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Payments

Does anybody else get confused at the Payments system that the Society employs.
Sometimes the time lag between ordering a case of wine that is in stock and the payment taken (even when ring fenced) from one’s bank account can be a little confusing.
I do not know what rules apply, and am only a simple Welsh soul who can barely do simple awiffmetic!! :wink: :dragon:

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It is a little bit odd. I think that in order to maintain the DD option the ordering process and payment process are not fully linked and automated as is typical with most online commerce these days. And then DDs are done in batches. I increasingly pay on card as the DDs take a while and can easily be forgotten. It does in general feel like the WS has an e commerce system which replicates its mail order processes as closely as possible whereas other merchants’ websites feel no different to buying clothes, books or groceries.

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Is this to do with delivery? I believe they only take payment when dispatched, including ‘to reserves’ which is the confusing part, as there seems to be quite a delay there at the moment when one might expect it to be almost instantaneous.

Amazon also do this, they are just normally quicker at dispatching.

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I suspect this is likely. Technically no payment should be taken by anyone, DD or card, until the product is dispatched. The reality is that most online retailers don’t bother too much with this (my own business included) but technically money should not be taken until the product is dispatched.

As an example as to why, I recently made a moderately large online purchase (over £100) and a week later I got an email saying it wasn’t in stock and was now on backorder but I would have it in two weeks. This was 8 weeks ago and whilst they are very apologetic and have given me the option of cancelling with a refund they did take the payment when I placed the order 8 weeks ago. (no one else is selling this product at anything remotely close to their price so patience is currently being exercised).

[As an aside I never cease to be amazed at online selling of branded products. This particular product I found at prices ranging from just over £100 up to over £200. Do some people just not bother to search properly for a good deal?]

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I’ve definitely never been charged before a delivery had actually been completed. Which I rather like, personally - not only cause it buys me time, but also because it feels right to pay once everything had been delivered and is OK.

The DD, which we still use from time to time, is collected generally 10 days after delivery - we usually get an email post delivery. I got into the habit of putting a ‘reminder’ in my on-line calendar of that date, which seems to work for me.

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That explains it then. Yes with a lot of companies - wine merchants included - the debit is instantaneous as I see it come up on Apple Pay. Good old WS!

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Thank you!! :+1:
I have “expected” to be charged on placement of order; rather when despatched.
Each new day, is another learning opportunity!! :wink: :grinning: :dragon:

That’s what the T&C’s (mostly) say:

1.4.1. Debit and Credit Cards: Cards issued by MasterCard and Visa, plus Maestro (for telephone/post orders only). Payment will be taken at the point of despatch although The Society reserves the right to take payment before that stage for high value orders.

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Well, it’s debatable whether it’s a such good deal if 8 weeks later you are still waiting, and apparently with no definite end in sight. Perhaps it’s worth paying more to get what you want when you want it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I’ve had various issues with DD over the years. I have a vintage cellar plan which often results in a small credit balance in my favour. This seems to never count against my payments and builds up until I phone member services.

I have spoken to member services about the inconsistencies and they told me they were upgrading the system - but that was years ago! Only minor irritation as a quick call will always sort out the problem but it does seem to rear its head every few months.

Long-time members will know that we used to take payment details at the time of placing an order and only charge a card on despatch, but Member Services have a new payment system in place whereby the payment details are taken on placing the order and the amount is immediately ring-fenced in a member’s bank account by their bank. This then shows as a ‘pending’ payment in the member’s bank account, so whilst these funds are only released to us on despatch, the funds have essentially been reserved for us and can’t be used for anything else in the time leading up to despatch. I think other companies have been working like this for years, but it’s very new to The Wine Society!

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That’s a great improvement, if it works, as it’ll make it easier to see what is/isn’t in one’s account. However, it certainly hasn’t happened on an order I placed about 3 weeks ago (delivery is tomorrow). Initially the sum was ring-fenced, but was ‘returned’ to my account a few days later. I hope payment is taken tomorrow, after despatch… :thinking:

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As far as im aware, monies which are ringfenced have a time limit on how long they can be held, so don’t be surprised if tws come back looking for authorisation again :see_no_evil:

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Hm! This renders the whole exercise a bit pointless then! I’m sure I’m not the only one who sometimes schedules a delivery for a few weeks after placing an order, but if money can’t be ring-fenced for this long, then what’s the point of this new system?

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It’s worked OK on my recent orders. The money is ‘ringfenced’ and shows as pending in the credit card ledger, but drops out after 3-4 days. After despatch of the order it reappears as a reconciled transaction. The only odd thing is that the transaction date on the card ledger is the order date, which recently has been some weeks before despatch. So you have to look back on your account to find it.

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A slight deviation from the thread but this ringfencing can cause problems when using cash cards abroad. I have a Euro cash card and if you buy fuel at a petrol station by ‘pre-paying’ at the pump, then they will typically ringfence something like €100. They then take the correct amount at the end but the ringfence is typically left until it times out something like a week later. Consequently a long drive across France in a gas guzzler like my motorhome can blow out all the cash available on my cash card for a week. My cash card company recommends not using it for fuel or motorway tolls which, apparently, do the same thing for some bizarre reason.

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So far I’ve escaped any payment issues, but after despatch of a delivery today, which was supposed to be paid by DD as usual, I’ve had a polite email asking me to pay up ASAP. I plan to bide my time for a bit, maybe the DD will be scheduled as usual. The balance on my account is only this single delivery, so it’s very strange.

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I used to pay everything by d/d both because I find it quite convenient to order and also TWS once actually made it a point to ask members to move to this payment to save transaction costs.

I’m now doing all my orders on credit card. New banking regulations mean these are much less expensive for TWS than they used to be, and also there seems to be ongoing issues with payments in general and it’s less risk for me for it not to be “real money.”

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I’ve also had an email requesting payment for items to be paid by DD, didn’t feel it was that polite. also have the same issue with credits as @lorindavies. why are TWS accounts incapable of netting off credits when taking a payment !

I’ll also be biding my time and perhaps switching back to credit card payments

Extremely frustrating I agree :point_up: