FNB customer charged for declined payments during bank outage

A MyBroadband reader has reported that they were charged for each transaction that was declined during FNB’s recent outage.

On 15 November, many FNB customers began complaining that their credit cards had been blocked without their knowledge.

CEO of FNB Card Chris Labuschagne told MyBroadband the bank was aware of the issue and was working on a fix.

“Our technical teams are working hard to urgently resolve the issue,” Labuschagne stated.

“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused,” he added.

The issue was reported as resolved on Monday morning.

“The bank sincerely apologises to impacted customers for the inconvenience caused,” Labuschagne said.

Billed for declined transactions

On Friday 20 November, however, a reader told MyBroadband that their card was declined several times during the outage, and they had been charged a “declined authorisation fee” for each time this happened.

This is a charge that happens when a customer does not have enough money in their account to cover the payment they are attempting to make.

While this is usually understandable, in the context of the outage, the failed payment was clearly not the customer’s fault, and they should therefore not have been charged.

The customer noted that they had reported the issue to FNB’s reversal department, and it was set to be reversed in the next few days.

However, the reader was worried that many more South Africans were also being charged without their knowledge.

FNB responds

MyBroadband asked FNB about the issue, and it investigated the situation. This investigation determined that its customer base was not affected in this way.

“Our initial investigation indicates that customers who were impacted by the incident on Sunday 15 November 2020 did not incur a ‘card declined’ fee due to the issue,” said FNB Card head of product Sarah McLoughlin.

“However, we are investigating this isolated case to determine the reason behind the fee incurred by our customer.”

McLoughlin said that it has systems in place to deal with this sort of situation.

Generally, in cases where a customer is incorrectly charged a fee, the incorrect fee is automatically reversed with any associated interest,” said McLoughlin.

“We have contacted our customer to assure him that we will provide feedback once our investigation has been concluded.”

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FNB customer charged for declined payments during bank outage