IF you’ve had a supermarket order cancelled after your bank suspected fraud and blocked the payment, you may be able to claim compensation.
It will come in handy to the thousands of vulnerable shoppers who’ve been left without their essentials.
Elderly and vulnerable have been forced to self-isolate due to the coronavirus crisis, meaning many are having to buy their groceries online, perhaps for the first time.
But flaws with security checks have led some banks to mistakenly flag the transactions as suspected fraud.
By blocking a payment, the order is then usually cancelled automatically as payments are typically taken on the day of the delivery, leaving customers without their items.
After The Sun reported about the issue, reader Kimberley Youll, 32, got in touch to say she got £50 in compensation from her bank – Co-operative Bank – for losing her Asda order worth £250.
What are supermarkets doing to help vulnerable people?
If you are a vulnerable person, you will be able to book a priority slot and select an eight hour window for delivery.
Customers who do not currently have a Tesco account and have a letter from the NHS can either create an account online or call the supermarket on 0800 917 7359.
Once you are told you qualify for priority delivery, you can call the Sainsbury’s customer care line on 0800 636262, although the supermarket has warned it is very busy and you might need to try a couple of times.
When you get through to a member of staff, they will help you arrange a delivery slot.
Vulnerable Asda customers will receive a link to take them to the Asda site, where they will be able to access a recurring delivery slot.
They will also be able to access slots a week further in advance of everyone else if they don’t want a recurring slot.
These customers will also benefit from free delivery and no minimum spend when they place their order.
Morrisons is working to make more delivery slots available, and is adding a fast track to its queue system so that vulnerable customers can be prioritised.
Customers who are classed vulnerable by the government will already have received communications from the supermarket, it said.
Due to a medical condition, which means she’s unable to work, she’s classified as vulnerable and shouldn’t leave her house due to the pandemic.
But Kimberley, who lives in Durham, said Co-operative Bank mistakenly blocked her card due to a few recent eBay transactions, which meant she lost the Asda order.
Because of this her family, including partner Steve, 28 and their two-year-old daughter Ella-Rose were left without nappies, wipes and food items.
When Kimberley realised what had happened, she couldn’t get another delivery slot with any other supermarket.
She told The Sun: “This caused me extreme stress I was awake from 4am on the day my order was cancelled wondering what on earth we were going to do.
“My partner’s brother had to take him to the supermarket where he was only given a small trolley so could not get half of what was on the Asda order.
“We also had to pay his brother £20 for fuel as he lives quite far away from us.”
Below we explain how to get compensation from your bank if this happens to you.
How to get compensation from your bank
Although you’re not guaranteed to get compensation from your bank, it could be worth a try.
Martyn James, of online complaints tool Resolver, told The Sun: “There is no automatic ‘right’ to compensation.
“But if a transaction didn’t go through because it was the bank’s fault, you can ask for compensation for the inconvenience and any costs you might have incurred due to the problem.
“This matters because if a bank is doing a security check but doesn’t let you know, that means you can’t deal with the situation.
“And this is a big deal because losing a delivery slot can have a huge impact on people – particularly if you are shielding or are relying on the delivery.”
So if you’ve had a supermarket order cancelled, make sure you contact your bank and explain your situation.
If you’ve also had extra costs, it’s worth collecting the evidence so you can show the bank.
A spokesperson for Co-operative Bank, which compensated Kimberley, told The Sun: “Any compensation that is offered to customers is based on the circumstances and awarded on a case by case basis.
“We’re sorry to hear that a customer had a genuine order cancelled.
“Protecting customers from fraud is of paramount importance and we’re working to ensure that we’re preventing customers losing money through fraud whilst also enabling them to shop as they need to at this challenging time.”
The Sun has also asked the major banks such as Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, which includes Bank of Scotland, Halifax and Lloyds Bank, as well as Nationwide, NatWest, Santander and RBS, for their policies.
Nationwide said it’ll consider compensating customers for cancelled supermarket orders but added that each situation would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
While a spokesperson for RBS and NatWest said: “We are constantly reviewing our fraud prevention strategies in response to the current Covid-19 crisis.
“Should any of our customers have their food delivery cancelled as a result of a block on their card, we will look at compensation on a case-by-case basis.”
Santander said only 0.02 per cent of declined transactions were due to concerns over fraud.
It added: “In those rare instances where we do suspect fraud, we will look to decline the payment in order to protect our customer.
“Should a customer be dissatisfied by this, we will always review their complaint on a case-by-case basis.”
While HSBC said: “We are actively and continually adapting our fraud controls to balance how we can help keep customers safe while also making the payments journey as smooth as possible.
“If an error has occurred and there are unintended consequences, we would of course look at the individual circumstances of the case and seek to resolve it with the customer.”
We haven’t heard back yet from the other banks so we’ll update this article once we do.
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Tesco has pledged to give 75,000 vulnerable shoppers priority access to online booking slots during the coronavirus crisis.
But a few days ago, vulnerable customers complained they still can’t book supermarket delivery slots.