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Old 10-23-2009, 05:18 PM   #1
skoobwoman
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Preorder Nook and watch $282 disappear for 5 days

B & N put a five day hold on the amount of the Nook after I preordered it. When I called yesterday, I was told "it was the bank." When I called the bank today, they said that was nonsense and that B & N had put a five day hold on the money. I called B & N again--she said that the only thing I could do was cancel my order but the money still wouldn't go back into my account until the same time had passed. So do not preorder unless you can spare $282 for five days...

By the way, I preordered Kindles more than once and was never charged until it shipped.
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Old 10-23-2009, 05:26 PM   #2
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This may be a "check local laws for business requirements" situation--there are some states where you can't be billed more than a few days before the product ships, and it's very likely not allowed to "hold" your money so far in advance of a purchase.

It's *certainly* not allowed for BN to tell you the bank put a hold on the money when they did; someone is lying to you--to find out whom, call back, brace for a looong conversation with many bumps to other departments, and take names at every step of the way. (Ask for name & department ID or superior's name.) Tell them you've gotten conflicting stories, and you're trying to confirm which one is correct.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
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As was stated in other threads, this is because you used a debit card. B&N (and all companies that accept credit/debit cards) have to ask the bank for the money to make sure all of the information you gave them is right. Then, they release the hold. In the case of a credit card, you don't see it (I haven't), it's just an invisible decrease on your total available credit, but not an actual purchase. However, since your debit card is not linked to a credit account, the bank has no choice but to freeze up some of your available cash. It's like you wrote them a check - they have to cash it to make sure it's good before they hand over the merchandise.

In the future, use a credit card to avoid this. If you can't get a credit card, then this is the type of stuff you'll have to suck up until you can. Sorry.
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Old 10-24-2009, 01:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobwoman View Post
By the way, I preordered Kindles more than once and was never charged until it shipped.
Yes, Amazon is very good with pre-orders or back orders. They don't charge you until they ship. As a matter of fact I pre-ordered Windows 7 at Amazon a few months ago, and they charged and shipped on release day (Oct 22). I only know because I got an email that the charge didn't go though. I had ordered this before my stolen credit card number was canceled.

I'm not sure if this is a law in the US or part of the Credit Card merchant agreement, but most stores do not actually charge you before shipment.

Not sure how the auth hold works on a debit card, but on a credit card it's not worry.

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Old 10-24-2009, 02:08 AM   #5
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People have ended up with no money in their checking account because they stopped at multiple gas stations (cross country trip, for instance) in the same day, and each gas station put a one-day $100, or $150 hold on their funds as a matter of course, even tho' they were only purchasing $50 or less of gas.
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Old 10-24-2009, 07:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob
Not sure how the auth hold works on a debit card, but on a credit card it's not worry.
It works exactly the same way. In both cases it temporarily holds the funds that back the card.
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skoobwoman View Post
B & N put a five day hold on the amount of the Nook after I preordered it. When I called yesterday, I was told "it was the bank." When I called the bank today, they said that was nonsense and that B & N had put a five day hold on the money. I called B & N again--she said that the only thing I could do was cancel my order but the money still wouldn't go back into my account until the same time had passed. So do not preorder unless you can spare $282 for five days...

By the way, I preordered Kindles more than once and was never charged until it shipped.
Well I would hope you would have the money up front to pay for your purchases. Your just telling the whole world that your broke.

Last edited by gigercounter; 10-25-2009 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:01 AM   #8
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These holds would make a heck of lot more sense if B&N was prepping to ship Nooks out in the next couple of days, not shipping until the end of November. Gas stations only place holds on accounts when you pay with a debit or credit card at the pump, before you have pumped any gas. Basically they are making sure that you do actually have funds to pay for the gas, and in the case of a debit card specifically whether you have said funds in your checking account. They place a hold typically between $50 and $100 because they don't know how much gas you plan to purchase and they are covering themselves. Plus that hold on the checking account usually doesn't take into account balances you may have in any other accounts(savings, money market, etc.) For all we know the op may not be anywhere near broke and is just smart enough to put his money where he is accruing the most interest.

Anyway, if they were shipping the Nook today, fine charge the account. But there is no reason to put a charge on account for an item that is a month away from shipping. I have pre-ordered a couple of Kindle books and I wasn't charged until after said books were released.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:13 AM   #9
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This certainly happens all over the place with debit cards. Gas stations (as mentioned) checking into hotels or resorts that allow you to charge things to your room, rental cars, and online purchases.

Part of what it is with online business' is how they report revenue and sales post SOX laws. If they recognize the sales the day the preorder is made, they have to preauth the entire ammount (which with a debit card puts a hold on the funds). Some vendors will only pre-auth a dollar to be sure the card number and the address are valid. I've used the same bank for checking for 15 years, and due to my average balance and my history, I've called and had the bank release back holds when I'm balancing my checking online to get it to match up in quicken. The bank certainly can release the hold if they want to, but they may be liable to the biller when they do because they've already authorized it, and want to ensure they're not out their money.

Being familiar with online commerce and credit card gateways, this is certainly common to Debit cards, and not B&N being villains.

As I was building up my financial stability after college, i would never pay online with a debit card in case there was an error or issue because i'd be tying up real funds vs a credit line. Cash is king.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:41 AM   #10
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I only paid for my Mini (ordered at a Dutch store) a week after I got it...


I've never heard of putting a hold on your money... Generally, when you pay in advance (here), you just pay, no matter how long it takes before the product arrives. Some stores (like bol.com, love it!) offer you a way to pay after delivery.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Connallmac View Post
These holds would make a heck of lot more sense if B&N was prepping to ship Nooks out in the next couple of days, not shipping until the end of November.
B&N should not be expected to significantly alter their billing system for a single order. If you don't like having money put on hold and you have no reasonable option but to use a debit card, then wait until November 30th to order your device. Unfortunately, merchants place holds on your money regardless of when your order is expected to ship. As long as they don't actually charge you until the item ships, they're not doing anything wrong.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
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B&N should not be expected to significantly alter their billing system for a single order. If you don't like having money put on hold and you have no reasonable option but to use a debit card, then wait until November 30th to order your device. Unfortunately, merchants place holds on your money regardless of when your order is expected to ship. As long as they don't actually charge you until the item ships, they're not doing anything wrong.
I'm not saying that they should alter their billing system for a single order, but that they should change their billing system entirely! As I pointed out in my post, not all merchants do this, Amazon certainly hasn't. I should also point out that I do not have a Nook on pre-order, nor do I have any plans to do so. My interest here lies in the fact that I work at a credit union and I have seen many of the unsavory billing practices that companies big and small use on unsuspecting consumers.
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
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B&N should not be expected to significantly alter their billing system for a single order.
B&N should not be putting a hold on money they're not going to collect for over a month, for a product they're not going to supply for over a month.

Reasons--
If, by some weird stretch, someone should sue B&N for patent infringement on the Nook, and get them pulled from sale just before the end of November, while the trial goes on--B&N won't be able to ship on schedule.

This is not likely, but it's also not a huge stretch for possibilities. All sorts of legal issues tie up deliveries or prevent first-edition products from going out. Maybe someone discovers there's a flaw in the battery pack and they have to redesign the battery compartment to meet safety requirements. Whatever. Assume that B&N might not ship the Nook on schedule, and wouldn't be sure when it would be available to ship.

They are potentially liable for interest for all the money they held in escrow for a product they didn't provide. Along with the potential of fraud charges, depending on how they phrased their promises to provide the item.

This being a seriously unwanted side-effect of taking payments too early, most places don't process those payments until they're *certain* they're ready to ship. Many don't process the payment until the shipping label has been printed.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:33 PM   #14
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B&N should not be putting a hold on money they're not going to collect for over a month, for a product they're not going to supply for over a month.
The hold lasts for a maximum of 5 days. They do this for all orders, regardless of when they know they'll be shipping (rare and out of print books, for example). Should the product become unavailable or never ship, the money will never be subtracted from the account. This is a temporary check on funds to make sure they exist when you place the order. Changing the system to only do this for certain orders and not others is asking a lot of B&N.
If you think they owe interest for the 120 hours maximum your bank is holding the money, since your bank is the entity holding the funds, I suggest you take it up with your bank. They aren't accepting payment for any item before it ships, they are only checking the bank to ensure the funds are there before they accept the order. After a maximum of 5 days, frequently much sooner than that, the funds are available again.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:58 PM   #15
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B&N should not be putting a hold on money they're not going to collect for over a month, for a product they're not going to supply for over a month.
An authorization hold is simply a way to see if funds are available. Typically if funds are available now they will be avaliable at a later time (when they go to collect payment).

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They are potentially liable for interest for all the money they held in escrow for a product they didn't provide. Along with the potential of fraud charges, depending on how they phrased their promises to provide the item.
No they are not. It is your bank that determines the length funds for an authorization hold are unavailable to you. Or if they even make the funds unavailable to you. As kezza said this should not be more than 5 days. Ask your bank how long theirs last.

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This being a seriously unwanted side-effect of taking payments too early, most places don't process those payments until they're *certain* they're ready to ship. Many don't process the payment until the shipping label has been printed.
No this is a side-effect of B&N using the full amount of the Nook for the authorization hold. Normally $1 is used to see if the card is usable. Though I can see how they would want to determine the chances of you paying beforehand since they no doubt plan to have more people ordering it than they have units. This way they can say auth hold failed we are canceling your pre-order.
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