Consumerist reader A. says he was looking at his bank statement the other day and noticed that there had been six consecutive small-dollar (under $25 each) transactions all attributed to something called “AZARB LLC.”
Since such purchases are generally an indicator that someone has stolen your ID and is enjoying a buying spree of some sort, A. contacted his bank to have a new card issued.
The mystery deepened when A. spoke to his wife and found she also had mystery charges from the same company — on two different cards.
Something was going on. An ID thief having access to one account is normal, but to three different accounts from two different people?
The picture got clearer when the AZARB name on their statements eventually changed to indicate a local Arby’s in Glendale.
But there was still a worrisome question — sure, A. and his wife had been to Arby’s but not nine or ten times in the last day.
So A. called the Arby’s in question where he was told that the store’s “computer” had apparently held on to six months’ worth of charges and then suddenly decided to finally process all those transactions in one night.
The person he spoke to apologized for the inconvenience, but A. is concerned that this glitch (or oversight or whatever it was) could affect an awful lot of people.
“I asked myself, how many hundreds of customers attend an Arby’s and pay with a credit card over six months?” writes A. “What about frequent customers, who might eat there almost every day? I only got hit for a couple hundred dollars, but some people might get hit with far more. It seemed a rather appalling business practice. I can imagine people finding cards maxed, or their checking accounts mysteriously drained, probably like me assuming some kind of fraud.”
We reached out to Arby’s Restaurant Group with the details of A.’s story and received the following statement in response:
We are currently investigating the situation and will take corrective action based on our findings. Based on preliminary information, this appears to be a processing issue isolated to one franchised restaurant in Glendale, Arizona. At this point, we are not aware of any breach of data security at this location.
Interestingly enough, though we didn’t share A’s name or contact info with Arby’s HQ, he tells us that after we contacted the company, he received a follow-up call from someone at the fast food chain.
“He told me to bring my account statements to the Arby’s and they would reimburse my expense related to this incident,” A. tells Consumerist. “I was both surprised and pleased.
A. says that when he shared his belief with this company rep that this glitch/oversight/goof may have affected many customers, the Arby’s rep told him, “Yes, quite a few.”
“I find it rare that a fast food franchise respond so swiftly and decisively to a consumer difficulty,” writes A.
We’re just curious how a fast food franchise doesn’t realize that it hasn’t processed credit and debit card payments for a week, let alone several months.