Dec 23, 2006, 12:56 PM
Post #1 of 5
Warning, this is kind of long and convoluted.
2 days ago we went to CostCo Cancun to buy a TV. We got a great Phillips 23" flat screen and it included a DVD player and recorder - great deal. The listed price was a little more than $9500p. When I got to the check out, the skew wouldn't read and the checker sent another girl over to get the info. She came back with it written on her hand and when it rang up, the price was $9111p. My friend and I talked about that on the way to the door, frankly we were congratulating ourselves on the mistake.
At the door, a security guy - not just a flunky check the receipt person but a guy with a radio and who others treated as important - checked our receipt and immediately said there was an error. He told me (in spanish) that the skew was wrong and indeed the receipt said surround house instead of whatever we had. He said, don't worry the price is lower than you paid but it has to be switched as it is wrong in the computer.
OK. Back we go to the check stand, lots of standing around with smiles and apologies from the checker while we wait for the guy with the register key and then while she finishes checking out people who had gotten in her line. Finally, she put a cerrado sign on her register and the guy with the key returned and he refunded the original amount to my credit card and re-rang it. Now the receipt listed the correct TV wDVD and the price had gone down even more. It was now $8700p. I'm happy, smiles all around and we leave.
OH! I forgot that when she was charging my Visa she put it under the receipt and ran another card over it which made an impression of the card like the old CC machines used to do. At the time I remember thinking 'how clever'. Dummy! She also checked my ID, driver's license, but since that is written on the back of my Visa I didn't question that. Of course, it's written in english and she did not appear to speak english. All this only hit me later.
When we got home, I got a message on my cell phone to call Visa security. Here's what they said. They saw my initial purchase of the TV at say 5:21pm, at 5:41pm there was an attempt to purchase $750US over the internet from Cross purses site, it was denied. Then at 5:50pm the refund of my initial purchase went through and the new charge for the TV. How Visa knew to accept one and not the other has been puzzling me, perhaps because one was in person and the other was online.
They have now shut off my card for fraud since the number is still out there. This is a major hassle for me as I have about 10 bills that are paid automatically on that card so I have to call them all. Plus of course, I won't have the card until I can make arrangements to have it FedEx'd to me here.
I haven't gone back to CostCo to report it yet. It's an hour drive and being it is right before xmas I doubt that anyone with any authority is there. I'll do it after the holiday just because I think I should, I don't have a lot of hope anything will be done.
Trying to think it out, my guess is that the girl at the register and the security guy are in on it and perhaps the guy with the key that refunded the charge. They didn't get anything and if the charge with Cross had gone through I think the item would have to have been shipped within the US but perhaps not. I am also guessing that the CostCo people just sell the number and guarantee a stall of half an hour for the buyer to use it.
Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán