This screenshot shows two posts on Facebook, with the users’ names digitally blurred. The users and others complained about deductions made by PriceSmart on their credit card accounts without their knowledge or permission. –
PRICESMART says it will reimburse customers whose credit cards were charged without their knowledge last Friday.
Over the weekend, scores of customers noticed unauthorised transactions on their credit card accounts, dated October 13, that emanated from PriceSmart. The charges were later reversed but customers complained of being refunded less than what was deducted.
Customers told Newsday their banks are blaming PriceSmart, while PriceSmart is blaming the banks.
In a statement on its website on Monday, the company also promised to work with commercial banks to clarify issues on their payment processing platforms.
The company also emailed its customers on Monday, saying it was informed about some transactions that affected its credit card accounts.
“This was due to a technical issue in processing, which has affected multiple banks and merchants outside PriceSmart’s control in Trinidad and Tobago.”
PriceSmart said, “We understand that in an effort to correct the transactions, cardholders’ accounts may have a different amount than was initially charged due to foreign exchange rate fluctuation.”
The company said the banks are working to rectify the transactions, and it “continues to collaborate with the banks to ensure our member’s concerns are addressed.”
PriceSmart promised to ensure that “any member who has a discrepancy on their account resulting in an overcharge will be reimbursed for the difference in charges.”
The company advised its members to visit its website, www.PriceSmart.com, for updates.
In a separate statement, the Bankers’ Association says no cybercrime activity took place in incidents in which PriceSmart customers were charged for purchases they did not make on October 13, then reimbursed less than the original amount.
The association said it is aware of the reports from customers about a recent reversal of transactions on their credit card accounts at select merchants.
BATT said, “This is not any type of fraudulent or cyber-crime activity against customers and their banking information remains secure.”
The association added, “This reversal arose as a result of a processing issue which would have unfortunately impacted many of the banks.”
It said its member banks were “urgently working to have the matter resolved and legitimate queries are being investigated.
“Each member bank will address the matter with their impacted customers to have it remediated in the shortest possible time frame.”
First Citizens Bank (FCB) also said it was aware of this matter.
In a statement issued by its credit card centre, FCB said, “Please note this matter is not as a result of fraud or any issues with First Citizens systems or processes.”
FCB added, “We continue to liaise with the respective processing bank on remediation of this matter and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
On Monday, Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the ministry’s Consumer Affairs Division would look into the matter to ensure customers are not “disadvantaged.”
In a Facebook post, Minister in the Agriculture Ministry Avinash Singh said he was one of the victims.