The financial burden of the Christmas spending splurge was worsened on New Year’s Eve, as hundreds of thousands of customers were charged double on their debit or credit card purchases.
Retail merchants across the country were affected by a major error with the Cardnet payment system, causing transactions to duplicate and customers charged twice.
For many already indebted by the pressure of Christmas shopping, this could cause great grief as customers delve even further into the red, possibly exceeding their overdraft limit and inflicting expensive charges.
The 31st of December is a notoriously busy day for shoppers, with many securing food, drink or last minute outfit additions to celebrate the new year in style.
Fortunately, the problem did not affect cash withdrawals.
Lloyds Banking Group, the system’s provider, has urged anyone who used their card on this day to review their statements, no matter which bank they are with.
One customer used her Lloyds TSB car to purchase a £25 top from a Crew Clothing store in Chichester, West Sussex. However as her husband checked their statement on 4th January, it appeared the payment had duplicated, displaying identical details and reference number.
She said “When I called the bank, they said it was a problem with the payment machines or systems. They seemed to think it had happened to a large number of people.
“We are very good at checking our statements, but there are people who probably wouldn’t even notice this had happened.”
Lloyds have refunded all affected customers, even of rivalry bank account holders.
A spokesman said “A technical error with our merchant system on December 31 resulted in the duplication of certain payments from cardholders to some merchants.
“Duplicated transactions have been reversed and cardholders are being reimbursed. We would like to apologise to affected individuals for any inconvenience caused.”
Anyone financially penalised as a result of the problem, such as incurring bank charges following the duplicate transactions, should contact Lloyds on 01268 567100.