Little Caesars System Delayed Thousands Of Charges For Eight Months

A glitch that sat between a Little Caesars franchisee's POS system and its payment processor, Fifth Third, caused one of its pizza shops to process zero payment card transactions for more than eight months. (A second store didn't process transactions for two months.) And then, to the non-delight of that store's customers, the glitch was fixed and they started getting collectively hit with thousands of charges for eight months of pizza purchases.

Even more impressive is that the owner of this group of six California (Bay area) Little Caesars said it took him months before he realized that one store had posted no revenue for eight months and another for two months. This guy owns six stores and it takes him months to notice that one-third of his stores are reporting zero payment-card revenue?

The owner said he had assumed "the money was tied up somewhere between the processor and the bank and that he didn't know his customers hadn't been charged," according to a report in The Press Democrat.

This incident raises lots of questions, such as whether an IT bookkeeper flag could have alerted the owner to transactions that hadn't completed. There's also some question of whether charges that old can be disputed. Some of the local news reports of this incident have properly highlighted the impact on consumers who are unexpectedly getting hit with huge charges, especially those using debit cards. (Note: Some of the charges can't be processed because the associated bank accounts had been closed over the ensuing months.)

That said, it's also fair to note that not one customer apparently complained about not being charged for eight months worth of purchases. It's hard for customers to yell at the shopkeeper for not noticing the failed transactions when they themselves are trying—with a straight face—to argue they somehow didn't notice the lack of charges.