A computer glitch left Italian Post Office customers in the red by processing card transactions at 100 times their value, Italian press reported Thursday.
The error meant customers using Post Office cards to make a cash withdrawals or payments of 100 euros found 10,000 euros taken from their account.
The Post Office apologised for the "technical anomaly" which it said was due to "updating the Postamant (payment) card technical system", and said customers would have their money returned to them.
"A tank of petrol costing 4,200 euros and not because of high oil prices, a pizza bill of 3,750 euros even though inflation is falling (...) Naturally some people have found their accounts in the red and their payment cards blocked," wrote the Corriere della Sera.
According to the Italian press, 6.2 million Italians use Postamat payment cards, though the Post Office did not say how many customers were affected by the error.
(c) 2009 AFP
Explore further: Shopping 'mega-jams' have brought cities to a halt for decades