Pending Transactions

in Credit cards
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gmummygmummy Forumite
1 Post
I received an alert on the Monday (15th) that a suspect transaction was being made. I called my card provider on the number from my card and spoke to their customer protection team. We established that there was an attempted fraud taking place and the customer service agent blocked it and a subsequent one. They also cancelled my card and told me they had put a hold on the account until the new card was with me. I told them that there was a fraudulent transaction of about £74 showing as pending on my account which had been done day before (Sunday 14th). The agent assured me it would be refunded but it could take a bit of time for the refund to show. 
All good I suppose but, I went into my account on the Saturday (20th) to reconcile my statement with my receipts and found a problem with the spreadsheet which I'd downloaded which lead to me calling the card provider there and then. While in the queue, I looked at a PDF of my statement and confirmed that the error was just a software glitch but then things got interesting........ I noted that, although I had been told that there was a hold on my account, the pending transaction for £75 (which was acknowledged by the customer service agent as fraudulent) has actually been posted to the account at 4.16pm the following day. I got through to a customer service agent and asked why this could happen when I had been told the account was on hold. He couldn't give me an answer and told me to ring back to speak to the customer protection team between 9am and 5pm. I raised a complaint with the agent and told him I'd call back. I called yesterday (22nd) and asked the customer service representative to explain how this could have happened - he was about to launch into an explanation when the phone went dead. Having worked in a call centre, I'm aware that agents can bring their manager in on a call if they are concerned about anything and I was using terms like 'risk management' 'compliance with FCA regulations' and 'Financial Ombudsman' - I am suspicious that they hung up on me but, I digress....
I called back and spoke to another agent and still haven't received a satisfactory explanation. She told me that they can't cancel pending transactions but need to allow them to go through and then deal with them. I I pointed out to her that this situation amounted to a breach of trust between me and the card provider and had left me lacking the confidence to continue with their services - how can I trust a provider who will tell me there is a hold on my account and then happily hand money to a a 'merchant' who they have confirmed they consider to be committing fraud? I also pointed out that, although I am able to wait for that £75, there are many people whose credit limit would have been affected and this would leave them in a very difficult position financially.

My thinking is, that if the card provider cancelled the transaction, the merchant would then take legal steps to recover payment from the card holder so there is no liability for the card provider so why can't they do that? The word approved was bandied about during the conversations I had with the various agents and I'm wondering if this had anything to do with it? This raises another question for me though - how can the card provider have approved a transaction where the CVV wasn't given (the card was in my possesion the whole time and I am extremely careful about how and where I use it)?

So here's my question if anyone knows the answer:   Do all credit card companies refuse to cancel pending transactions and instead, wait for the transaction to go through before investigating and refunding? Is this a legal requirement (I appreciate that these providers have different liabilities than banks)? Do they accept transactions without the CVV (not sure how CVV works). 


  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
    112.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
     Do all credit card companies refuse to cancel pending transactions and instead, wait for the transaction to go through before investigating and refunding?
    Pending transactions automatically drop off and don't necessarily arrive.  Until it arrives, they cannot being investigation.

     Is this a legal requirement

    Do they accept transactions without the CVV (not sure how CVV works).

    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • born_againborn_again Forumite
    10K Posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    Once a transaction has been approved by card company/bank. It can not be stopped by bank. That is a breach of card regulations.

    Only retailer can stop the payment from debiting & NO there is no way every retailer can be contacted. We tried this where we saw a lot of fraud to certain retailers. Most Retailers were not interested in doing anything at all. Even if you could get through to someone that knew who you needed to speak too. Only ones that wanted to help & stop payments were the really small retailers who losing the funds & goods would hurt the most.

    What they will do is refund that amount to your Credit Card account.
    But you may never see it on a statement. Due to the way the CC systems work.

    There is no investigation. That is for the retailers to do. Card company claims money back from retailer. Thus the loss is with the retailer.

    Life in the slow lane
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