back to article MasterCard customers hit by system failure

Anyone wishing to do a spot of early Christmas shopping last weekend may have had trouble making a transaction with their credit card due to a technical cock-up at MasterCard. A Reg reader contacted us on Saturday to say that the cash pumping giant had been hit by what appeared to be a sizeable technical problem affecting …


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  1. Dave

    Wrong Card

    A shame my wife didn't one of the affected cards, would have saved me a fortune...

  2. M

    Cock-up at Mastercard....


  3. Chris

    Happened to me...

    Yep, happened to me on the afternoon of the 29th - both my debit and mastercard cards got a 'please do not accept authorisation from this card' message. annoying.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6% ? sounds conservative to me

    Happened to me twice on Saturday in two different shops in two different towns so 6% sounds a tad conservative !!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Anonymous Vulture

    "six per cent of customers" not 6% of Stores, there fore which ever store you went in it wouldn't work :)

    all i can say is, glad i wasn't at work on Saturday as the phone was ringing all the time, "non of the cards at working at store!" with 1000's of stores phoning up to log the problem :)

  6. Test Man

    Must have happened for longer...

    ... because was checking my HSBC statement online yesterday and payment for a train ticket at Gatwick Airport on one of their ticket machines was only debited yesterday... even though I bought a ticket on the 9th September.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me too

    Both my MasterCard and Maestra debit-card were declined on Saturday too. Just after my new credit-card failed to turn up and it was cancelled, making me suspicious of a banking cock-up. Makes me wonder whether I should get a VISA card with another bank.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I do keep forgetting mastercard exists.

    This would seem to be a good thing.

  9. Alex

    abbey national

    are constantly broked or on a "systems are very slow today"....

    I'm going to change banks, they are utterly hopeless!

  10. Adrian Jones

    My experience of (NatWest) Mastercad

    The bastards decided to "upgrade" my card. To one with the same credit limit, interest rate and no extra facilities, except it had the word "platinum" on the card and, of course, a new number. Naturally this screwed up lots of subscriptions and stored card details for companies I deal with, giving me nearly a years worth of emails and letters telling me my old card had been declined.

    And did they ask me if I wanted all this hassle for the word "platinum" on my card? Well, they *claim* they sent me a letter, asking me if I wanted to change. Since I didn't receive the letter, and therefore couldn't tell them not to change it, that apparently gave them permission.

    They had, of course cancelled the old card before they sent out the unsolicited one, so they insisted that it couldn't be re-enabled.

    So, please excuse me while I have a quiet chuckle at their latest cock-up. Safe in the knowledge that I'll never use another Mastercard (or NatWest) again.

  11. Ed

    Saw it happen...

    to a guy in front of me in the queue with a Maestro card on Saturday afternoon...

  12. RW

    Spin Suspicion

    "MasterCard can confirm that due to technical problems associated with issuing bank submitted data, some minor delays occurred in the settlement of Maestro debit card transactions in the UK on 25/26 September 2007."

    What on earth does *that* mean?

    I wonder if the dimwitted spinner who crafted that bit of vague prose realizes that everyone is wise to spin now. When they avoid specifics, wave their hands, and use too many words to say too little, the public reaction is "they're lying and/or hiding something seriously itllegal, unethical, immoral, or plain ol' stupid and/or irresponsible."

    Moral: if you mess things up, say so and be at least a little specific about it. So you admit you made a mistake. So you get sued and your statement is introduced in evidence. So what? It's a lot cheaper to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth up front and take the consequences than pay legal fees trying to stave off the inevitable.

    This particular bit of would-be spin suggests to me a major cock up in a software upgrade, thanks to senior management having decided (say) to outsource programming to Madagascar in the interests of cost savings. But since it's impossible for a company to admit its senior managers have made a mistake, we get vagueness and handwaving instead of solid information.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not my bank then...

    And there was me blaming RBS for failing to pay for my shopping on Sat afternoon, and then two separate attempts to take money out of a hole-in-the-wall on Sat night. Successfully got money on Sun morning though.

  14. Feargal Reilly

    The fourteenth rule of Reg Club

    There'll be no bloody mention of Christmas or Christmas shopping until Hallowe'en is bloody well over, and the fires gone out.

  15. Daniel Ballado-Torres

    There are some things money can't buy...

    Romantic dinner: $60

    Expensive Champagne: $100

    Having to leg it because your MasterCard was declined and you're out of cash: PRICELESS

    There are some things money can't buy

    Everything else ... remember to carry cash!

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Mark Scott

    Re: Must have happened for longer...

    @ Test Man:

    "even though I bought a ticket on the 9th September."

    That's probably just Gatwick Airport ticket machines. I once had a car park ticket debited by NCP from my account 5 months after I parked and paid at a machine. My bank said they have 180 days from time of taking payment details to actually submit the debit charge to the bank.

  18. Anthony Bathgate

    Happened Stateside, too

    Us 'merrickans didn't get away, either. My CapitalOne MasterCard was declined continuously throughout the week as well.

    Unless that was CapitalOne's cockup, not MC's. Either way, it's not outside the realm of possibilities. After all, CapitalOne's website has *HOURS OF OPERATION*

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Happened to me too on Saturday

    When my Tesco's shopping due between 4pm and 6pm hadn't arrived by 6:30pm, I checked phone messages

    Got a message around 3pm on Saturday saying thay my card had been declined and another an hour later saying they couldn't deliver my shopping unless I rang to provide details for another card. Didn't think there would be a problems as it's the same Natwest Maestro card I use every week and money in the account.

    Rang Tesco's and they tried the card again - this was 3 hours plus after the first attempt. Failed authorisation, so I rang NatWest

    NatWest confirmed there was a problem, so I rang Tesco's to arrange for redelivery on Sunday. Tesco's call centre weren't aware of any problems. No other cards and cash machines empty of money and no food in the house. I was not happy.

    I later found a message on the Streamline website about the problem

    Agree that 6% as quoted seems a little low, as speaking to someone who works for Wickes, he confirmed a lot of customers had problems on Saturday

  20. Glenn Burgess

    6% does seem a little low

    My whole family was in Ireland for the weekend, and none of us could get money our from any of the cash machines at East Midlands or Belfast International airports, or the cash machine at the hotel.

    Good thing some of us already had cash, or we'd have been stuffed.

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