Restaurant Charges Guy's Credit Card $858,432 For Sandwich!

[via consumerist]

Sorry PotBelly Sandwich Works customers, you can't order the Chicken Salad Sandwich unless you qualify for a mortgage. Ashley's husband thought his usual lunchtime meal cost $4.23, but, as his wife discovered when trying to pay their credit card bill, the sandwich actually costs $858,432.06. Ashley writes:
My husband works in downtown Minneapolis and has the annoying habit of putting small purchases on his credit card (under $5.00). He patronizes a chain here called PotBelly Sandwich Works, never spending more than $4.50 a pop. Last week I was paying our credit card bill online and noticed we had pending charges of $858,432.06. Yes—almost a million dollars. Needless to say, our credit limit is about $825,000 less than that. We called Chase and were told that the pending charges were indeed correct but that the charge had been rejected. When the rep told us the charge was made by PotBelly, I couldn't help but laugh. There was a charge that same day from PotBelly for $4.23 because my husband had purchased a sandwich, but that was it. The fraud rep said that because the charge was rejected, not to worry about it, but that it wouldn't disappear from our pending column unless PotBelly reversed the charge. There was no mention from the fraud department of canceling our cards and issuing us new ones. When my husband went to PotBelly the next day, they could give us no information. I can't imagine them reversing an $858,000 charge anyway, especially without a receipt (given this was done after my husband had left the premises.) My husband works in IT for a large corporation and thinks this is nothing but a system glitch and doesn't think it's worth pursuing because the charge was rejected.

My question is: what is our next step and what should we be worried about? It sounds as if someone didn't close out a ticket and just kept charging my husband's card. However, there's no way in hell this Potbelly does $858,000 in business in a day—or even a year, I imagine. Anyone who wanted to commit fraud wouldn't, I presume, be so dumb as to charge nearly a million bucks on a personal credit card. The charge is bound to be rejected. I am also disturbed that we did not receive a call from Chase when this charge was put through, but that's a minor quibble at this point. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Ashley is covered under the Fair Credit Billing Act, which protects against incorrect charges. The FTC has instructions for formally disputing the charge, but we wouldn't fret. Chase rejected the charge, and even if they hadn't, it wouldn't be a tough charge to reverse. Sure, her husband may have eaten the sandwich, but PotBelly's still hasn't delivered the pool, tennis court, or the several cars that had to have been promised as side dishes.

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