Usually I have no complaints with Amazon, in fact I am an Amazon Prime customer and I buy pretty much everything there since I am an impulse buyer and love the fact that I get it next day!!
I bought a book for my Mum the other day that cost £3.47 - free one day delivery with amazon prime. I was sorting through some direct debits on my online banking today and I saw a POS for £4.72 from Amazon with CHARGE £1.25 next to it. Couldn't remember paying carriage for anything so I looked at the invoice they sent me and sure enough it was for £3.47. So I phoned them up and they were all blah about it 'Oh yes, there have been a few customers that have been charged this £1.25 from their banks but it is not our issue you need to speak to your bank'. A bit odd but I phoned the bank anyway who said there was no way they would charge people to use Amazon - nothing to do with them! So I phoned Amazon back, this time she went into a bit more detail - apparently 4 banks have been charging their customers a 'ghost charge' on transaction between 14th and 21st of Jan which, if you ask for a hard copy of your statement, won't show up. I explained to her that I was looking at my balance and I could assure her that I was charged £4.72!! No, no if I got a statement from the bank it would be fine.
She eventually agreed to email me something to that effect. In the meantime I phoned back the bank to ask about the 'ghost charge' and he confirmed exactly what I thought!! Do they think I'm daft?! So RBS, Halifax, Alliance Leicester and some other bank all happen to have this same fault or have decided to start charging people the exact same amount to use Amazon?!
The email they sent me explains goes into more detail but still doesn't explain it and also I didn't use a new card!! I selected it from the list of ones I already used!! I don't even have a new card!!
"Thank you for writing to Amazon.co.uk.
The £1.25 will not appear as a charge on the hard copy your credit card statement.
This request is only made when you use a new payment card on your account. We do not actually proceed with the charge. This is simply one of the security measures that we use to protect our customers. This practise is widely used across the e-retail industry. Please note that at no time is an attempt made to actually take the sum of £1.25 from your account. This will not appear as a charge on your credit card statement.
When Amazon sends an authorisation request to your credit card company they verify that the card is valid, and that the amount of your transaction is available. If the card is valid, and the funds are available, the authorisation hold is placed.
Your credit card company may show the temporary authorisation hold on the funds after your transaction is completed. It can take several working days for them to process the void on this authorisation. The time will vary from one company to the next.
I am sorry that this has to be of concern to you, and I would like to assure you that there is no intention of withdrawing any money other than at the time of dispatch."
The transaction was from 22nd of Jan - I've had cheques go through quicker so don't think the money will be getting refunded now!! Anyway, I've asked for a copy of statement and I will send it on to their customer service like she told me. They probably think people won't bother for £1.25 but I don't appreciate being lied to! Plus - that £1.25 put me 44p into my overdraft!!!! I will have to pay interest on that - again minimal amount, but it's the principle!!