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Man Accidentally Charged $67,000 for a Beer, Refund Might Take a While

Ah, the Deuchars IPA! Imagine, friends, a bartender pulling down the tap handle above a perfectly tilted glass and presenting the brew clean, which you drink at a speed of honest desire. Those mouthfuls abound with fruit, honey, suggestions of hay! Before you know it, there’s the check, which you sign without looking because, Oh! To taste the Lord’s nectar is to be without greed! Also, you forgot your glasses!... And it turns out you were accidentally charged $67,606!

Australian journalist Pete Lalor can imagine it, because he lived it yesterday at the Malmaison hotel in Manchester, England. As chief cricket writer for The Australian newspaper, he’d spent the day watching Old Trafford’s Ashes cricket series. He was stopping by at the hotel for a quick brew when it happened: an overcharge so insane that my measly savings account is quivering at the news.

“When I paid, I didn’t have my glasses on and there was some issue with the machine so I had to put my details in twice,” Lalor told The Guardian. “I just had this weird feeling and I said, ‘How much did I just pay for that beer?’ The girl at the bar looked at the receipt and said, ‘Oh my God!’ and was a bit reluctant to show me the bill.”

So, Lalor did the journalist thing and tweeted about it.

He had been charged $99,983.64 (Australian Dollars), or roughly $67,606 (American Dollars), and was immediately refunded by the manager. At the time of the mistake, he trusted his bank wouldn’t approve of the purchase, but life is unfair and technology often fails us. 

“I woke up to an alarmed phone call from my wife, who had found a massive hole in my mortgage account,” said Lalor. “They can take the money out in a second but apparently it takes them up to 10 working days to put it back. I’m losing a fair whack of interest and as of this moment, I’m $99,000 out of pocket.” He was talking about Australian dollars, by the way.

Most people would say this is an absolutely ridiculous circumstance, and that a beer should be $10 tops. But true IPA people might find $67k a bit more reasonable.

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Ruby Anderson is a News Writer for Thrillist.