March 14, 2019 By Jon Cronin
An Astoria man was astounded when he tried to pay his $74 Con Ed bill and was prompted by the company’s website to pay a whopping $38 million.
Tommy Straub, a lawyer living in a small Astoria apartment, tried to pay his $74 bill online when he discovered it had jumped to almost $38 million. He took to Twitter March 11 to ask Con Ed for help and to explain the hefty discrepancy.
“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 tweeted with a screenshot of the Con Ed payment page.
He said that when he tried to pay his small bill, the payment box would auto-populate–requiring a $37,974,398 payment.
“Apparently, Con Ed’s system auto-populates the field with what it “thinks” your minimum payment is!” Straub tweeted. “Even though I owed $74, something got messed with my account number and it aggregated.”
Allan Drury, a spokesman for Con Ed, noted, “We checked our systems yesterday [Tuesday] to see if anything on our end caused it to auto-populate. We know it wasn’t on our side.”
It seems that the issue was resolved in less than a day. On March 12, Straub tweeted, “Update: Mike from @ConEdison’s social media division was very helpful, and confirmed that the error could have been a bad page rendering. Con Ed’s system isn’t supposed to auto-populate, and they assured me everything is working from what they can see! Great customer service ?”
Straub was obviously never billed that amount, Drury said.
Drury noted, “He seemed satisfied,” after Con Ed reached out to Straub by phone.
— Tommy Straub (@Tommy_Straub) March 12, 2019