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to think that companies shouldn't have the right to withold my money for 7-10 days?

(3 Posts)
ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 23-Jun-09 08:28:00

Two weeks ago I bought something in argos for £35. Few days later I noticed my available balance was over my overdraft limit. Bank charged me £25 payment review fee. When I called them they said that Argos had submitted three codes for £35 - only one payment had gone out but £70 was being held and I'd have to contact argos to release it angry
Then on monday it happened again! Checked my online statement and I'm -£50, so I went to bank and put £50 in, to come back and find I'm still -£50 - called the bank, turns out that asda home delivery had witheld £57 on top of the actual payment, and as such I had two payment review fees! So tha would have been £75 gone for company errors angry. Thankfully the bank refunded £50 of the fees and I need to chase asda for the other £25 but it's money I can not spare. Moving house next week, on unpaid maternity leave, DH's ILR application in 3 weeks, and he's barely employed

So apparently asda do this - they withold the payment at the time you place the order, then when they put the order through the 'system' should recognise that it's the same payment and release the witheld money, but if it doesn't, you need to have twice the money available for 7-10 days apparently angry

So I'll never use asda home delivery again sad cos I rely on it.

Wonderstuff Tue 23-Jun-09 21:34:46

How frustrating for you. I worked for a high street retail head office a few years ago, the had a computer error which meant that they took everyone's money twice (some high value orders too) was a nightmare, apparently they could take the money easily but thier bank had to manually input all the refunds, took a couple of weeks. They refunded all the bank charges but like you I and many of the customers were shocked at how easily shops can take more money than you agreed to give them. Since then I always use my credit card for internet transactions and large payments if I can. It's wrong but computers stuff up I guess.

dawntigga Wed 24-Jun-09 10:31:52

Sometimes codes get duplicated or the retailer can take extra funds such as when you use the pay at the pumps or give your card over at a hotel.

What happens is a code holds the funds against your account in cyber space. As long as this code is not completed for a transaction then you can get it cancelled. If it's used for a transaction you have to have a refund which can take up to 10 working days.

It takes 2-3 working days for any decent merchant services to get a code cancelled. However, if they the retailer contacts their merchant services 24 hours after the code was issued they should be able to get it cancelled straght away. The retailers merchant services is dependent on *your* bank to cancel the code when they advise them of the request for cancellation.

The reason you have to wait 24 hours is that there was some SERIOUS fraud regarding emergency cancellations of codes.

If your card is a Lloyds TSB or Halifax card (there are some others but I can't remember them at the moment) the only way they will take a code off your account is if it reaches them electronically - as the merchant in these circumstances has nothing to cancel on his machine there is nothing that can be done. Outstanding codes usually take 10 working days to drop off an account but can take longer or a shorter amount of time depending on the card issuer. I've seen a code outstanding on an account for 2 years - only once mind!

When speaking to your banks customer services the chances are the person you are speaking to will not understand how these codes work, they should be able to extend you credit etc. to cover you for this period and the retailer is morally imnsho obliged to refund you but your bank isn't. They usually come to some arrangement though. If you aren't getting anywhere ask to speak to a team leader.

I work for merchant services for a bank.

Big tip: NEVER set up what looks like a direct debit on your cards. This is called a continuous payment and can ONLY be stopped by the retailer who set it up. They are a nightmare!



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