Several of my merchant customers have asked me what to do in a scenario similar to the following:
A customer who used his debit card in a restaurant the night before checks his account balance online the next day. The amount being debited from his account is more than what he authorized when he signed the receipt.
The customer had left a 15% tip, but the total deducted from his account includes a 20% tip. He believes he is being overcharged and calls the restaurant to complain.
What should I tell my merchants?
The article "When restaurants exceed the tipping point" (The Green Sheet, June 26, 2006, issue 06:06:02) addresses this exact topic. You will find it at http://local.greensheet.com/gs_archive.php?issue_number=060602&story=3
A card authorization that includes an estimated tip is against Visa U.S.A.'s rules and regulations.
You can help your merchants by making sure their POS systems and terminals are not programmed to include an estimated tip in the authorization request. That programming increases the authorization amount of the bill and makes many customers very unhappy.
More information is available on Visa's Web site:
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