Travel card’s offline restriction not sufficiently clear

Travel cards,
Rosita’s travel card was declined by some merchants while overseas. Rosita complained to the bank who provided the card. She said the fault with the card had caused her stress and inconvenience. She also said the bank’s website had misleading information because it said all merchants would accept the card. The credit card company offered a goodwill payment of $250, but Rosita rejected the offer, saying she wanted compensation of $2,000 from the bank.
January 2020

The bank reviewed Rosita’s transaction history and considered the card to be functioning as expected. It said some transactions had indeed been declined, but this was because the merchants had been operating offline (that is, the merchant was not connected to the live electronic payment system). The travel card did not allow transactions if the merchant was offline, and the card’s terms and conditions explained this.

Our investigation

As Rosita had already been offered a goodwill payment from the credit card provider, the bank did not offer compensation. However, it said it would add more information to its website to make it clearer that the travel card would not work if the merchant was offline.

We accepted that Rosita had been inconvenienced by the declined transactions, but as she had another card she could use while overseas, the inconvenience was minor. We considered the offer of $250 and the publishing of information on the website to be a reasonable response to the complaint.


We discussed our findings with Rosita and she accepted the offer. 

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