Gift2go horror stories
Had an unpleasent experience brought on by the use of a giftcard at a merchant who didn't release the hold? Do tell.
Entry for July 8, 2008 "Watch your debit card transaction balances.closely"

The use of debit cards may be reducing your daily balance far beyond what you may be thinking.

In light of the information gather while trying, unsuccessfully, to resolve a pending charge on a gift2go card, several matters have come to my attention which raise questions about financial institutions who manage the balances of debit card accounts and the issuers of the cards who create policy for the banks and merchants to follow.

The first issue is the amount which may be associated to a transaction in the form of an authorization charge. A verification charge of 1 or 2 dollars is common for a first time use of a card at a merchant, this amount is added to you bill and then after several days it will dorp off automatically, it is also refered to as a ghost charge, yet it may differ from an authorization charge which could total as mush as the full value of the service plus whatever is imagined may be additional expenses. This last example is seen in hotel transactions which are through a debit card attached to a bank account. In this case an ESTIMATION of your bill is made through the end of your stay including any incidentals which is phone calls and other items that might be charged to your room. For that period of time you bank balance has already been reduced so if the hotel over estimates you become the looser as far as what your daily balance shows on your account.

There is a long list of services which may estimate what to charge as an authorization charge. Several of them are: resturants, rental cars and airline, but those are just the one mentioned by an IDT financial services representative as she was defending their reasoning for not having any solution to the pending charge which should have cleared by now, since the transaction was canceled 20 days ago tomorrow.

Debit cards seem like the latest way to drain money out of the consumer without their full knowledge. Your interest earned and daily account balance may not be what you would expect it to be. Individually it may not be significant, but, from all user totalled, this may be big profit for the banks or card issuers.   dzp 



2008-07-08 22:38:20 GMT