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