4

Visa transaction (money reduced from account) happened only after 16 days after I made purchase.

2017-10-01

Paid flight tickets. Money was deducted or reserved (haven't paid attention). When paid, I specified card number, name and code. payment system forced me to log to bank to make payment.

2017-10-11

10 days later, account was showing as there were no such transaction ever. My money were back on my account. Bank said that there were no transaction at all for that day (2017-10-01). Flight company said that transaction were successful, and I shouldn't worry. Other transactions looks correct. It may returned earlier, but 2017-10-11 is when I noticed it.

2017-10-17

Payment appears on my account as if I paid 2017-10-17.

Very frustrated now, as I don't understand how company could charge that much later after payment, and why bank is unable to see the transaction. My biggest worry, is that bank is not showing correct information in the log, and in this case, would it make sense to change bank?

Notes: I'm in Finland, card is Visa Debit Electron. It means that for most transactions by card number, I have to log to my bank, and validate it with additional codes. I already used tickets, and everything went smooth.

Probably related:

  • 1
    What date was the flight? I frequently buy things that trigger an authorization but do not actually charge until they ship the item or I actually use the service I booked. I've not seen that happen with airline tickets, but maybe that's all that happened here. – Hart CO Nov 3 '17 at 14:03
  • Your bank has misinformed you, if they record calls, have a proper audit trail etc they can probably work out what they did wrong. – davidjwest Nov 3 '17 at 14:51
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    "would it make sense to change bank?" If it wasn't the airline at "fault" (see Peter Green's answer) then I imagine it's possible it was the card-processor (Visa) as much as your bank that got things wrong, or showed the wrong information (e.g. to your bank). If that were to have been the case, changing banks might not make any difference. – TripeHound Nov 3 '17 at 16:03
  • @HartCO, charge happened right after registration to flight. – Konstantin Petrukhnov Nov 4 '17 at 4:48
6

AIUI this is not terribly abnormal.

There are authorisations (sometimes reffered to as "pending charges" or "holds") and actual charges. An authorisation reserves money but doesn't actually take it.

Normally what happens when you pay by card is that the merchant gets an authorisation immediately. Then some time later the authorisation is converted into an actual charge when the merchant takes the money.

Sometimes merchants are slow in taking the actual charge, either deliberately (some merchants won't charge your card until they actually supply the goods to reduce the chance of having to process a refund) or because of administrative snarlups somewhere.

When this happens the authorisation can time out before the actual charge is taken. So you get the pattern you see, first the authorisation appears then it times out and dissapears and finally the actual charge shows up.

  • This situation happens to me a lot as well. It's honestly quite frustrating as you expect the money to go out when you paid, especially when you try to carefully plan bills. Seeing X dollars still there and thinking you haev enough to pay other bills just for the first one to bounce because they wanted to wait a week is extremely inconsiderate... – ggiaquin16 Nov 3 '17 at 21:04
  • 1
    One good reason to use a credit card is so the vaugarities of card-processing can't directly affect your current account. Worse than the scenario described here is when the merchant does make the charge in time but fails to properly tie the charge to the authorisation. So your available balance gets hit twice. – Peter Green Nov 5 '17 at 0:00

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