MasterCard customers hit by system failure
Red and yellow balls not up
Anyone wishing to do a spot of early Christmas shopping last weekend may have had trouble making a transaction with their credit card due to a technical cock-up at MasterCard.
A Reg reader contacted us on Saturday to say that the cash pumping giant had been hit by what appeared to be a sizeable technical problem affecting many UK payments.
Processing service provider Streamline reported on its status page that a "small number of point-of-sale transactions" had been affected by the MasterCard blunder.
Streamline reckoned six per cent of customers were unable to make payments successfully on 29 September, presumably a percentage that equates to thousands and thousands of transactions on Saturday – typically the busiest shopping day of the week.
We put a call into MasterCard to find out what had caused the system to fail over the weekend. In a statement, it said:
"MasterCard can confirm that due to technical problems associated with issuing bank submitted data, some minor delays occurred in the settlement of Maestro debit card transactions in the UK on 25/26 September 2007."
So, it would appear that MasterCard's technical problems were not isolated to the 29 September, but may in fact have been going on for nearly a week.
MasterCard said all debit card transactions for 25/26 September had now been "cleared and settled", however it remains unclear whether the issue has been completely resolved.
Streamline also appears to be uncertain about whether or not MasterCard has sorted out the cock-up. Its status page currently says: "We believe the issue has been resolved, but will confirm this with a further update to this page when we have confirmation from all parties." ®
6% does seem a little low
My whole family was in Ireland for the weekend, and none of us could get money our from any of the cash machines at East Midlands or Belfast International airports, or the cash machine at the hotel.
Good thing some of us already had cash, or we'd have been stuffed.
Happened to me too on Saturday
When my Tesco's shopping due between 4pm and 6pm hadn't arrived by 6:30pm, I checked phone messages
Got a message around 3pm on Saturday saying thay my card had been declined and another an hour later saying they couldn't deliver my shopping unless I rang to provide details for another card. Didn't think there would be a problems as it's the same Natwest Maestro card I use every week and money in the account.
Rang Tesco's and they tried the card again - this was 3 hours plus after the first attempt. Failed authorisation, so I rang NatWest
NatWest confirmed there was a problem, so I rang Tesco's to arrange for redelivery on Sunday. Tesco's call centre weren't aware of any problems. No other cards and cash machines empty of money and no food in the house. I was not happy.
I later found a message on the Streamline website about the problem
Agree that 6% as quoted seems a little low, as speaking to someone who works for Wickes, he confirmed a lot of customers had problems on Saturday
Re: Must have happened for longer...
@ Test Man:
"even though I bought a ticket on the 9th September."
That's probably just Gatwick Airport ticket machines. I once had a car park ticket debited by NCP from my account 5 months after I parked and paid at a machine. My bank said they have 180 days from time of taking payment details to actually submit the debit charge to the bank.
Happened Stateside, too
Us 'merrickans didn't get away, either. My CapitalOne MasterCard was declined continuously throughout the week as well.
Unless that was CapitalOne's cockup, not MC's. Either way, it's not outside the realm of possibilities. After all, CapitalOne's website has *HOURS OF OPERATION*
There are some things money can't buy...
Romantic dinner: $60
Expensive Champagne: $100
Having to leg it because your MasterCard was declined and you're out of cash: PRICELESS
There are some things money can't buy
Everything else ... remember to carry cash!