MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – If you bought groceries last Friday at Cub Foods using an electronic transaction, you may want to take a close look at your bank account.
The company is confirming there was a problem on Aug. 28 and points the finger at its third-party payment processor, NCR in Atlanta.
Apparently there was a technical issue with its credit card transaction software. NCR said it was isolated to electronic purchases made in Cub and other stores last Friday.
“Times have been tough,” Seth Nareff said.
Nareff lost his job six weeks ago. Friends scraped together money for the married father of two to pay the bills, and buy groceries at the Lakeville Cub Foods.
“I spent about $250 on groceries and noticed on my bank account this morning that I had been double charged for that same dollar amount,” Nareff said.
His bank account is overdrawn and now he’s facing overdraft fees and the check to pay for his car insurance may bounce.
“It was gifted to me,” Nareff said. “It was for my family to help out, and now despite their generosity, we’ve been left in another bad situation.”
Carol Nelson was shopping for the weeend at the Forest Lake Cub Foods.
“They told me the credit card machines had been down for three hours,” Nelson said.
She sensed something was wrong when the normally smooth transaction seemed a bit slow.
“I got the groceries and swiped my debit card and it took a long time to process,” Nelson said. “They said, ‘Oh, it’s been really slow.'”
A couple days later her husband, Steve, took a look at their online bank account. That’s when he immediately spotted a big problem.
The $136 grocery debit was taken out twice, on an account that was already running low.
“For us we were at the end of the month and our checks don’t come until today,” Steve Nelson said.
Fortunately, the erroneous charge didn’t cause the couple to overdraft their account, but they did call customer service.
A call center is being inundated with customers who get a recording acknowledging the problem.
A woman on the recording says, “due to a known issue with the electronic payment system, some customers may have unauthorized charges from our stores. We are working on reversing these charges.”
Steve Nelson was told to expect a credit in three to six days, to get money back they never really spent.
“No, it’s not okay,” Steve Nelson said. “That’s my money. It’s not theirs. They’re enjoying it, not me.”
Nareff said that doesn’t help with the big picture.
“There are people sitting in an office waiting for someone to give permission so they can give us our money back, but then they’re done with it,” Nareff said. “But everything that happens after that nobody can fix.”
NCR is working to get the charges reversed and says other retailers — including grocery, drug and mass merchandise stores — were also affected, but won’t be specific.
Customers who were double-charged should see credits in the next five days.
“We regret any inconvenience this has caused and want to assure all customers that this matter is being handled,” Cub Foods spokesperson Jeffrey Swanson said.