BWS/Dan Murphy's customers hit by double-billing error
Endeavour Drinks Group (EDG) has moved swifty to reassure customers who impacted by the Woolworths double billing error on Sunday.
Purchases made using VISA cards at Woolworths, Dan Murphy's and BWS on March 11, 12 and 13 were charged again for the same purchase by Cuscal Limited, the payment processor for more than 80 banks, credit unions, and card issuers.
EDG issued a statement saying: “We apologise for the inconvenience caused, we have been working with the provider responsible for the error and in payment processing activities and confirm that neither Dan Murphy’s/BWS/ETC nor our bank are responsible for the issues."
Cuscal also apologised for the error and took full responsibility: “Due to a Cuscal processing error on the night of Sunday, 6 August, some incorrect transactions were posted to our clients’ customers’ accounts on the morning of Monday, 7 August.
“We’re sorry for the ongoing stress and difficulties this is causing people and would like to be clear that this is a Cuscal error – there is no fault with Woolworths. All incorrect transactions are now being corrected and should be completed by 2pm today [August 8].
“We will work with our financial institution clients to make sure that nobody is out of pocket due to incorrect charges or transactions arising directly from this incident. People should wait for the charges to be reversed or talk to their financial institution with any immediate financial problems.”
Banducci demands answers
Woolworths was unaware of the error until alerted by customers on social media.
CEO Brad Banducci said: “We are outraged on behalf of our customers that this has happened and it raises a series of important questions about the effectiveness of certain processes in the financial system.
“We don’t know which of our customers have been affected because the relevant encrypted data is held only by the financial services companies. However we are responding to those customers who contact us via our customer service centres and social media.
“We have raised these concerns directly with Cuscal and Visa, and propose to pursue the matter with the relevant financial services regulators.
“It is not acceptable that our customers have been charged twice, causing them stress, inconvenience and, in some cases, financial hardship.
“We want to know how this happened, and we are seeking firm commitments from the financial services providers responsible to ensure that this can never happen again.”
Concerns raised by retail consultant
Retail consultant Andy Powell has expressed concerns about Woolworths issuing a second apology to customers in a matter of weeks for online errors.
Last month, a major glitch left thousands of online shoppers around Australia without food and groceries for two days after their orders were unexpectedly cancelled.
The company blamed a delivery system outage for the error.
Powell told Power Retail: “Online retailing is about many things but a key thing is trust. A perceived failure to insulate customers from financial loss, albeit through the error of another party, will cut deep into Woollies credibility with customers. The timing is also unfortunate, coming on the back of so much recent media about cyber attacks, hacking and threats to data in general.”
Jake Brown from Mitcham in Victoria told ABC News he had about $150 withdrawn from his account on Monday based on transactions he made at Woolworths and BWS in March.
"We are extremely tight this week but will be OK for one day. What about others who are not?" Brown asked.
Brown said he was deeply concerned his account details may have been kept on file by Woolworths for six months.