WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Mary Horomanski got the shock of her life when she received her bill for one month’s worth of electricity.
- The 58-year-old Horomanski from Erie, Pennsylvania received an erroneous electric bill showing an account balance of “284,460,000,000.”
- The first payment due was $28,176 but the correct amount was $284.46.
Mary Horomanski was shocked when she received her electric bill with amount showing too many commas.
“I opened it up and there it was,” she told The Washington Post. “Hundreds. Thousands. Millions. Billions . . . Can most people even count that high?”
“It wasn’t due until November of 2018,” she joked. “It was like, well, I guess we have a year to come up with this billion-dollar bill.”
Her husband and one of her sons were home with her when she saw her bill online. They started asking if she was okay.
“I’m looking around the room and they’re looking at me now, ’cause I’ve got this funny look on my face,” Horomanski recalled. “When you see something like that, your heart starts beating, you break out into a little sweat, like, ‘What on earth just happened?’ ”
The stay-at-home mom of five boys said: “We had Christmas lights outside, but we don’t have the ‘[National Lampoon’s] Christmas Vacation’ lights. And I’m looking at my Christmas tree, and I’m like, no, that wouldn’t have caused it . . . “
Penelec, their electric company, immediately reassured them it was an error, Horomanski said.
Horomanski said the correct amount was $284.46. She thought it was still a little high compared to the previous month’s bill of $161.
The Erie Times-News wrote about the mistake and the story went viral.
Mark Durbin, a spokesman for First Energy, Penelec’s parent company, told the newspaper he had no idea what caused the error.
“I can’t recall ever seeing a bill for billions of dollars,” Durbin said. “We appreciate the customer’s willingness to reach out to us about the mistake.”
Horomanski said her friends have been telling her that her erroneous electric bill has appeared in the likes of Time magazine and the New York Post.
“My son Mike and I were both saying, almost simultaneously, ‘Holy bologna, could you imagine if I had that automatic payment and it just came out of the account?’ ” Horomanski said. “I could not stop thinking about this.”
Source: Chicago Tribune