Debit Card Purchase Blunder (BEWARE)

Discussion in 'FirstDefense-Rescue Forum' started by Fuzzfas, Apr 20, 2010.

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  1. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Debit Card Purchase Blunder (Solved)

    I post this as a warning to debit card owners that might try to buy FD-Rescue and also as warning to Leapfrog to look into this.

    On 16 April, i decided to buy a license for FD-R Lite. I have a debit card (Visa Electron), which to this day has worked fine to any international purchases via the VISA circuit. When i tried to buy the software, at the end i got a message that the operation had failed and something that i could contact Leapfrog. For my bad luck, i thought that since the product is new, it could be a temporary server problem or a problem of my bank, which happened to have site upgrade and connectivity problems up until yesterday evening. So later that day, i tried 3 more times to purchase FD-R Lite, but as in the previous time, i was getting the error message.

    Yesterday evening, my bank's back online and in my account's movement, i find i have 4 entries for 4 charges for the amount of 29,82 euros (exactly the price of Lite in $) and my debit card bank account down by approx. 120 euros.

    http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/5421/27375210.png

    I will be visiting my bank in the next few hours and hope to solve this and get my money back, but for now, i find myself with 4 charges and no product...

    I hope my bank will be able to shed some light into this and revert the operation...

    This is the last time that i buy over the internet without PAYPAL or some "famous" intermediary (like Plimus etc).
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2010
  2. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Oh and another "glitch". Although i live in Europe, in the final payment form, i had to choose "State". So i had to be a European from Alabama (I believe AL is for Alabama) in order to proceed to the final checkout, before it failed... Leaving the state box empty was giving a submission form error... So one must appear as European, living in European city, but must also declare that he is living in a US state, if he wants to proceed...
     
  3. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    I just returned from my bank and luckily the issue is SOLVED.

    In their systems the transactions appear cancelled on April 18 and in a few days the money should reappear officially into my bank account. Basically right now i appear to have a return of the sum on April 18, but on my personal bank account from the internet the money isn't yet back, but this should happen in the next few days.


    In any case, Leapfrog should be aware that VISA Electron debit cards from EU don't appear to work with their site (and in my 4 attempts, i used 2 different browsers just in case).

    Oh well, maybe it's a signal from fate that i should stick with Macrium free...
     
  4. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    Fortunately I only tried the procedure once, and like you my Visa card transaction failed. So I immediately informed Leapfrog support and Mitch sorted out my order manually that day.

    This was back in late March, so it looks like the problem is still there for overseas orders.
     
  5. ahriman

    ahriman Registered Member

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    I had similar problems with my purchase 'failing'.

    Mitch was absolutely heroic in resolving the problem. Many attempts. Many fails.
    He finally managed to get my purchase through successfully.

    Thank you, Mitch. :thumb:

    If you're having problems, Leapfrog will sort them out. There are very few
    companies I trust enough to say that.
     
  6. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    I wish i had known of your trouble... Unfortunately i didn't quit in the 1st attempt... :D

    To be honest, right now, i just hope to see my account with +120 euros back. 1 day after my post, they 're still not yet back. How the money appears in my bank's computer as to be refunded but still doesn't appear on my account when i check it via internet, is a mystery to me.

    If i resolve this, i will consider whether i will try to buy this again. But as sure as hell i won't try with this debit card again, Mitch or no Mitch. I am on a student budget and having 120 euros remaining in a "limbo" for days isn't the most pleasant thing i can think of.

    I hope that eventually Leapfrog will add other payment methods. For me, this is the last time i use the debit card in such way. I simply don't trust their "direct" website method anymore and i have doubts about the safety of the operation and my card's data too.
     
  7. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Well, after a new visit to my bank, it seems that the money doesn't return to my bank account, because they 're not refunded after all.

    So, i will have to rely to Mitch after all...
     
  8. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Well, at least Mitch informed me that on his part only 1 transaction attempt was made and my card was rejected.

    So, maybe the problem lies in my bank, where from what i understood they 're pretty clueless when it comes to debit cards... They have 2 different modes to visualize the account and the 2 show different things. While the clerck the other day thought that i would have the refund, the other day the supervisor was saying that this was the wrong visualization and the correct was the other saying that i had no refund and the 4 charges were real. So 120 euros were effectively charged. Yesterday i tired my bank's hotline. The operator, after declaring that she wasn't an expert, told me, that maybe the money was temporarily charged, but at some vague point in time they should be "released" back to my account. But better "ask on my local bank" (where the "experts" reside). 3 people, 3 versions, but in the meantime, in my bank's internet site, to me, my account still appears with 4 charges...

    Go figure...

    Moral of the story: If i ever find a solution to this, it will be by pure luck, where VISA will act on her own. My bank's personnel seems incompetent enough. I sure won't buy again anything directly with my debit card. This is the first time that such a mess happens to me. And i will make sure it's the last one too. Paypal, i ask for your forgiveness, for i betrayed you!


    Duh...
     
  9. ahriman

    ahriman Registered Member

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    Well, I would never use a debit card for an online transaction. This is just like
    withdrawing cash directly from your bank. Cash withdrawal so little (or no?) bank
    protection.

    I used a credit card, and Leapfrog got everything sorted out successfully.
    I'm really sorry to hear about your troubles. Leapfrog can verify your
    transactions, so your bank should be accountable for charging you.
    I'm starting to distrust banks. 'Pretty clueless' banks. Nice.
     
  10. trjam

    trjam Registered Member

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    I bought from Leapfrog, and will again and my 2.5 million are still there.... Yeah right.;)
     
  11. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Well, i don't have a credit card and never had problems with this card before... Most students i know use debit cards for internet purchases. So, now i have my first lesson on being more careful with these damned cards...

    My bank is pretty clueless when it comes to debit cards, there's no way around this... If i am lucky at some point the money will return. If not, patience, it will serve me as a lesson.

    Mitch already told me from his end the situation, so there isn't much else i can do... Something is wrong either with my bank or with VISA... But i am tired of waiting at the bank each day only to be said what i already see from the internet by myself. Actually last time since they printed my account's movements, they charged me 2 euros for that... Which was basically the same movements that i can see for free by myself from the internet and show 4 charges. And they don't know anything else. The clerk one day showed me a computer screen saying that the money should be back to my account. The day after , when they didn't , she said there are 2 visualization modes, with 2 different systems. One showed my account with +120 euros and no charges and the other with -120 euros and 4 charges. When i asked "So, which one is telling the truth?", she called the supervisor and he said , the correct is the one with -120 and that the 4 charges were made. Same thing i see from the internet. Same when i take a receipt from the bank's ATM. Now, why the "wrong" visualization shows the +120, while all the rest show the -120, i don't know, they don't know and unfortunately i can't make it appear officially to my account.

    Other than that, they 're clueless. I am probably the only client in this bank shop using this debit card, so i am like an alien asking them questions they 've never heard before.

    So, i will leave this to the hands of destiny...
     
  12. ahriman

    ahriman Registered Member

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    o_Oo_O??
     
  13. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    I have the suspicion that when you live in USA, such mess doesn't occur. On the contrary, usually the credit card mess in Europe occurs, when from Europe you try to buy something in USA. And this is my case too apparently.
     
  14. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    He means that he didn't have any trouble and his money didn't disappear from his bank account.

    To be honest, it would require quite a lot of times to charge 2,5 million by charging 29.94 each time. You 'd probably need days of clicking. :D
     
  15. ahriman

    ahriman Registered Member

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    Thanks for the explanation Fuzzfas. :) I hope you get your cash back from
    your bank. The situation just sucks. Good luck!
     
  16. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Well, i hope it too. But if it doesn't, patience, that's life. It could be worse actually! My debit card is one of the most "advanced" of the market, allowing it to be associated to a semi-real bank account (it has limitations compared to a real one), which on its turn allows me internet banking. I pay a small annual fee for that. Most other debit cards are without any fee, but don't allow internet banking and you have to go to the bank's ATM if you want to see your "account's" money and i am not sure they even show you the movements like mine does. So at least i don't have to go to my bank each day to verify, i can do this via internet.

    So, it could have been worse! :D
     
  17. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    I have bought lots of items from the States with credit cards and this was my first ever hiccup which was quickly solved.

    The initial problem lies here; "Our credit card handler has security really tight, and we're seeing some orders from overseas failing some verification checks"; so as soon as the handler sees a non-American address, the order falls over.

    Subsequent problems were due both to you unfortunately attempting multiple orders and your bank.

    Overall, IMHO, Leapfrog need to take a closer look at their ordering procedure for overseas customers.

    Hope you have a quick resolution, Fuzzfas.
     
  18. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    But i said i am European from Alabama! This should have fooled them into thinking i am American! :D

    Oh well, i don't know much about debit or credit cards. My whole family only uses cash or bank cheques. I got this debit card a couple of years ago exactly so that i can make purchases over the internet without worrying about the weird terms, interest rates etc of credit cards and to this day, it was working alright. Now what happened exactly, i will never know. For sure my bank's employees don't know and well, i am a tiny fish for them so even if they could do more, they don't care. But i honestly think that they don't know much about it either. Most students use "simpler" debit cards than mine and actually only a few are bank cards. A friend of mine as a debit card issues by the local postal service. At some point, for unknown reasons, it stopped letting him accessing the amount of money in his card from internet, saying his password was wrong, while it wasn't. Oddly, the same password works fine if he uses an ATM... And the "experts" don't know why. They told him to issue a new card... :p The funny is, his card is the oldest and most "tested" in the market. Similar bank cards are much more recent and still much less used. Some banks have none still or they claim they have, but when you ask one, they say "errr, are you in a hurry, because we could order it for next week". And mine is even newer and even more rare, because it's complicated with having advanced features and online banking, with the result that bank clerks dont' know procedures. When i first issued the card, while they explained to me the "rich features", they failed to activate the internet banking. I had to go back and tell them that something must be going wrong. Also the bank director, wrote me by hand the bank coordinates of my semi-real account, which as i discovered afterwards, were wrong (i found the real one once i accessed my account from internet).

    So go figure if they are in position to help me...

    Well, there are more important things in life than money anyway...
     
  19. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Which country are you in?

    Many countries would have complaints mechanism in place for you to use either against your bank or the credit card issuer. Why don't you stop trying to get satisfaction from your branch where they obviously do not have a clue and escalate the issue to the managers higher up? Also, does your debit card not come with a booklet (maybe online) rules & conditions and what to do when a transaction should be disputed?

    Some countries have a financial services ombudsman and if your provider is stonewalling you, the pure mention of your intention to involve him might get you some action.
     
  20. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    Ok, i just found the terms and read them. I wouldn't call it a booklet, it's a bunch of photocopied pages, but anyway (debit cards are treated like 2nd class cards, so asking for booklet is too much). I am in Italy.

    The managers higher up...Higher where? In my bank's hotline, which is the "help phone line" for my card, they told me to ask my local branch. By coincidence my card is in some way "tied" to that branch. Also by googling, seems that VISA, for Electron debit cards, offers no assistance, but simply says that the issuing bank is the responsible. I also suspect that high managers dont' waste their time with the debit card of a student for 120 euros... They take care of the big fish. So back to square 1.

    Anyway, yes, you are right! I found there is an Ombudsman. But, first i must send by mail written complaint to my bank's complaint office, which has 60 days of time before replying. After the 60 days, if they deny, i can send a letter to the Ombudsman , who has 90 days of time before giving a solution. In both cases with all the detailed documentation.

    I can also sue them, but in the city where the legal service of the bank resides...

    Some things puzzle me though. In the terms of my card, which is full of the rights that the bank has, amongst other things, i find:

    - The responsibility of the bank, about eventual inexact, incomplete, non timely transmitted data or in any case any other responsibility of any nature deriving from this contract, will exist only in cases of bad intention (when they do it intentionally to cheat me) or of severe blame.

    - Use of VISA Electron service: for buys of goods and services bia internet towards all virtual sellers who are in convention with the international circuit Visa-Electron.

    - In case of defective functioning of the apparatus, the user is held responsible of not making additional operations.

    So If i am lucky, after 5 months, with another 7-10 euros (the postal costs for letter with receipt of delivery), i may get the money back.

    But:

    1) The only "documentation" my card provides, is "16-4 credit card purchase - 29,95" x4. I wonder how good this is as "documentation". The bank provided the same documentation printed on paper.

    2) Leapfrog doesn't say it has convention with Visa Electron, but only with VISA.

    3) If my bank's online banking being updated in that period has something to do with is, maybe i shouldn't have tried 4 times...


    I already feel aged from this... I will wait one more week and maybe i will send the first complaint letter to the bank's complaint office... It will depend on my mood. I wonder if my mental stress, time to wait to post office and waiting for months is worth it for an uncertain result.

    Thanks though. I learnt something new about my card. I also learnt why the banks are rich. The contract is full of "the bank has the right..." :D

    P.S: Yes, i know, i should change bank. But this one is the only one very close to my house, that's why i picked it, plus at the time it was the only debit card with online banking available.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  21. Tony

    Tony Registered Member

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    I too tried to buy with a visa debit card and payment was not accepted at the final stage, so i bought with a credit card.
    This is the first time payment has not been accepted with my visa debit card, although no money has been taken from my account.

    Is there no internet fraud protection for buying online with your card?
    I only ever bought something once online and never received the goods as the firm went bust, i called customer services explained the situation, all they asked for was which transaction and how much, apologised and said i would be refunded in a few days, i was suprised just how easy it was.

    But then again the fraud seems to be with your bank :eek:

    Hope you get it sorted, these things only ever seem to happen when you can least afford it to.
     
  22. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    The "customer service" for my card, is the "hot line" which i already called and she adviced me to ask my local branch (go figure), after making a hypothesis. The funny thing with my local branch is that it has only 3 visible clercks (1 only is doing all the ordinary payment stuff) plus the director, who is the one that the clerk called to figure out which was the real situation. So the "mastermind" of the branch has already spoken. Actually this hypothesis (that my card has been temporarily charged but the money should be "released back" at some point), is what i hope for, so to avoid all the bureaucratic torture with the complaint letters... As for VISA, they don't provide direct support to visa electron debit cards here, they unload all responsibility to the bank.

    In my bank this kind of treatement is probably only reserved to credit card owners, who also enjoy also direct VISA support. My debit card isn't in that league... The only easy anti-fraud protection readily available to my card, is that i can block it from internet immediately.

    Well, the fact alone that using 2 different "systems" in their bank they show 2 different things, is indicative that something wrong has happened. It's not rocket science. Maybe it's related to their works in their online banking system. They had 2 days where you couldn't access the service and again 10 hours this weekend. I will probably send the complaint letter after 1 week to see if by bypassing the local branch, some more light can be shed. Unless the lady from the customer service is right and in the meantime the money is released back to my account. Who knows.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  23. beethoven

    beethoven Registered Member

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    Fuzzfaz, I do have sympathy for you.

    I don't know how things work in Italy but my suggestion for the ombudsman was not to really use this service but just to threaten your bank so that they take you serious. Often the front line people don't know the rules or don't care but the people higher up, don't want to deal with administrative problems either. You are right any manager in a higher department looking after the sales of the whole region will not deal with your credit card but he may have to respond to complaints if they don't get settled below. So if you threaten them with action, they might get off their bums.
    Also, I am sure that the three people in your branch are not the end of the line, they do report to someone else - just make yourself a nuisance to them so it's in their interest to get rid of you.:D

    In some countries they have consumer shows on TV - no business wants to be shown there as treating their customers badly - again, if they think they may get bad press exposure, they may actually do something for you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2010
  24. Blackcat

    Blackcat Registered Member

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    That explains a lot ;) :D :p

    I lived in Rome for 3 years and the general bureaucracy was very slow in reaching any decision. So I now wish you even greater luck :D
     
  25. Fuzzfas

    Fuzzfas Registered Member

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    The 3 people in my branch aren't of course the end of the line, but they have a very bureaucratic approach to this. I am sure that if i insist, they will simply tell me to file the written complaint because they can't do anything else. As a matter of fact, amongst the about 20 pages of terms that i read, there is already a module for the complaint. So they are ready for this stuff. :D I may pay them yet another visit, but honestly, since they have only 1 active clerk in payments, each time i have to wait for loooong time only to find no solution. They 've so long queue every morning, that the guard doesn't allow you to enter the bank at will (it's smalll and it gets easily overcrowded). You have to wait on the sidewalk before some others exit so that he will let you in... They should have put more clerks ,so that they can provide service to more people faster, but they don't seem interested to do that... I mean, they see that people are upset, tired, angry, but they don't at least 1 more clerk to the ordinary operations... And all this is frustrating and tiring. It's probably best bet to wait 1 more week and then send a complaint letter directly to their central complaint office. It's more probable that they will find something than those people of the branch.

    There is here too, but it shows more important cases than mine. Cases that regard much money or many people that have been defrauded.


    Well, i see you know how things go... They haven't changed. :D I have horror stories with post offices, my phone company and my ISP about their bureaucracy, now i have a bank horror story too. :D
     
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