If there were ever a costly mistake, Con Edison made it.
The electric utility for New York City and Westchester charged an Astoria, Queens, resident $37,974,401.35 million for a month’s worth of utility usage in his 600-square-foot apartment. That’s right: a nearly $38-million bill, credit card payment fee included.
“THIS IS INSANE. FIX IT”
The recipient of the bill, a Twitter user named Tommy Straub, chronicled the entire affair on Twitter.
His first few tweets were stunning, in that he was able to tweet a screenshot of the bill:
“Hey @ConEdison: I own a 600 square foot apartment in Astoria, Qns. I do NOT own the entirety of Manhattan Island. THIS IS INSANE. FIX IT,” he chirped in the tweet that accompanies the above photo.
Understandably shocked, Straub reached out Con Edison’s customer service. One hour after his initial tweet, he sent out another tweet with a screenshot of his interaction with Con Edison’s customer service department.
“Please let us know how we can assist you. MY,” the company’s rep said.
“My bill is not $37 million dollars,” the response says.
News Station, Con Ed Customer Respond to Straub
In the meantime, multiple Twitter accounts responded to Straub’s tweets.
Local news station NY1’s news desk reached out to Straub, tweeting, “This really happened? This is your Con Ed account?”
A user named Rob Terrin claimed to have received an $8,000 Con Ed energy bill for his studio apartment and that “it took months to fix it after they took thousands of dollars out of my account.”
Terrin tweeted a screenshot of his bill that seemed to verify his claim, although we weren’t able independently verify his situation at the time of publishing.
Con Ed Explains Mistake, Fixes Bill
This morning, Straub was back on Twitter with a happy ending to the story.
In a tweet timestamped 12:44 p.m., he said he spoke with a Con Ed social media rep named “Mike”, who informed him that the site erroneously auto-populated the amount field in the bill, thus resulting in the incorrect amount.
“Con-Ed’s system isn’t supposed to autopopulate, and they assured me everything is working from what they can see,” Straub said.
What seems to have happened is that Straub went online to pay his bill and instead of allowing him to choose how much he wanted to pay, the site auto-populated the amount field with nearly $38 million.
The final balance after the drama was $77.14, according to Straub.
“FINAL UPDATE: We’re alright, folks,” he tweeted at 1:14 p.m.
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