling for answers, even tried to say it was something to do with me having a business account with them. It's a personal card.

"To add insult to injury, I've been with them for many years, and after my separation I tried to get an increase on my $1500 credit card limit, they flat out declined me - never been in debt, very careful with money, but they said my income wasn't stable enough. So this is outstanding logic."

She said she wanted compensation for the time she had spent trying to resolve the issue, and for any bank fees charged.

A spokeswoman for Countdown said the charge had been reversed but there had been a delay at Jelsma's bank.

She said Countdown's head of online had contacted Jelsma and offered a gift card and credit to her account.

An ANZ spokeswoman said Jelsma's bank fees would be reversed.

"If a customer tries to make a transaction that needs more money than their available credit limit, we may choose to stop them from doing so. But, we understand that sometimes customers may need access to extra money. So, we may choose to let them go above their credit limit. This saves customers embarrassment if they're a little short on funds," she said.

"Whether we do this is at our discretion and is generally determined by a customer's account behaviour. Customers with a good credit history are more likely to be allowed to exceed the limit on their card than those with a poor history."

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