Venmo PSA: You Owe Me Money, Dude

Rachel Zuckerman | March 5, 2016

One writer answer’s last week’s Venmo prompt, and she’s gearing up to sing that Rihanna song.


I, like you, get that pang of anxiety whenever I send a Venmo payment.

Are those zeros right??

Is this the correct person?!

Thanks to Wells Fargo, I have yet to send someone $4,000 instead of $4. However, to the latter concern, I’ve now been there.

It’s grim, friends. Pretty grim:

Dear Austin Rieder,

Whoever you are, wherever you are, you owe me $10.

You see, Austin Rieder, you are in fact NOT my dear friend Austin Rieders to whom I believed I was sending a quick Alexander Hamilton to back in February.

Did you disregard the very clear payment description I provided?

“I hope this is you”

This was not a casual existential thought, Austin. YOU are clearly not the “you” for which that money was intended.

Admittedly, it’s my fault. In my haste to promptly reimburse a friend, my fingers raced ahead of my eyeballs that didn’t catch the fact that your name lacks a distinct “S” on the end of it. But these things happen when you drink margaritas for dinner.

On a Tuesday.

(Sorry, mom.)


Anyway, in an effort to have my ten bucks returned to me, I consulted the Venmo FAQ section. Turns out that in the world of instant payments, there is no way to retract funds that you accidentally dispense in a haze of tequila.

Nope, no command+Z.

Instead, the official protocol is to ask the recipient to return the funds and then hope that he or she complies. It’s the banking equivalent to crossing your fingers and praying that the stranger who found your iPhone in the back of a cab hacks in and finds you (which, now that I’ve written it, is both a relieving and terrifying concept).

If you let your brain go there, it’s actually kind of a weird experiment in Internet-induced interaction between strangers who will never meet.

Back to the story. So, putting all of my faith in humanity, I proceeded with the suggested tactic:

“Sorry, paid the wrong person. Mind sending it back? Appreciate it”

Radio silence.

So Austin Reider, whoever you are, wherever you are: you owe me $10.

We don’t have to make this complicated, you can just Venmo me.

Collage by Emily Zirimis.


  • Living Paula Blog

    This is hilarious.


  • Guest

    The zeros can also get you while online shopping without glasses :'(

    Good post and good luck!

  • Rosaly

    Tequila Tuesday is always a good idea. You should search for him on Facebook too and just beg! I hope you get those $10 back!

  • I just downloaded the venmo app and went back to read this b/c now I get the venmo struggle #It’sReal