No one doubts the convenience of an auto-pay service. It’s the unauthorized million-dollar payments that give it a bad name.
When business owner Jittilak Chaivann set up her auto-pay account with Xcel Energy, she probably figured it’d take some of the hassle out of handling her restaurant’s books. Because utility bills are due at the same time every month and are usually in the same dollar range, they’re a prime candidate for automatic payments.
But when Thai Flavor was charged $1,000,000 instead of the normal $1,280 energy bill, Chaivann knew something was up. She only discovered the error when calling her bank to ensure her rent check for the business had cleared.
The bank cleared Chiavann’s rent check, but said that her account was in the red — by six figures.
Chiavann immediately contacted Xcel’s customer service department, who took care of the problem and agreed to pay any overdraft charges that were incurred. Although Xcel spokesperson Joe Fuentes said the company didn’t disclose account information, he said “we hope that the customer is satisfied with the service we give.”