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Author Topic: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!  (Read 2991756 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5685 on: April 15, 2014, 09:22:10 AM »

What is a "hold"? Thanks.

A hold is just another name for a preauthorization.   When I log on my bank's website,  it has my balance and available balance shown.   The available balance is the things I've purchased,  that there is a hold on,  but haven't officially cleared my account yet.

What is a "preauthorization"?

I have had bank accounts and credit cards for 50+ years and have never heard of anything like this except for a deposit of a check taking a week to clear, which now is 2 days with electronics so efficient. My "available balance" is just that, except for not having the deducted whatever they haven't received yet - like the check is in the mail type of thing.

(Sorry. I tried searching and got nothing.)

It's money that's not actually gone from your account yet but that you can't access. It's like the bank saying "This money is still here, but we think you're about to have a charge go through for this amount, so you can't use that money right now."

How do they know? Who is messing in the account? (I wish I had put this in the "little things that don't deserve their own thread", but I'll try this last question. Thanks.)

Nobody's messing in the account except the merchant and the bank/card company. I really don't know what else to say.  :-\

ladyknight1

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5686 on: April 15, 2014, 09:24:35 AM »
I have talked with the bank and there are two different transaction ID numbers. They ran one for the full amount, couldn't print the receipt to sign and ran it again instead of reprinting. They occurred 2 minutes apart.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

Luci

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5687 on: April 15, 2014, 09:33:24 AM »

What is a "hold"? Thanks.

A hold is just another name for a preauthorization.   When I log on my bank's website,  it has my balance and available balance shown.   The available balance is the things I've purchased,  that there is a hold on,  but haven't officially cleared my account yet.

What is a "preauthorization"?

I have had bank accounts and credit cards for 50+ years and have never heard of anything like this except for a deposit of a check taking a week to clear, which now is 2 days with electronics so efficient. My "available balance" is just that, except for not having the deducted whatever they haven't received yet - like the check is in the mail type of thing.

(Sorry. I tried searching and got nothing.)

It's money that's not actually gone from your account yet but that you can't access. It's like the bank saying "This money is still here, but we think you're about to have a charge go through for this amount, so you can't use that money right now."

How do they know? Who is messing in the account? (I wish I had put this in the "little things that don't deserve their own thread", but I'll try this last question. Thanks.)

Nobody's messing in the account except the merchant and the bank/card company. I really don't know what else to say.  :-\

Last question - I promise:  Is this a debit card thing?

If so, Bingo! I'm out of here and will never be affected.

Harriet Jones

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5688 on: April 15, 2014, 09:43:37 AM »

What is a "hold"? Thanks.

A hold is just another name for a preauthorization.   When I log on my bank's website,  it has my balance and available balance shown.   The available balance is the things I've purchased,  that there is a hold on,  but haven't officially cleared my account yet.

What is a "preauthorization"?

I have had bank accounts and credit cards for 50+ years and have never heard of anything like this except for a deposit of a check taking a week to clear, which now is 2 days with electronics so efficient. My "available balance" is just that, except for not having the deducted whatever they haven't received yet - like the check is in the mail type of thing.

(Sorry. I tried searching and got nothing.)

It's money that's not actually gone from your account yet but that you can't access. It's like the bank saying "This money is still here, but we think you're about to have a charge go through for this amount, so you can't use that money right now."

How do they know? Who is messing in the account? (I wish I had put this in the "little things that don't deserve their own thread", but I'll try this last question. Thanks.)

Nobody's messing in the account except the merchant and the bank/card company. I really don't know what else to say.  :-\

Last question - I promise:  Is this a debit card thing?

If so, Bingo! I'm out of here and will never be affected.

No, I think they do the same thing with credit cards.   It really doesn't have much of an effect unless you're really close to your limit.

Flibbertigibbet

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5689 on: April 15, 2014, 09:54:53 AM »
Luci45 - I'll have a go at explaining: the 'hold' only gets placed on the account when you are carrying out a transaction where you get the 'goods' before you make final payment, or don't know the precise amount, like getting petrol (gas), ordering in a restaurant or running a tab at a bar.

The merchant or self service machine pre authorises a 'guess' amount on your account to make sure you have sufficient funds to make the purchase. For example, at the self serve petrol stations I use, you put your card in before getting any fuel and it pre-authorises you up to £100 of petrol. Then you put the petrol in the car (which for me is less than £100 - say £50), and then the actual sale is recorded. For that transaction I would have a 'hold' of £100, cancelled out by a £50 real purchase. In the PPs case it seems that she/he got both the hold and the real purchase put through and that they stayed on the account, causing an issue.

Obviously you need to watch out for a genuine double charge as seemed to have happened to that PP, but in the normal course that doesn't happen. As another PP said, its only really an issue if the hold stays for an extra long time or you are really close to your credit limit/funds available in your account.

Hope that helps :)

ETA because I needed to add a crucial word and demonstrate that I can in fact spell!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 10:30:07 AM by Flibbertigibbet »

Dindrane

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5690 on: April 15, 2014, 09:57:14 AM »
Luci, holds can be done on either debit or credit cards. Neither credit nor debit transactions are immediate, since they must first be initiated by the business, then authorized by you, then actually posted to your account (by the bank, I think). That process is normally completed within a couple of business days, but I've never known debit or credit charges to show up on my account immediately. My understanding is that holds on your credit card would happen while that process is incomplete. The hold is money that is earmarked as unavailable, even though it hasn't officially been spent yet. It's similar to a person writing a check and noting that the amount is no longer available to them, even though it takes several days for the money to actually be removed from their account. The difference is that rather than me mentally earmarking $30 for dinner as unavailable, it's the merchant or my bank physically earmarking that $30 as unavailable while the actual charge is pending.

In general, people are unlikely to notice such holds unless they are large (particularly in comparison to the balance available) or they don't get resolved within a few days. I personally only use about a tenth of my available credit at any given time, and only check my account about once a week, so I rarely notice holds. They generally don't affect my ability to use the card, and they usually disappear before I check my recent transactions.

I did have a very frustrating experience with a hold once, though. It was when I'd only had my credit card for a very short time, and so still had something like a $500 limit on it. I had to buy a new battery for my laptop, but the company I bought it from charged me for the battery and then also put a hold for the battery that lasted for several weeks. So for several weeks, I was missing about a third of the credit that should have been available to me. It wasn't the end of the world, since I mostly had the credit card to build up my credit history (rather than because I really needed it), but it was very frustrating and made me very wary about buying things from that company in the future.


Slartibartfast

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5691 on: April 15, 2014, 10:01:19 AM »
It's both a credit and a debit card thing.  You get a hold placed on your card when you use it somewhere you don't know the total yet when you swipe the card, such as a restaurant or a gas station.  The bank locks down a certain dollar amount which is a bit higher than the amount you actually expect to spend, then when the actual charge goes through, the rest gets released soon afterward.  Sometimes it takes a few days.  The purpose is to prevent a scenario like this:

Alice and Bob have a $500 limit on their shared card, but are carrying a $450 balance

Bob goes to get gas and puts $35 in the tank.  At the exact same time, Alice (using her own card, which is linked to the same account) goes to a different gas station and puts $35 worth in her own tank.

If both card swipes are run before either of them actually charges, they'll both show that last $50 as being "available."  And then after the gas is pumped, the two charges will combine to put the card over the $500 limit.

Instead, when Bob goes to swipe his card at the gas station, the bank puts a hold of ~$50 on the card.  When Alice tries to use the card a minute later, the bank says "Whoa, wait, that money's already earmarked for something!" and refuses her charge.  Bob buys $35 worth of gas, and a day or two later the remaining $15 is released from the hold.

It's really annoying when you're skating close to the limit on your credit cards, but if you don't do that you probably never see the hold unless you happen to check your online bank statement on a weekend right after going to a restaurant or gas station.

ETA: Or, you know, what the two posters above me said while I was typing  ::)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 10:03:22 AM by Slartibartfast »

Luci

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5692 on: April 15, 2014, 10:26:03 AM »
Thank you! I've never had to swipe the credit card before dining, even with a 3 generation party of 40, but maybe our being in the midwest US and  being seen as 'reasonably dressed polite party' got us by that. Like it or not, people are profiled.

With gasoline, I don't even look. I just follow the instructions on the pump.

Now that I think about it, about 20 years ago we used our credit card to put $20,000 on a purchase and the seller did call to make sure we were good for it. I couldn't look online at the time to view the account, but didn't much care. (We had been saving for the purchase and had a CD coming due before the due date - so no interest charges even!)

Thank you again for your explanations and patience.

wolfie

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5693 on: April 15, 2014, 10:28:09 AM »
Thank you! I've never had to swipe the credit card before dining, even with a 3 generation party of 40, but maybe our being in the midwest US and  being seen as 'reasonably dressed polite party' got us by that. Like it or not, people are profiled.

With gasoline, I don't even look. I just follow the instructions on the pump.

Now that I think about it, about 20 years ago we used our credit card to put $20,000 on a purchase and the seller did call to make sure we were good for it. I couldn't look online at the time to view the account, but didn't much care. (We had been saving for the purchase and had a CD coming due before the due date - so no interest charges even!)

Thank you again for your explanations and patience.

It's not that you swipe the card before dining - you swipe the card before adding on the tip. So they aren't sure if you will be paying the $100 they charge and then tipping in cash (or not at all) or if you will put the tip on the card so now it is $115 that they will be charging you.

nuit93

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5694 on: April 15, 2014, 10:39:58 AM »
I nearly had a heart attack once when I pumped gas at my grocery store's station and saw my account balance was negative because they'd charged me $99 even though I'd only pumped about $10.  Turns out they do the hold thing, and by the time I got into the store to ask about it, the situation resolved itself and my account was no longer in the red. PHEW!

There are gas stations in my area that do this, but they also make it clear in signs next to the pumps that their bank may authorize a higher amount than they actually pump and that they have no control over it (basically "take it up with your bank and don't bug our employees about it").

MissRose

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5695 on: April 15, 2014, 11:03:14 AM »
I prefer to prepay for gas not at the pump but inside to avoid the hold issues on my cards. I don't mind them for online shopping though.

Yvaine

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5696 on: April 15, 2014, 11:17:31 AM »
Thank you! I've never had to swipe the credit card before dining, even with a 3 generation party of 40, but maybe our being in the midwest US and  being seen as 'reasonably dressed polite party' got us by that. Like it or not, people are profiled.

With gasoline, I don't even look. I just follow the instructions on the pump.

Now that I think about it, about 20 years ago we used our credit card to put $20,000 on a purchase and the seller did call to make sure we were good for it. I couldn't look online at the time to view the account, but didn't much care. (We had been saving for the purchase and had a CD coming due before the due date - so no interest charges even!)

Thank you again for your explanations and patience.

It's not that you swipe the card before dining - you swipe the card before adding on the tip. So they aren't sure if you will be paying the $100 they charge and then tipping in cash (or not at all) or if you will put the tip on the card so now it is $115 that they will be charging you.

This.

I've taken to using cash in direct proportion to how small the business is. First, a small business is more likely to have an antiquated CC system that does something weird, and second, I figure the fees from the CC company hit them harder too.

Reika

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5697 on: April 15, 2014, 11:29:22 AM »
Yeah, with small businesses I generally try to use cash only, or debit (I've been told they get less fees for debit than credit).

As for the main subject of thread, I think I might add Igloo to the list. I bought one of their inexpensive ice makers (it had some fabulous reviews) from an online vendor. Worked fantastic the first night I had it, didn't work the second night. Since then I've been trying to get assistance from one of their techs (per their customer service), but so far no luck in getting a hold of one.

Mom even tried calling them for me (I had authorized her and her phone#) and she keeps being told someone will call back. I figure if I don't get anywhere by the end of the week, I'll see what the seller has to say. The only problem is that the original box got thrown out, but I have everything else.

Might end up calling it a learning lesson of who to avoid in the future.

Luci

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5698 on: April 15, 2014, 12:58:46 PM »
Being a small town, most of the businesses here are one of a kind, so we use cash at those, up to about $200.

We only use the credit card at Walmart and a couple of chain restaurants up by I-80. Even out of town, we still usually tip cash if we only have one server - Applebee's and Olive Garden are examples of where we have many servers.

Even when we vacation, we use cash except for chains and campgrounds. Islamorada, Florida, really sucked up our cash last winter!  :)

Queen of Clubs

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Re: "I'm never shopping THERE again!" Share your story!
« Reply #5699 on: April 15, 2014, 02:59:27 PM »
nytimes.com is on my list right now.  I paid for unlimited access to their site via PayPal and now that I am a paid member, the only way to get that turned off is to call their 1-800 number.  It's not a huge deal, but it would be so much easier to just be able to stop the paid function of my account online. Most other subscription sites offer this service, so I'm not sure why nytimes.com can't.

If it's a recurring charge, you might be able to cancel it via PayPal itself.  I know I had a similar situation, and PayPal gave me the option to cancel it instead of having the amount go out of my account every month.