Problems with credit cards in Europe

Old Sep 14th, 2006, 11:19 AM
  #1  
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Problems with credit cards in Europe

I just received a message in response to my query about problems with U.S. credit cards in France. The bank advised me to have a merchant call the number on the back of the card if there is a processing problem--good to know.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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<<<The bank advised me to have a merchant call the number on the back of the card if there is a processing problem-<<<
But will the merchant accept to :
A. Pay for an international call ?
B. Maybe have to wait a couple of hours before offices open in the USA (and will you wait with him/her) ?
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 11:25 AM
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I agree it's good to know, but the merchant may not want to go through that hassle.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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That's what they are always supposed to do when there are problems, whether in Europe or the US -- call the number. One of my cards has the tollfree international customer service numbers on the back of it; the other one doesn't but I called and found out what it was and have it in my address book.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 12:15 PM
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Those service numbers should be 24-hour customer service, also. At least all mine are.

But, I agree a merchant may not want to go to the trouble as you can be put on hold a long time. I had a guy call my MC once (within US) for a car rental because he wanted to make sure my card covered the insurance, and he got tired of waiting after a couple minutes, especially when the place was busy. I knew it did, but he was trying to be helpful by double-checking. I've had plenty of merchants call when the card didn't go through, either, and sometimes if they are blocking the card because of what they perceive as "unusual activity", you can talk to them and get them to let the charge through.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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The phone number is for a collect call--no charge for the merchant, and it's a 24-hour number.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 12:35 PM
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Much easier to refuse the card. Other customers are waiting in line behind you, please move aside, sir.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Ah, but then one says, "Alas! Then I cannot pay." Amazing the response the results.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 03:27 PM
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No, there are merchants who either won't care or they'll request you to pay in cash instead.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 03:34 PM
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Do you think they might care if we say we have no cash? We did that at one restaurant in Paris where it was clear that the manager just did not want to pay the credit-card percentage, and he finally "made" the machine work.
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Old Sep 14th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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This is why you should always have 2 or 3 cards - preferably of differnt types. We always travel with an AMEX each - plus at least one Visa and one MC.

(Have very infrequently had simliar problems in the US - it;s usually the computer connection of the establishment - but having another card solves it.)
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