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Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Xerox Corp Blame Each Other For Louisiana Shopping Gone Wild-Reuters

Monday, 14 Oct 2013 08:37pm EDT 

Reuters reported that Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Xerox Corp blamed each other after Louisiana food stamp recipients stripped bare the shelves of some Walmart stores when a computer glitch left their debit cards with no limits. Managers of Walmart stores in the small, north Louisiana towns of Springhill and Mansfield alerted police that throngs of shoppers had flooded into the stores and were buying groceries using electronic benefit cards that contained no credit limits. EBT cards are debit-type cards issued under the state's food stamp program and coded to show the amount of money available for individuals to spend. Food stamps are a federal government subsidy program for low-income people that is administered by the states. When word got out that the EBT cards were showing no limits, card holders rushed to area Walmarts to take advantage. Xerox said on that its systems that process EBT transactions suffered an outage stemming from routine testing of backup generators that malfunctioned. Louisiana was one of 17 states affected by the outage. Xerox corporate spokesman Bill McKee provided a written company statement saying that Xerox has a documented process for retailers like Wal-Mart to follow in response to EBT outages. Louisiana officials said they had no intention of being left holding the bag. The outage was the result of failures by our contractor, Xerox, said Trey Williams, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. 

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