Video: $80 billion gas bill?
updated 2/28/2009 7:11:47 PM ET 2009-03-01T00:11:47

A commuter in Richland, Wash., who thought he had been overcharged — by $81 billion — for a tank of gas was fooled by an error in a voice mail about the transaction, his debit card company said.

Juan Zamora told the Tri-City Herald newspaper this week that he received a communication from PayPal showing a debit card transaction of more than $81 billion, instead of the $26 worth that he said he pumped.

But a spokeswoman for PayPal, Sara Gorman, said Friday that misunderstanding was the result of a mistake in a voice mail from a PayPal processing partner about the transaction that put the merchant identification number where the amount should have been. “I can assure you that we did not charge him $81 billion,” Gorman said.

Zamora told the newspaper he had called customer service for PayPal and that the matter had been resolved after some discussion. 

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