This error almost cost me $357.21! Catching double charges [Money Tip]

by Belinda Rosenblum

Reviewing your credit card statements / activity can seem boring or a waste of time. I get it.

You just made the charge… why do you need to see it again?

(And sometimes you are still feeling a little guilty about it, then you definitely don’t want to see it again…)

BUT what if it could actually save you a ton of money?

Check out this excerpt from my recent credit card activity, and look for anything odd or unusual…

Marriott charge issue 1

 

At first it is a little hidden because there are some other transactions mixed in a bit… but do you see the double charges (from Marriott of all places!)?

Here’s what happened…

I review my credit card activity online regularly – usually 2-3 times a week. Then when the statement comes, I review the whole month at a time too.

I had just returned from a trip to Arizona and noticed that my three charges made at the Marriott were actually SIX charges. I had receipts for the 7/26/16 charges but the repeats on 7/27/16 were all errors.

After 2 phone calls and an email, and us actually having to prove to them that we were in fact double charged, we got the 3 credits issued:

Marriott charge issue 2

MONEY TIP: Review the detail of your credit card activity regularly online or on a phone app, and at a minimum when you get your statement. Look for unusual or duplicate transactions and contact the vendor or credit card company immediately if you see any noteworthy items.

While you are there, also notice the interest rate and how much these charges add up. Sometimes we get very unconscious at each transaction so don’t really have a grasp of how much actual money was spent.

My card was not stolen or compromised. There was officially no fraudulent behavior. But I was double charged by $357.21 due to a system wide double batch error, yet the credit was not processed until I called!

And that wasn’t all… look what happened the previous month for $31.54:

Monsoon charge issue 1

So I called the restaurant and got a credit for that one too:

Monsoon charge issue 2

ACTION STEP: Go online, download the app, or review your recent statements. Look for errors and begin to make your review a money making mission for yourself. Then report in below and let us know what you found.

THE PAYOFF: As you start to step in and up to own your money, you increase your awareness and want to review your credit card and bank statements and bills.

Mistakes can be made, but now they won’t go unnoticed on your watch – and especially not while I have your back.

Have a great weekend!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Maurice Ottey August 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm

Hi Belinda-Not to beat up on any merchant, but Geek Squad charged me $50.00+ for a repair contract I no longer have with them. When I called they said they automatically bill the card each year. My computer tech (long distance) mentioned they could be doing that to others! Thanks for your article, yes, I will be checking more.

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Belinda Rosenblum August 31, 2017 at 5:25 am

Yes it can happen to anyone, by anyone. Good for you for checking and calling Maurice!

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Leslie Stompor August 26, 2016 at 8:53 pm

Great tip! I am AMAZED at how common this is and especially at how DIFFICULT it is to get the charges reversed!! You don’t just have to catch the issue, you have to monitor the offending company to make SURE that they give you the refund you deserve!!

I just had to ask a second time in as many months for a refund for a hotel Internet access charge (which was supposed to have been waived by joining their membership club). I could have said it didn’t matter — it was a business expense, so I wasn’t directly paying for it, but it was the principle of the matter. And am I more likely to stay with Starwood/St. Francis now that I’m a loyalty member?! Not after that mistake and all the time it took to fix it!!

Reply

Belinda Rosenblum August 31, 2017 at 5:27 am

Yes Leslie – exactly. Good for you for stepping up. And yes, crazy how difficult the reversal can be when it seems so obvious it is incorrect!

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