Wal-Mart And Xerox Blame Each Other For EBT Glitch - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wal-Mart And Xerox Blame Each Other For EBT Glitch

Posted: Updated:
MANSFIELD, LA -

A Wal-Mart in Louisiana responded to an EBT glitch on Saturday by allowing customers to get their goods with no limits.

EBT customers were allowed to use their cards without limit during the glitch because store officials didn't want those people to go without the things they needed. 

Police say there were more than 300 shoppers in the store and they were called in for crowd control.

One customer said,  "I was astonished, you know. Like buggies everywhere like filled to the rim. It was like food and milk all over the floor. The floor was sticky. It was stuff I'd never seen before."

On Tuesday, Wal-Mart and Xerox Corp blamed each other for the glitch. Xerox said their systems that process EBT transactions suffered an outage stemming from routine testing of backup generators. 

A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart pointed to Xerox as the source of the problem and referred further questions to Xerox regarding the incident. 

Now the question is, who will pay for it? 

Louisiana officials with the Department of Children and Family Services said they had no intention of being left holding the bag, saying "the outage was the result of failures by our contractor, Xerox." 

They went on to say that emergency procedures are in place with Xerox that allows retailers to call a phone number and receive authorization for purchases any time the EBT system is down. Xerox says Wal-Mart did not follow this procedure and they will only be reimbursed for the maximum amounts on individual cards. Right now, there is no estimate as to how much overspending there was in total. 

Managers with the Wal-Mart in Louisiana were aware of the problem and knew they had the right to refuse service, however they said they contacted Wal-Mart headquarters and were told to accept the cards, despite the system being down. This caused hundreds of shoppers to "decimate the grocery section."

Police say the shoppers broke no laws. About two hours after the system went down, Wal-Mart announced that the glitch had been fixed and the EBT cards were again showing accurate spending limits. 

Wal-Mart officials said once that announcement was made, shoppers simply abandoned their full carts and walked out of the store. 

In the aftermath there's a giant bill, but right now it's unclear who will be picking it up. 

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