There are famous stories of typos which ended up costing millions of dollars for the offending party. The Mizuho Securities stock sale of 2005 cost the Japanese company $225M because of transposed numbers.

Losing hundreds of thousands of dollars on a typing error, however tragic, is also rare. Money-based typos are more frequent and widespread on smaller scales, such as inaccurate (and sometimes ridiculous) pricing on menus of local restaurants. You’ve probably come across the common but inelegant solution of handwritten price stickers slapped on the plastic sheath of the menu.

Online, marketing errors are a bit more complicated to fix, especially since the company must both correct the typo and deal with potentially widespread and anonymous customer backlash.

Here’s a real-world pricing error we came across while looking for online storage services.

This cloud storage service advertised 10GB of online storage for only a dollar per month.

The offending advertisement

This is the ad with the company name removed.

However, when it was time to pay, there was a little problem

This payment option shows a British pound instead of the advertised price of one American dollar

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The plan advertised 10GB of cloud storage for $1 per month. However, the payment button is in British pounds (£1). At the current exchange rate, this works out to a difference of $7.25 in favor of the company for the one-year plan. For the two-year plan, it’s a difference of $7.96.

Fortunately, the company was able to correct the mistake after we demanded the dollar payment option questioned their currency units. Superhero copy editors may not always save lives, but we saved ourselves $7.25 today. That’s nearly enough for a gallon of gas!

Payment option has been changed to American dollars

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