Wednesday, August 17, 2011

So Frustrated

Seems folks either love or hate Wal-Mart and for a multitude of reasons. I've tried to remain fairly neutral about the company, shopping there when I must and avoiding it when I can.

That said, the time has come that I have a beef with a particular store, or maybe with an employee within that store. I'm not sure which yet.

Last weekend, we shopped in a Wal-Mart store while we were on our camping trip. There were some things for the camper that we had to have (couldn't do without) and the ONLY place in town to buy said things is Wal-Mart. We picked up a few other items while there and rang up a total of $135.38.

Shane remembered that he had a Visa Gift Card that he had earned as a safety incentive at work. It was for $100 and he redeemed it on that purchase, leaving a balance of $35.38. He paid the balance with his debit card (his card that draws from our joint account). We left the store, went to camp and didn't go back into town at all during our trip.

Today I was looking at our online bank statement and saw that there were two transactions, coming through from that Wal-Mart, but on two different days. The first was for $35.38 and the second was for $100 even.

I called Wal-Mart first, and they looked at their tapes, files or whatever it is they use these days and say the transaction is good.

I called our bank, and they looked at their records and say there are TWO transactions from that store, the first around 4:30 p.m. for $35.38 and the second for $100 -- an hour later -- as a debit.  I told the bank lady that it wasn't possible, because we made only one transaction and weren't even in town an hour later.  The bank lady says that I need to just ask my husband because maybe I don't know that he made another transaction and that regardless, Shane has to be the one to dispute it because it was his card.  It doesn't matter that it is a joint account or that he's an 8-hour drive away and may be gone for weeks.

Meanwhile, Shane's card has never left his possession, the transactions he's made since he's been gone are posting fine, and no other wayward charges are evident.

So, just WTF am I supposed to do now?  I feel confident the bank is only posting what they received from Wal-Mart.  I think $100 is enough to fight for.  In fact, I think we ought to fight it on principal, but I don't see how when Shane's so far away until who knows when. 

I feel like a little bitty minnow trying to take on a whale.


McVal said...

How frustrating! Did you keep the gift card by any chance or ask them to throw it away? I just used a $25 gift card the other day and just checked online to see if they did the same thing, but it looks ok.

Corinnea said...

First of all I think I'd get a new bank. I've never had mine question me like that, they are supposed to help protect your money! Secondly, that employee or someone stole a hundred dollars from you, of course you fight for it! Calmly but assuredly fight it. Start with the manager! Good luck!

Sharon said...

Yes, Trimette, that employee has used your debit card and has the other hundred dollars. Do you still have the receipt? I woild go in person tp the store, and talk with the manager. Use the word "theft" when you talk with them. And if you still have the receipt, and the gift card, take them with you. Keep us posted. Rest assured, this NOT a mistake - it is theft!

Annie Jones said...

McVal: The gift card is gone. Shane didn't have the store employee throw it away, but he threw it away himself at the campground.

Corinnea: I'm trying to find out if it's standard practice that the bank would not let me alone try to protect our joint funds. I'm all but certain I could go in, close the account and take all the money without Shane...why shouldn't I be able to protect it without him?

Sharon: Here's the really baffling part. The bank says the $100 transaction is coming through as a "complete magnetic scan". How, though, when Shane had the card the entire time?? I just don't get how it could be "scanned" an hour later without the card.

As for the receipt, I have it and it looks perfect to there is that.

Shane does intend to fight it, but we have to figure out how to let me do some of it with him gone, or else it will have to wait until he gets back. The bank lady says there's plenty of time to dispute it (no 30-day or 60-day window or anything like that), but I think the sooner the better.

He wants Wal-Mart to produce their copy of the receipt for the $100 transaction and proof that he signed, as he almost always runs the debit card as a credit. I don't...but I will be now!

Annie Jones said...

McVal: Also...the gift card, if run through correctly (and I think it was), is now empty. Since we didn't purchase the card, it truly has no connection to our bank account.

This is really a matter of our debit card (or its number) being abused...or else it's a really huge f' up in Wal-Marts point of sale system.

Annie Jones said...

And Sharon...who's Trinette? ROFL!

Sharon said...

Sorry, Annie, my brain must be fried! My "other" friend Trinette was also just camping.....(and the appropriate word verification for THIS post? poopo!)

Mark said...

You must fight it. You really have no choice. Because if you don't, it will weigh on your forever.

slugmama said...

I think someone at Walmart(cashier or cohorts)is pulling a fast one.
You may have to physically go there to get to the bottom of things.
Since Shane ran it as a credit you can fight the charge via snail mail once you get the bill I think. Make sure you do that too. I might actually call a local lawyer on this for some advise on how to proceed.
Back when Kmart charged me twice in May(the 1st transaction was canceled-then rerang and charged)but it got put through to the cc company by Kmart and I didn't have the receipt for the 1st canceled transaction to take back to the store transaction. The manager can go into their archived record of transactions in the computer system from the office and find and print out any receipt/transaction. I went back 3 weeks after the problem transaction(as it took that long for the double charge to hit my cc)and she had no problem finding it. As long as you still have the receipt from the valid transaction with the #s they need to locate the charge. Since the second false charge wasn't immediately put through, they will have to hunt a bit for the particulars of it but the 1st time stamp will help them know when/where to start looking.
But they won't go to this trouble and you won't be able to actually see the on paper record of what they find unless you go to the store.
Good luck!!!
This pisses me off and it's not even my