Fending Those Pending Charges

, , , , , | Right | January 24, 2020

(We’ve had credit card problems of late, so my managers changed our tills to not let us apply a card without a correct zip code. It’s not usually a big deal, and most people rattle off the information without a second thought. Occasionally, we have people give us the wrong zip code, though, and this is a problem. With all the rest of the information correct, the banks their cards are attached to will ring it through as a pending transaction, even as it denies us a payment due to incorrect zip codes. So, when we run it again with the proper zip code, it shows up twice or more, depending on how many times it was entered wrong, on their statements.)

Customer: “You guys overcharged me!”

Coworker: “I’m sorry? What happened?”

Customer: “I ordered last night and you guys charged me three times!

Me: *seeing where this is going, I move over to intercede* “I’m sorry, ma’am, but what is going on? You said you were charged three times?”

Customer: “Yes! I can show you right here!”

(She proceeds to pull up her bank statement on her phone and shove it in my face.)

Me: “I see. I think I know what happened. Did you have to give your zip code?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “And the wrong one was entered a couple of times?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “Okay, good news; we didn’t take your money. Those are pending—”

Customer: “No! Those are charges! I demand my money back.”

Me: “As I was saying, those are pending. We don’t have the money.”

Customer: “So, you didn’t take my money? Bulls***! I have proof right here!”

Me: “Ma’am, our computers actually won’t let us charge you more than once for the same thing. You need to call your bank—”

Customer: “You say it’s my bank?! They’ve never done anything like this before! It must be you!”

Me: “No, ma’am, it’s your bank. They are holding those funds—”

Customer: “They’ve never done it before! It’s you guys!”

Me: *losing patience* “No, ma’am, it’s not us. You’ll need to call your bank.”

Customer: “I don’t need to call my bank! You need to give me my money!”

Me: “Call your bank or wait for them to clear the funds by Monday. I can’t do anything for you.”

Customer: “So you won’t give me my money?!”

Me: “No.”

Customer: “I’m never coming here again!”

(She stormed out and I was left wondering why it was so hard to just call the bank. I’d had to give out that explanation a lot but never had someone be so stubborn about it. Now I tell people as soon as it comes up as the wrong zip code about what will happen. They still call back.)

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