Citibank Locks Man Out Of Bank Account Until He Repays The $84K Worth Of Gas He Didn’t Buy

There is no car gas tank that would fit $84,522.54 worth of gas. But who cares about simple physical limitations when it comes to charging such a large purchase to someone’s bank account? Citibank somehow took a man’s $30 fill-up and multiplied it by about 2,800 his statement, and now won’t let him back into his bank account until it gets that money back.

The Nashville man tells NewsChannel 5 his receipt shows he paid $30 at the gas station, where gas was cheapest for him that day. But on the statement there’s that pesky $84K charge — which seriously overdrew his bank account.

When he saw it he thought, “That can’t be right” and “It is crazy.” Crazy, yes. But Citibank thought it was all well and good, according to the customer.

He says he was locked out of his own bank account until he gets the $84,000 back from the gas station, which it says it never got in the first place. Citibank insists it paid the charge.

The news station asked a Citibank customer service representative why it doesn’t just talk to the gas station itself and get the money, instead of placing the man in the middle.

“Because this is his account,” the employee answered. Oh, right.

The gas station is being pretty awesome in this scenario, even granting the man a $100 gift card to get him through the weekend. He remained locked out of his account this week, days after his fill-up last Friday.

Citibank issued this statement after the story hit the news:

Due to a[n] input error at the merchant, a charge was erroneously billed to [the customer’s] account. Citi has credited [the customer’s] account and his card is available for use. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused and are putting processes in place to ensure that this does not happen in the future.

Nashville Man Charged $84,000 For $30 Gas [NewsChannel 5]


Edit Your Comment

  1. MrEvil says:

    Why do I always get the sudden urge to pronounce citibank’s name like how they do City Wok on South Park.

    I do not want to bank at shittybank!

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:


    • crispyduck13 says:

      We should make it a rule here, any comments about Citibank from this point on should read “Shitibank.”

      • nybiker says:

        That’s what I call the new baseball field in Queens. Ok, it’s not so new anymore, but I’ve called it that from not quite the time they announced the name. I heard it through the grapevine that even the employees there (the bank’s employees, that is) were calling it that. So, I’m all for that rule.

        • MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

          I like that, but I don’t even want to think of the company that bought the naming rights, even in a derogatory way. They didn’t pay me one damn dime, so as far as I’m concerned it’s “the Mets’ stadium”, sometimes shortened to “Mets’ stadium” now and forever.

      • kc2idf says:

        I nearly lost it laughing some years ago when I took a flight to Japan that had an advertisement video running for Citibank. The Japanese pronunciation of the name is something like “Shtibankoo”, which, naturally, I had noted down as “shitibank . . . ewww”

    • HalOfBorg says:

      Excerrent. :)

  2. mbd says:

    Another good reason not to sign up for allowing the bank to cover overdraws. Then, the debit card charge would have just bounced.

  3. crispyduck13 says:

    So just where the hell did his money go then? Citi paid it out, the gas station says it never received it. Maybe Citi is renting a warehouse in Imaginationland?

    • Lyn Torden says:

      Citibank’s computer systems are all messed up. They have been for at least 20 years.

  4. frankrizzo:You're locked up in here with me. says:

    Of course it seems like everybody drags ass until the cameras light up.

    • DaveInBillsburg says:

      Yeah, though at what point will that stop being effective? It seems like you bring in the media, they love the story since it gives them an exclusive they can pimp for the 11PM news all night during prime time. But, I’m thinking that at some point either ratings for these type of things will drop and the media won’t bring these type of stories to TV. Or, companies will just stop jumping when the media brings these things to light. You’d think at one point a large company will take the risk and just ignore the media exposure since it’s getting to be about a 8-12 hour news cycle. They’ll figure people will just move on and forget about it in a day or so.

  5. sparc says:

    Input error by the merchant. Good luck with Citibank trying to sell us that line of BS.

    • Lyn Torden says:

      It could have been. More likely a data transfer error or a processing bug. The real problem is why the bank didn’t address the issue.

      • LorenPechtel says:

        Yup. While I can’t reproduce the number exactly I note most of the difference is due to bits 12 through 15 being set. That is a far smaller difference than an input error on the operator’s part would likely require.

        They had another such case–they’ve got some bad bits somewhere.

    • Difdi says:

      A local grocery store near where I live enters the grocery total manually into the POS card reader, rather than it being transmitted automatically by the cash register. One day, I happened to glance at the total before confirming it, and instead of $35 the clerk had keyed in $35,000.

      Good thing I always check, eh?

  6. Lyn Torden says:

    So why is it that it always takes some investigative reporter to get banks to investigate errors and do the right thing? Why can’t the customer ask for it to be done?

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Because the big banks don’t have to act like humans, and they don’t have to treat their customers with anything other than disdain until the harsh light of truth is shed on them courtesy of TV camera lighting.

    • Bob says:

      Because too few people that are screwed by banks file a formal complaint with the Federal Government because it won’t investigate just one complaint. If everyone that gets screwed by a bank like Citi or BOA all filed such a complaint then the Federal Government will be forced to investigate the practices of these banks and levy moderate to heavy fines for non-compliance.

      This is why our government is failing us, the lack of collective action upon consumers will keep holding us hostage to bad business practices. Pure individual action only goes so far.

  7. Starrion says:

    I think what we need is the Equalizer News Network.

    Scammers, scumbags, and corporations named and shamed 24 hours a day.

    Bored of other TV? Come over to ENN and watch another Consumer recount how they got mugged by their bank. Then find your inner outrage to get the companies to make it right.

    The Bank of America Ripped me off hour M-F at 5PM.

  8. UberGeek says:

    He has a credit limit over $84k? Whoa!

    • oldwiz65 says:

      And Citibank is known to reject charges that are 1/10th of your real credit limit. sheesh.

  9. SilverBlade2k says:

    Funny how companies ‘magically’ fix problems when a story involving them hits the news.

  10. oldwiz65 says:

    Because banks believe they never make mistakes and never foreclose on the wrong property and never ever pay bribes to the government to hide wrondoing.

  11. TasteyCat says:

    So has he learned his lesson about not using his debit card to buy gas?

  12. dush says:

    Just think if Citibank had helped the guy before he’d gone to the news. The guy could have gone to the news with a good story about Citibank instead of making them look like idiots.

    • Dave B. says:

      You’re assuming that there’s someone working at a bank that thinks like a normal human being, your reasoning is flawed.

    • Nidoking says:

      Then again, how often do you go to the news with a story about a company doing the right thing? How often do they run those stories, compared to a company screwing a customer over? “Bank fixes $84K mistake on customer’s behalf” isn’t particularly exciting.

  13. Blueskylaw says:

    Actually, this automobile takes about $84,000 dollars in gas.

    • DemosCat says:

      Think how much your bill goes up if the price increases by 2 cents a gallon.

      • DemosCat says:

        Edit: OMG! I assumed that was a photoshopped picture. But here’s another photo of the same monster limo. Is this thing really driven, or secretly assembled on location?

  14. aleck says:

    And this is reason number 968 not to use a debit card. Ever. It would have been a much easier battle if he had paid with a credit card.

    • physics2010 says:

      This will be just like that strip club $50,000 charge. You admit you were at the gas station, yes? You bought gas? Yes, but not $84k worth! But you admitted you were there so we can’t do a chargeback.

  15. longfeltwant says:

    Wait a second. Am I to understand that a bank will authorize a charge for fifteen times the amount of my account balance? Shouldn’t a hundred-thousand-dollar charge be simply declined?

    #corruption #bastards #theydoitonpurpose #theirfault

  16. Nashville TN says:

    It was announced on Friday that this error has happened a total of 16 times in the last 10 days. BP (Mapco) would not verify the total amount overcharged however, News Channel 5 Confirmed from just 2 of the charges the total was over $250,000.00. What the post did not mention was that when News Chanel 5 contacted Mapco corporate office they were hung up on and did not answer any questions placing the blame on BP credit card processing center.

    Now that’s Customer Service at it’s finest.

  17. PsiCop says:

    I love how Citibank relented from its previous stance after the story aired. Typical corporate attitude. They have no compunctions about screwing someone over just because they can, as long as no one else knows about it … but once word of it gets out, they magically decide they no longer wish to screw the person.