Weird situation with card paymant


During the holidays we were in the UK, and once I paid for a few grocery items using my (Swiss) credit card.

When I was out of the grocery shop on my way back to where we stayed, I checked my phone and saw two notifications from the credit card app: One was for the payment of the grocery items, and the other one was saying that the payment was refused by the credit card, a few minutes later .

This was concerning since I had already left the grocery store with the purchased items in my hand! In the end, I went back to the store, let them know, and paid in cash when they confirmed they couldn't find the payment in this system.

Now, maybe a bit overthinking, I'm wondering what would have happened if I didn't have the credit card app installed on my phone, mobile internet working, or simply hadn't checked my phone. Would I be "on the hook" for not paying for items I had taken? By the way, the payment was successful in the shop and we received the receipt, that's why we left

In an online payment, your item will simply not get dispatched until the payment issue is solved, but what about here? Has anyone had such an experience?


Don't know the legal framework but would assume it's part of the risk of doing business. The business may try locate you and ask you to pay or if you notice something missing you may get in touch and explained what happened. Would be very surprised if this was "theft" as it's a payment system going wrong.

I don't have the app on my phone and only check online once in a while on my transactions, would be surprised if now everyone told me they check all their transactions instantly.

How did you pay for your items the first time around? If you used the self-checkout area, it's notorious for being temperamental in the UK, so it doesn't surprise me that the payment didn't clear.

If it was directly with a cashier, it's odd that they didn't notice that the payment hadn't gone through and generated a receipt from the till.

It was a self-checkout, but I'm pretty sure the payment "went through" and we went out the door after receiving the receipt. Otherwise, it would be less complicated: we simply should not have left before making sure the payment was "ticked".

The refusal message came a few minutes after the payment message.

Let's say you went away unaware of what happend.

The grocery store at some point will realize that the payment was reversed/declined. I believe the grocery store will send an enquiry to the credit card company asking why the payment was refused. They can furnish evidence that you bought the goods. Then the card company would need to sort it out with you and everything will be fine.

I had a similar situation. I was travelling in South America. One day I received a notification from my app that I paid something to a "children party organizer" or something. I immediately called the credit card company, and they reversed the payment. Then a few weeks later, the credit card company contacted me saying that the vendor raised a complain that the charge was valid. After getting more info, I found out that the lady who runs the children party company is also a taxi driver and she drove me that day and as I had pre-booked the taxi, the charge only came in a few hours after the ride and I did not realize that was what it was for. So it was all sorted out.

Obviously, the store's system has a problem. It should not generate a receipt till after receiving confirmation of the transaction going through.

I received a notification of payment from my credit card. That's probably why the store's system considered the transaction done and issued the receipt. The refusal was done (probably with suspicion of fraud) minutes after the initial approval. The store's device could not have waited that many minutes, I guess :/

In CH theft requires the intent to take possession unlawfully, that's clearly not the case. The legal situation in the UK may be different.

Pretty much the same.

That is odd that they approved a payment and then declined or refused it. How could the cc company NOT know what kind of problems that would cause? Most people leave a store just after paying.

We've learned the hard way that whenever we travel outside of CH or Europe, we need to try to remember to call our cc company before we leave to give them a head's up so our cards hopefully won't be declined due to "suspicious activity in a foreign country." There had been a few times when I was visiting family in the US where I went to pay for something and my card was declined due to me being abroad. So embarrassing.

In which case your credit card company is at fault. You should take this up with them.

Futhermore, you cannot at all be held responsible.