Why Can't Macy's Reverse This Charge On Their Customer's Debit Card?

Amanda has been having a hard time getting Macy’s to reverse an incorrect charge on her credit card–a charge that was canceled less than five minutes after it was made last week. Her story includes almost all of the things that can go wrong with customer support, including random transfers, rude employees, and broken promises. If she’d just been made to hold for 45 minutes before one of the disconnections, she’d have collected the set!

She writes:

On Dec. 12 2009 I visited the South Hills Village Macy’s Lush station where I made a purchase. My card was charged 109.?? and then less than 3 minutes later was charged 116.??. The associate informed me that the 109.?? would be voided and credited back to my account.

The next day I checked my checking account and the both of the charges were against my card still. Fearing an overdraft fee I contacted my bank, at which point they informed me that the charge should fall off on Tues, and that if it hadn’t been I should call and dispute the charge.

On Tuesday Dec. 15th in the afternoon the charge was still on my account. Again I called my bank and was told that the charge was still against my account and would not be taken off until Friday unless I contacted Macy’s and asked them to fax: My name, card number, date of transaction, and amount of transaction. This information had to be faxed to ATTN: Card Support with company letterhead.

This is where the real fun begins. On Dec. 15th I called South Hills Village and got the operator and explained my issue. She asked me to hold while she transferred me to the appropriate department. I was transferred to gift-wrap. The lady at gift-wrap, although very kind, had no idea what to do. She said she would transfer me to the correct department though, and again I waited. During this hold I was told by machine to endure the silence and my call would be connected. I waited and then the line was disconnected.

My second call to Macy’s was answered by an operator. I explained my issue again and told her I was transferred incorrectly and asked to be connected to the correct department.

I would like at this point to mention that I have worked customer support in the past, and have a great respect for these people. As such, I am polite and treat them the same as I would expect them to treat me. I digress; I was again transferred to gift-wrap. The associate at gift-wrap apologized for me being disconnected and assured me that she would connect me to correct party. At this point again she began to transfer me. Silence again and then gift-wrap picked up with the general greeting. I explained to her who I was and she apologized and attempted to transfer me again.

At this point I was transferred to an unknown department. It was a woman and I was asked my issue. I began explaining that my card had been charged and that though the transaction had been voided it was hanging on my account, but that if she was willing to send my info it would be resolved. Before I could say anything about my transaction she interrupted me and began to speak over me. When I continued to speak she said “Be quiet. Can I talk? I am trying to tell you…” At which point I became enraged that

1. I was spoken over

2. I was being told to shut up

3. She hadn’t heard my entire issue.

I told her “No, you cannot finish what you are saying. I need these things faxed and I want to be connected to the correct party.” At this point she relented and said she would transfer me. I was disconnected.

I can not express to you how irritated I was. I had no idea what to do, so I called Macy’s corporate number and pressed 0 over and over again. Eventually I was connected to a card support rep. I explained my issue to the card support and she apologized profusely for how I had been treated and then said that she would stay on the line until I was connected to the correct department.

At this point I was connected to a woman named Irene. She was apologetic and took the information and said she would fax it to the correct department within my bank. I was then informed that the manager of [Irene’s department] was named Scott D. and that if I had any more trouble to call and speak with him. At this point I hung up the phone satisfied that my complaints were heard and that my issue would be resolved.

That brings us to today, Wed Dec 16th. This morning I checked my account and saw that the 109.?? has not been credited to my acct. So, I called my bank to see if the fax had been received or if there was an issue with the computers. The representative at my bank informed me that they had never received a fax from Macy’s and that my funds would be continued to be held until Friday Dec 18th. So, I attempted to call Macy’s at South Hills Village to speak with Scott D. I let the phone ring for 5 minutes and it was never answered.

I am completely disgusted by the customer service I’ve dealt with over the past few days and I can assure you I will tell my friends, family, and anyone on the internet who is willing to read this note. I want my funds released. Your customer service is ignorant as to how to act towards customers, and even to the internal working of the company to the point of where they couldn’t transfer my phone call at all.

So Macy’s, I doubt anyone will read this and if they do, if they’ll care. But, I thought I’d let you know how mismanaged your South Hills Village store is and how crappy your holding my funds DESPITE the purchase being voided immediately is. While my friends/family and I are commiserating on this year’s shopping disasters I’ll be sure to tell them about the irritation and rage that your company has provided me.

Update: Amanda wrote back to us with the following update:

I read some of the comments and wanted to mention that I do have a void receipt. When I spoke to Irene I gave her the numbers from it and she was able to look up the transaction. And also, my funds were released from the fax a few hours after the story was posted. So, it is possible. Things are in the good now, though I have yet to hear from the complaint department to which the letter was originally sent.


(Thanks to Kevin for the tip!)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.