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Subject:  News item re Check Card problems Date:  6/19/2002  4:00 PM
Author:  SeattleNative Number:  17174 of 24357

Please review this news story about Check Card ("debit card") problems at

The story documents a huge headache when a pizza restaurant clerk inadvertently keyed in an incorrect purchase amount. Unlike a VISA or MasterCard credit-card transaction, the VISA/MasterCard networks WILL NOT "void out" an incorrect debit amount on a Check Card. The restaurant had routinely "voided out" occasional erroneous transactions and not had problems before. But the bank (the video shows the cardholder used a U.S. Bank Check Card) was completely uncooperative in assisting in correcting the mistake - apparently they are NOT required to do so:

"It seemed simple enough: Void the mistake, get the void receipt, and redo the transaction correctly.

"Kevin thought that was the end of it.

"Until he checked with his bank, and learned the $97 dollars had not been voided!

"By the time he contacted KOMO 4 News, overdraft charges were approaching $200 and no one would help." [NOTE: The cardholder's bank DID NOT ASSIST THE CUSTOMER in spite of their so-called "Purchase Assurance" or "Five-Star Service Guarantee"]

"'My account's been frozen for going on almost a week now,' Watson said. 'I'm overdrawn almost 300 dollars. I have no access to the funds that are mine in there.'

"Unlike credit cards, you can't void a mistake on your debit card. The clerk has to "credit" your checking account so the money that was taken out can go back in.

"Like a lot of debit card users, Kevin had no idea.

"'It's really been an eye-opener for me,' Watson said"

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