4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 10, 2010 2:37 PM by GeoffreyF

    "Authorization Holds" when purchasing ebooks

      The short story:


      Not only am I having $1.00 "authorization holds" showing up on my debit card every time I make a purchase, I'm now having an additional authorization hold, in the same amount as the purchase itself, showing up.


      Buy a book for $9.59?  There's one "hold" of $1.00 and another "hold" of $9.59 and a "charge" of 9.59.  The smaller $1.00 hold is evidently a "known issue" at B&N which is being worked on, but, according to the last CSR I spoke with, the $9.59 "hold" is dictated by the publisher. (Note that I've had it show up on one purchase of a book by a specific publisher, but not show up on another purchase of a book by the same publisher.)


      This is not like the hold placed on your card when you buy a Nook which has to be back ordered, (that hold is used when the Nook eventually ships).  These holds are placed against my card simultaneously with the purchase price also being debited to my account.  In essence, I have to pay twice the price of every purchase (plus an additional $1), and then wait for a "rebate" of half the cost (plus the additional $1) in 3-5 business days.


      Am I the only one this is happening to?  Am I the only one who finds it unacceptible?Am I the only one who can't find this information disclosed anywhere on the B&N website?


      The (much) longer version of this issue and my frustration with it can be found on my blog.





        • 1. Re: "Authorization Holds" when purchasing ebooks

          I've seen this happen on occasion with many vendors. I'm not sure of the exact cause but here is what happens.


          1. You place an order using your debit card and the hold is placed on your account.
          2. If no charge comes through matching that hold then your bank drops it after a set number of days.
          3. When the charge from the vendor comes through it is supposed to match up to that previous hold, essentially turning the hold into a charge.
          4. If for some reason the charge does not get matched to the hold then both show up separately on your account until the hold automatically gets dropped off by your bank.

          I'm not sure whose fault it is that the charge does not get matched up with the corresponding hold. I suspect there is some reference number that gets passed with the charge to match it to the hold, and this is getting lost.


          • 2. Re: "Authorization Holds" when purchasing ebooks

            The hold should be cleared as soon as the charge is approved.


            But I have to say, grandstanding on a blog and posting in a user-to-user forum is pointless.


            If you believe you have an issue, file a formal complaint with Visa/Mastercard.  


            • 3. Re: "Authorization Holds" when purchasing ebooks

              Hope you get it sorted out. I have a debit card and I get no authorization charges like yours

              • 4. Re: "Authorization Holds" when purchasing ebooks

                The issue is with the credit card company.    Not all credit card companies are alike.  You might want to discuss this with them or get a new credit card.


                It has nothing to do with the retailer.   You will find similar issues with other electronic purchases with that card.