French petrol holding charge

Hi all,

17 days ago I was in France and decided to make the most of the cheaper diesel, so I went to a Carrefour supermarket petrol station. Everything was closed (it was Sunday) but it had pay at pump.

I put my Monzo card in, entered my pin, and it said “transaction declined”. So I put my wife’s card in (we have a joint account) entered her pin, and “transaction declined”. Mistake #1 - I didn’t get the receipt for either of these. Then I used my Lloyds card (a Visa debit) and it worked, and I went on my way.

Then we realised that, as a “holding deposit”, Carrefour had taken out everything from our account as 2 separate pending transactions (presumably 1 for each card we tried) - £110 in total. My first thought was, “maybe I didn’t put the nozzle back right and someone filled up with petrol after us” but then I remembered that I filled up after using the Monzo.

It’s now been 17 days since this happened. I’ve tried contacting Carrefour, but there’s no email address on their website, everything’s in French and there was no response to the message I sent through the website. I’ve tried contacting Monzo but they won’t clear it without evidence that it was declined.

From looking online these things should clear in 7 days, but I don’t really know what to do next - should I keep waiting?

Maybe it was declined because we didn’t have enough in our account to cover a really high deposit (I’ve since read that this is quite steep on the continent - €150), but don’t make the same mistakes as we did - use a credit card / get a decline receipt / pay in person

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Things haven’t improved much since 2018, then:

Sorry to hear that you’ve had so much money ringfenced. Hopefully it gets released in a timely fashion.

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I hadn’t seen that thread, thanks! Sadly not though!

It can take up to a month for a reversal to take place, I’ve got 28 days in my head. So hopefully you’ve not got long to wait for this to happen

If it’s not happened by this point you should be able to dispute it.

I have a credit card just for fuel purchases even at UK pumps, saves having to mess around waiting for money to come back to my main spending accounts.

This should come back to you latest 30 days after the transaction. This is down to the merchant, not Monzo.

Sometimes reversed sooner, if you could try and reach out to the company and get confirmation they aren’t going to collect the funds, we can sometimes reverse them sooner.

If you do get confirmation, head to the transaction on each, and then at the bottom tap something wrong and follow the disputes process :relaxed:

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How long did this take to resolve in the end? Did you just have to wait? Or did you manage to contact Carrefour? I had this same thing happen to me a week ago today. There was a fuel shortage so I tried 4 different fuel stations, taking a 150€ ‘deposit’ each time. So I’m waiting for a lot of money to show again! Can’t find contact details for Carrefour. Any tips? Thanks.

It was just as Carl said - exactly 30 days afterwards I automatically got the money back in my account (thanks Carl). Carrefour was useless - there wasn’t any way of contacting them directly.

That sounds like an absolute nightmare Lwren - did you get any kind of cancellation receipt? If I had that, I think I could have raised it with Monzo

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No receipt. Typically, the first machine (that I tried twice as I couldn’t work out what was going on) had run out of receipt paper. I don’t think I took receipts at the others either. You just assume it’ll resolve ten minutes later, don’t you, when the fuel pump resets for the next user. I’ve used my Monzo card so many times for fuel abroad - and it’s always been fine. Until Carrefour!
Thanks for your quick reply. 30 days - that’s so extreme, in our super fast, automated lives of 2022!

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Same thing happened to us last Friday! Only at Carrefour. No probs elsewhere

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I have found a French contact number. I’ll find it again and share it. I still can’t understand how they can justify 30 days when I thought 7 days was pretty extreme! It’s nerve wracking showing 600€ down and no contact yet.

Is why I always use credit cards for pre-authorisation transactions.

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Thank you that will be very useful.
Totally agree with you, it’s extreme in these days of online banking etc.
I’ve never had a problem either until Carrerfour so used my card in good faith. I won’t be using Carrefour for petrol again though.

Here is the link to Carrefour France contact numbers. If you click on ‘Appeler nos conseillers’ (with the phone icon) - near the bottom on the right, and select ‘Service Conso’ from the drop down list, you get this french landline number +33 9 69 39 70 00 (which is free within France).
You can also use messenger to click on their chatbot (see box bottom left) but only do during daytime hours, as it seems to then not work at all, if you start it out of hours. Very frustrating!
You. may also need to contact the individual merchant - which you can see if you click on the transaction in your Monzo account, as different locations and fuel stations in France, have different merchants.

I have never had this before with any other card other than Monzo - I do think this is something Monzo should be taking seriously too - 30 days with €600 down, is not ok, and they should be supporting us on this - especially when it is almost impossible to get hold of the merchant.

For Monzo 's information, I have not had any success yet in getting hold of Carrefour on the contact details above. If Monzo only help, after 14 days of no reply from the merchant - then how can we move forward, when we can’t get hold of the merchant.

I do have evidence of chatbot chat and attempts to contact them, but no reply.

Come on @Monzo - help us out here, this is really not ok.

Thank you.

You can also email these people - from the Carrefour contact page. They are directors, but of course the email will go to their customer service team, and their website does say to contact them.

Copied from Carrefour website below:

Carole Brion and Alexandre Chertok
Customer Service Directors

For all matters concerning your requests to Carrefour Customer Service, our managers are at your disposal at the following addresses:

carolebrion@carrefour.com
alexandrechertok@carrefour.com

It happens to other cards just the same as Monzo - that’s why you see people in this topic saying they use credit cards when they can in this situation, so it won’t affect their day-to-day spending. The only difference is Monzo makes the authorisations more visible.

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It’s a merchant issue rather than a bank issue tbh. If you don’t like the way Carrefour deal with payments, stop using Carrefour.

I’ve had this happen on my Barclaycard at carrefour, it’s just less noticeable because it’s got a nice big limit to cushion the blow.

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Thanks very much. I really appreciate your help :+1:t2: