Skip to comments.Debit/Credit card question
Posted on 08/31/2013 6:21:15 PM PDT by Maine Mariner
I am getting ready to write a letter to the Attorney General of Maine asking his office to investigate how companies put hold on debit/credit cards.
During a recent trip we used a prepaid AAA debit card; we purchased gasoline for $29.00 and paid at the pump. After our purchase we checked our statement and the company put a hold of $75.00 on the card. We have a receipt for $29.00. A couple of days later the $75.00 dropped off and our card was debited for the actual amount of the purchase. I understand a company can put a hold on a card, but the story gets worse, much worse.
On August 28, my wife went to purchase gasoline using that same AAA card and swiped the card at the pump. She saw that it was to be a credit purchase and not wanting a $75.00 hold CANCELLED THE TRANSACTION. She purchased no gasoline with that AAA debit card. Well, you guessed it-a mere swipe of the card automatically has put a $75.00 hold on our card. As of 8 pm on August 31 the hold is still there. Here is my question to anyone that can help. What right does a company have to put a hold on my money when NO purchase was made?
You compared a rental car for two weeks to pumping gas for 5 minutes. No need to hold anything on pumping gas.
When the final amount shows $50, the amount on the debit card should show $50. If they enter $75 at the start, the 75 should be adjusted down to $50 as soon as the pump is shut off.
Is this 2013 or what?
I screwed up at a pump on I80 last year by swiping one of those sneaky little diesel pumps which appear to part of the gas pump. I pressed cancel and pumped my gas. I believe I also did something irregular again on the same trip when a pump wouldn't work.
Well, I got a call from my bank ( or the card people, I guess ) while I was still on the road! They had called my wife at home and she gave them my cell number.
The lady started asking me stuff, but I didn't make the connection to the pump fumbles. Anyway, I told her it was me, and she just wanted to know if my trip would be over soon, and I said yeah, that day. It was only after thinking about it that I realized the gas pump connection. ( BTW, I've got hands-free Bluetooth, FWIW. )
Anyway, it actually gave me a warm fuzzy to know they were so on the ball, although I have had similar incidents in the past.
Yes, your point is well taken and we will do that in the future. But what I am upset about is that NO purchase occurred. The card was swiped; the transaction cancelled.
The nozzle was not even removed from the pump.
As far as not removing the nozzle I’m not sure how in the world they could do a pre-auth unless it’s just done automatically as soon as the card is swiped? I’ve never had that experience and I’m sorry it happened. I realize it’s a lot of money to have held.
I don’t use a debit card but I do a credit card for cash and the same thing happened but it was $100 and I called the bank because I have my cards on alert if a charge is made for $100 or more. When I called the bank they told me that the gas station does this I believe it was on my visa I told them how dumb I thought that was, but the next day the amount of gas was correct. It actually only happened at Chevron however using the same card at other places it doesn’t do the $100 hold.
That is for GAS not CASH
I buy gas “Credit, Outside”, with my debit card. They don’t ask for my PIN, and I don’t sign. A $1 charge appears on my checking account until they charge the actual amount, which is usually the next business day.
I’ve had supermarket checkouts say I don’t need a pin or signature for purchases under $50.
Nor have I. Given a choice though, I always just push “credit” instead of “debit”, don’t enter a PIN number and have never had any kind of an extra charge and no problems for at least 6 years.
But I am very careful about where I use this card and it’s always at the same two or three places. The gas station I generally use has no “inside” or attendant and you have to use a credit or debit card. Gas is a little less expensive there though.
Okay, so what did the company have to say about it?
Most pumps have a sign that says this is a possibility, its jsut the way it is.
A way not to have this happen is go inside and put a dollar amount on the purchase or pay cash.
Its never been an issue for me because within an hour the hold is gone.
I did it for a while with a debit card... since I could not get a CC because I managed to get to the age of 40 and not have any credit score. They just preauthorize for the full amount of the contract... Enterprise and Avis would rent on a debit card... Hertz varied.
I was eyeing up my point balance... saw I could swing a round trip to Japan in first class for a song. Like $5...
My Australian bank just puts a dollar on it which shows the card is valid, then when the full amount of the purchase comes through they remove the dollar put on the correct amount. When fueling a plane they put on a hundred dollars because they don’t know how much fuel you’ll be putting on. It comes off to the correct amount with three days. OTOH you’re out the hundred until it clears.
As others have pointed out, gas purchases are different. When you are at a supermarket, the credit card company knows exactly the purchase amount as you swipe your card. When you’re at the pump, they have no way of knowing and only go based on past spending habits. Do you intend to buy on $20.00? Will you fill up? If so, are you driving a 12- gallon car or a larger Uhaul truck? You know what you expect to buy at the pump, but the gas company does not know that, hence the bigger hold for the unexpected purchase. That $75.00 hold probably meant that if you were driving in an RV or a UHaul truck for the very first time, the pump would cut off at $75.00 - until you’ve established the fact that you’ve got a vehicle that requires more gas and they’d extend your limit next time.
But remember no purchase occurred. My wife swiped the card and then cancelled the transaction. The nozzle never came off the pump.
Yeah, if you book far enough in advance you can go almost anywhere on earth for a song. Too bad AMEX points no longer transfer to United. They are the best airline to have miles with, by far.
Yes, that is what I think too. And since my wife swiped the card and then cancelled the transaction, the $75.00 should have gone immediately to zero. Some posters do not seem to understand the nature of my post. NO PURCHASE OCCURRED.
She did not even remove the nozzle from the pump.
I will be contacting them on Tuesday!
The hold went on when the card was swiped, and most likely the hold was canceled as soon as the transaction was. Holds will take a few days to be removed by the bank after they are canceled, that’s just how it works.
Actually, the fact that “no purchase occurred” probably made things worse for you. There is a difference between canceled holds and settled holds. A settled hold is when the business places a hold for, say, $75 on your card and then completes the charge for $45. That’s immediate. But canceled holds ALWAYS take longer to drop off. If your wife had purchased $0.01 of gas the hold would have dropped off much faster, but since it was just a canceled hold you will need to wait.
WRONG - it is SOP for all debit cards at any gas pump. I never use a card at a pump - I always go inside.
I should point out that this is a prepaid debit card.
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