Canberra woman receives $200K petrol bill after filling up at Costco
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Canberra woman receives $200K petrol bill after filling up at Costco

A Gungahlin resident was shocked to discover she had been charged more than $200,000 to fill her car with petrol at Costco in the lead up to Christmas.

It might be common to see a surge in fuel prices around the festive season as drivers hit the road, but not to levels this extreme.

After filling up at the Costco service station in Majura Park, Tina Tian was charged more than $200,000.

After filling up at the Costco service station in Majura Park, Tina Tian was charged more than $200,000.

Photo: Jamila Toderas

When Tina Tian went to the Costco service station in Majura Park on December 19 to fill up before driving to visit family in Queensland, she thought she was paying $126 for fuel using her credit card.

Upon checking her bank account details three-days later after the transaction had gone through, she received a surprise: she was hit with a six-figure bill just for filling up.

Tina's bank statement with the large charge.

Tina's bank statement with the large charge.

Photo: Supplied
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The Gungahlin resident was charged by Costco more than $201,000 for the single purchase.

Ms Tian said almost two weeks after being overcharged, she still hasn't received an explanation from Costco as to how the $200,000 bill occurred.

"They should have tried to solve the problem as soon as possible, but a [Costco] manager told me they would need another couple of weeks to solve it," she said.

Since the incident at the Majura Park service station, Ms Tian has had to freeze her credit due to the bill, which has caused her a large amount of distress over the Christmas period.

"I'm in big trouble now, because I use my credit card for most things I pay for, but now I can't," she said.

"I just feel awful and feel no hope. It's brought me a lot of stress, especially on a holiday."

The Canberran found out about the large fuel bill while she was on the Gold Coast visiting family over Christmas.

After calling up Costco to explain the situation, she said she was told to visit a store in Brisbane to help sort out the situation, but after arriving following an hour-long drive, she was told Canberra transaction details were not able to be accessed from Brisbane stores.

Ms Tian said she also doesn't know how the $200,000 charge came through on her credit card when it has a limit of just $25,000.

"Normally when the amount of money is too big, the bank would stop the transaction from going through," she said.

"If you can let this amount of money pass through, what's the meaning of a limit for a credit card?"

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Costco said the company was looking into the large transaction.

"We have been in contact with the member about the incident and are working to rectify it for them," she said.

"We have been able to verify this was an isolated incident and are investigating the cause."

Have you had a similar experience? Email andrewbrown@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

Andrew Brown

Andrew Brown is a journalist at the Sunday Canberra Times. Andrew has worked at the Canberra Times since 2016.

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