Is your debit account being swiped away?
If you've recently received or checked your banking statement and found a big discrepancy, it may not be due to your math skills.
Most lending institutes now authorize a specific amount be charged when you purchase things like gas at the pump..and the difference can put you in the red.
The cost to fill up at the pump varies, usually it's less than 75 dollars. But no matter what the final price shows, at some stations, you've just been docked for 106-dollars.
"Sure, we have heard some complaints and some concerns. It's up to the customer's issuing banks--who ever they use to process their credit cards is where that's coming from," says J.R.Hensley, Pak-A-Sak manager.
Hensley adds people started getting concerned and calling their offices so they asked their gas distributor for clarification. Phillips 66 sent them back a reply stating that the transaction is up to the bank and quote "not a process of the Phillips 66 company payment network."
The debit card is back by VISA...and they do authorize pre-payments. We contacted their media inquiry lines but either had no answer or...
"Your call did not go through..."
We then checked with Beth Stewart, Vice President at Amarillo National Bank who acknowledged that most lending institutions now pre-authorize payments...But they add the amount charged is not set by the bank, visa or the gas distributor. It's set by the merchant.
"It is our understanding that it is definitely set at the merchant level. Unfortunately, what we authorize off of-is from the merchant. We don't know anything about who they set up their pumps."
The convenience store management says they are looking into the pre-authorization charges, but re-iterated they have nothing to do with putting the funds on hold.
Jackie Arron says her account and her son's were both hit with the charge so she's pre-paying and admits she's very unhappy with the process.
"I don't like it because the people that don't have the money, they're taking out, they could be overdrawn in their account and you're stuck. They did it to my son's account and my account, so that's why I'm leery about getting it," says Aaron.
National organizations are reportedly working toward having the exact amount charged to the account, but it may be a couple years before that's in place.
There are ways to get around paying that extra amount:You can always go into to the store and pay with cash -- or pay a pre-determined amount.