Need sort of a legal advice from parents...

<p>So I'll try to keep this VERY short, although it is a LONG story....</p>

<p>Here's the issue at hand: My dad went to some gas station a few weeks ago to get gas, and he prepaid with a debit card with the cashier prior to pumping gas. The store managed took out $100 from his debit card in advance, but my dad only pumped $38 worth of gas. Anyway, the manager supposedly credited the rest of the money back to the debit account, and so it shows on the receipt. However, my dad never got that money back, it doesn't show up on his account statements or anything; and whenever I tried to go investigate the matter with the manager, he says that he already credited the account and nothing can be done. </p>

<p>I tried to get in touch with the BBB but this station doesn't even exist with the Bureau, so I'm stuck in a rut. I was thinking of writing a formal letter of complaint to either the franchise owner or directly with the company, but not sure which one I should go with first.</p>

<p>What would be the appropriate action at this time?</p>

<p>p.s. My mom and I pretty much agreed the $60 is gone, but the way the manager brushes us off nonchalantly annoyed us greatly and we would really like to see how we can get the money back; and yes, the money is petty and honestly we would normally just forget about this but like was said before, the manager's attitude really ticked us off</p>

<p>You should contact your bank especially since you have the receipt that showed he refunded the money. I would start there first. Let us know what the bank says, and we could go from there.</p>

<p>Contact the bank that the debit card is with. They should be able to assist although they might refer you to Visa/MC or whoever the card is handled by. Make sure you're able to send them a copy of the receipt showing the date, time, and value of the transaction. </p>

<p>I think you should pursue the above before heading down the legal action path or store complaint path.</p>

<p>edit - crossed with oldfort but we both had the same thought.</p>

<p>We had an "irregularity" with our debit card a couple of years ago. We contacted our
bank and they took care of it very competently. That's definitely where to start.</p>

<p>Start with the bank and the receipt, as mentioned above. </p>

<p>I am staying in a hotel tonight, and happened to notice that there is a sign above the desk stating that they put an authorization in for the entire cost of your stay on a debit card, then put the actual transaction in at the end of your stay for the "real" amount (say, you checked out early, or hit the mini bar hard :)). The sign said that the bank may not return/release the "authorized" funds for 3-30 days, and the hotel has no control over this.</p>

<p>I am not sure about the difference in authorizations at gas stations, but it could work the same way... so it could be that the bank is at fault.</p>

<p>You should also be able to dispute the transaction with the bank if it is still at $100 and the bank says they never got the credit. But there is probably a time limit you have to do this within, so I would get to the bank ASAP. Take your dad if it is his account, they probably won't deal with you if your name is not on the account.</p>

<p>I think it's great that you are helping your parents with this issue...it's you DAD (or mom if her name is on the account) who should contact the bank. Perhaps you can drive them to the bank this morning...receipt in hand.</p>

<p>Free advice...next time you use a debit, do it at the pump...transaction happens at the end.</p>

<p>My car mechanic told me that something similar happened to him. He bought $50 in gas with his debit card. He checks all balances immediately. Sure enough, it showed that the purchase was for $65. He kept his receipt. He immediately contacted the bank. The bank's representative told him that this is impossible. It is not impossible because it apparently happened. He faxed his receipt to the bank and the $15 was credited back. He went to the owner of the station to discuss it further, but not to his satisfaction. My mechanic had no problem telling me which station allegedly pulled this stunt.</p>

<p>Consistent with the other advice here, emphasizing three points:</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Your bank is where this will get handled.</p></li>
<li><p>"Holds" like this are often not resolved until the end of the month/billing cycle (which may be the merchant's cycle, not yours). I don't know why, and it clearly seems wrong, but this is what I have heard/observed.</p></li>
<li><p>The debit card networks are run by Mastercard and Visa, and they have extensive rules (with which the banks must comply) to ensure the reliability of their cards to consumers.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Hey everyone, thank you for the advices!</p>

<p>So to recap:</p>

<p>Honestly, it's been almost a month since this incident happened so I'm not sure if the time limit has expired.</p>

<p>He actually did go to the bank awhile back and they said they only got the $100 charge and never received the refund credit, but I can have him go and check again.</p>

<p>This was actually his first time using a debit for pumping gas, so he didn't know to use it at the pump. He has learned his lesson I'm sure.</p>

<p>The store manager casually suggested that maybe it takes a month to have the refund credited back to the account, so JHS you may just be right.</p>

<p>I will have my dad go to the bank on Tuesday again and see what happens. </p>

<p>Again, thank you all for the sage advices.</p>

<p>Lesson for everyone - never use a debit card for gas, hotel rooms, or car rental.</p>

<p>If this doesn't get resolved soon, insist that the bank investigate it. Make sure your dad keeps that receipt.</p>

<p>Hey Meatballs, where did you end up deciding to transfer to?</p>