How not paying cash makes your glass of beer worth AUS$100,000

calendar iconSep 11, 2019

An Australian cricket journalist walks into a pub and orders a single beer. Guess which payment form was used when he was mistakenly charged 10,000x the correct amount?

Hint: it wasn't cash.

Yes, this actually happened - except it was at a hotel brasserie. On September 5th, 2019, the cricket journalist from down under, Paul Lalor, told his tale via Twitter, inspiring a few comments along the lines of: This wouldn't have happened with cash.

'Peter Lalor ordered the £5.50 Deuchers IPA at the city's Malmaison hotel before being stunned to discover he had been charged £55,315.12 (AUS$99,983.64).'
"'Man charged £55k for a singlebeer in Manchester hotel'BBC News (Sep 05, 2019)

Indeed, one doesn't need reading glasses to feel the difference between what should have been £5.50 and what was charged, £55,000.00 when you pay with tangible money. Luckily, Lalor had felt what he described as a 'sixth sense' after paying for his beer with his debit card, which made him return to the waitress to check how much he had paid.

Excerpt from BBC

Mr Lalor, who was in the city to cover the Ashes series, now believes he drank "the most expensive beer in history".

A spokesman for the hotel apologised and said an investigation had been launched.

Mr Lalor, who also writes about beer for his newspaper, said: "To add insult to injury they charged a £1,000 transaction fee. Until the money comes back I won't rest easy."

"It really is baffling that both Visa and our bank would allow such an amount to go through unquestioned. And, guess what? They agree that there is a refund in the system but it will take 9 working days for it to go through. In the mean time there’s a massive hole in my finances."
"Peter LalorVia twitter: @plalorSep 5, 2019

A hotel spokesman said: "We are currently carrying out an investigation into what took place. We have been in contact with Peter to apologise and ensure this has been resolved as quickly as possible."

As for the beer itself, Mr Lalor said that at least was a success.

"It's a good beer," he later tweeted. "The original version of it won a heap of awards, including the Supreme Champion Beer of Britain, but if you are thinking that no beer is worth the best part of 100,000 dollars, then I am inclined to agree with you."

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Last Updated: Oct 15, 2019