In the first quarter of 2020, people paid one another more than $31 billion dollars using Venmo. The cash exchange app has more than 40 million active users.
With all of those users and all of the money moving around, there’s bound to be more than a few screw-ups. Especially considering the number of people with identical names using the app.
A Michigan man was playing a round of golf with his dad when he heard the Venmo “cha-ching!” alerting him to payment. Trevor Harwood wasn’t expecting any money and he sure as hell wasn’t expecting a payment of $3,500 from a complete stranger.
The sender, Isaac Nowak of Utah, was trying to buy a camper off a completely different Trevor Harwood.
Nowak told WZZM 13 that, after realizing he sent the money to the wrong Trevor Harwood, he felt “instant nausea.”
The nauseous feeling likely lasted seven hours because that’s how long it took for Harwood to respond to the money transfer. The Michigan resident offered to refund all the money but joked that he was going to keep $20 to buy a case of beer.
“I had to put myself in his shoes,” explained Harwood. “That’s a lot of money. It could have been his life savings or all he had. Deep down, I knew that [refunding the money] was the right thing to do.”
Nowak agreed to the deal, telling WZZM, “He had every right to just keep the money. The way it ended up means there are good people in the world.”
Did Harwood have the right to keep the money? According to the Venmo website, kinda.
In the instance that a Venmo user pays the wrong person, the company advises the sender to, “send that user a charge request for the same amount of the payment so they can pay you back.”
The sender should include a note asking them to pay you back for the money you sent by mistake, and once they accept the request the payment will be added to your Venmo account.
The website continues, “If you don’t hear back from them or need help sending a charge request, contact our support team and we’ll do our best to help. While we cannot guarantee we’ll be able to help recover the money, if you reach out to us, we can provide any available options.”
Harwood is a good guy. Unfortunately, he’s got terrible taste in beer. He bought himself a case of Budweiser.