I placed an online order with Eddie Bauer on 4 Sep using a debit card for the amount of $584. They put a hold on my account for the same amount until they shipped my order.
On 7 Sep they did a hard charge for the amount to my account and shipped the merchandise--but never lifted the hold until 14 Sep! That is, during that week they had already charged me but still kept the hold on my account for the additional $584 (total $1068 tied up from my account). They told me this was standard practice for on-line merchants (I do business all of the time on-line and I know this is not true). After two unsuccessful calls to their customer service center to get them to take the hold off, I asked to speak to the supervisor.
She told me that I had to call my bank to get the hold taken off. I spoke to my bank and they informed me that they cannot remove a hold from a merchant--it is a merchant transaction--I could only file a dispute if they converted that hold to a hard charge. I contacted EB again and told them what my bank had said and they again informed me they would not remove the hold, that it would go away eventually, and that allowing this hold to extend a week past the hard charge was standard business practice.
In the meantime, this duplicate hold on my account caused three overdraft transactions because I had never planned for a $1068 debit from my account. I feel that this business practice by EB may be illegal, or at least it is unjust, and something should be done to cause them to adjust their business practice.
Product or Service Mentioned: Eddie Bauer Shipping Service.
Reason of review: Order processing issue.
Monetary Loss: $584.
Preferred solution: 1) Acknowledge this is not standard business practice. 2) Develop a plan to prevent this from happening in the future. 3) Share this plan with your customers. 4) Implement plan..
Eddie Bauer Pros: Products.
Eddie Bauer Cons: Customer service approach.