Thousands of vulnerable customers are reported to have had their supermarket deliveries canceled after their banks suspected fraud and blocked payments.
This comes as a new blow to the elderly and vulnerable Britons who have been forced to isolate themselves because of the coronavirus.
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As a result, many have to buy their groceries online, perhaps for the first time.
This means that loopholes in security controls have led some banks to mistakenly report transactions as suspected of fraud, reports the Daily Mail.
By blocking a payment, the order is then usually canceled automatically, leaving customers without their items.
And while it may still be a problem, the problem has grown as more and more buyers have no choice but to shop online due to the pandemic.
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The Sun recently saw buyers speaking on Twitter about the problem.
A frustrated Nationwide customer said at the end of March: “I waited two weeks before collecting food for my family and my wife on the at-risk list.
“Your auto fraud system rejected the transaction even though I had enough funds.
“The supermarket canceled its order. No food now, unless I put myself in danger. “
Another wrote to Morrisons around the same time: @Morrisons, I’m furious.
“As one of the 1.5 million vulnerable people in the UK, you left me nothing yesterday.
“You canceled my order at 12h18 because the bank carried out a fraud check.
“Household of eight vulnerable people with no family NO FOOD AT ALL two babies under 2 years old too. “
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Laura Suter, a personal finance analyst on the AJ Bell investment platform, said the deals could be flagged as unusual and canceled, as this could be the first time many older people have bought online.
She added, “While banks must be vigilant, they must also communicate with customers to make sure they are not blocked from their sole source of food and essentials.
“With so many people contacting their banks for help and support, the phone lines are long to wait, which means people can face frustrating and waiting expectations to resolve this issue. “
“Banks should have vulnerable people posted on their system and make sure they can get in touch faster. “
Meanwhile, Martyn James of the Resolver complaint handler website said, “We know these are unusual times, but what’s going on is unacceptable.
“If banks have to verify payments, they have to verify with the customer when the transaction is done – not on the day of delivery. “
He added to The Sun: “If banks can’t turn off their automatic fraud checks, they need to make sure they have the resources to help people when their payments are frozen. “
A Morrisons spokesperson said, “We advise all customers who do not typically shop online to contact their card provider before placing their order to notify them to reduce the risk of cancellation. “
Nationwide said it is constantly investigating threats of fraud.
What are supermarkets doing to help vulnerable people?
If you are a vulnerable person, you can reserve a priority slot and select an eight-hour window for delivery from April 6.
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 that you are eligible for priority delivery, you can call the Sainsbury customer service line at 0800 636262, although the supermarket has warned it is very busy and you may need to try several times.
When you communicate with a member of staff, they will help you organize a delivery window.
Asda’s vulnerable customers will receive a link to take them to the Asda site, where they can access a recurring delivery slot.
They will also be able to access slots one week earlier than the others if they do not want recurring slots.
These customers will also benefit from free delivery and no minimum expenses when ordering.
Morrisons is working to make more delivery slots available and adding a fast track to its queue system so that vulnerable customers can be prioritized.
Customers classified as vulnerable by the government will have already received communications from the supermarket, he said.
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Tesco is committed to giving 75,000 vulnerable buyers priority access to online booking slots during the coronavirus crisis.
But a few days ago, vulnerable customers complained that they could not reserve supermarket delivery slots.