Resident urges others to check bank statements after Woolworths error causes duplicate charges

An error at a data centre has left some Woolworths customers with incorrect transactions on their accounts. Photo: Michele Mossop
An error at a data centre has left some Woolworths customers with incorrect transactions on their accounts. Photo: Michele Mossop

A Stawell resident is encouraging others to check their bank statements after finding Woolworths generated a duplicate charge for a transaction made in March. 

The payment system error affected many people around Australia and angry customers have used the supermarket’s Facebook page to vent their frustration at the "extremely inconvenient charges", which have left the accounts of some overdrawn.

Megan, 41, of Stawell, who did not wish to disclose her full name, discovered on Monday the supermarket giant generated a duplicate charge for a transaction she made in March. 

“I just happened to log onto my banking app and I saw the transaction for Dan Murphy’s, which is a part of the Woolworths group,” she said. 

“It appeared like a normal visa charge and I thought it was odd straight away because we don’t have a Dan Murphy’s in Stawell and I had not been near one in ages.”

Megan called her bank, ING, and listened to a pre-recorded phone message informing customers affected by the payment system blunder they would be refunded. 

"If you are calling about a duplicate transaction from the Woolworths Group in March, please be aware this issue will be resolved early tomorrow morning," the message said. 

“Luckily my situation was rectified,” Megan said. 

“Others should also check, now with internet banking it is very easy to pull up your bank statements.

“But it was definitely strange because a transaction made in March would not have only just processed almost six months later.”

Another Stawell resident posted to social media angered about how she had been slapped with a second charge.

“On mine (bank statement) it appeared just like a normal visa charge- Just to a store I have not been to in months,” they said. 

Woolworths took to Facebook to express their “outrage” at the situation. 

“In the last 24 hours, some customers have been affected by a payment processing error coming from Cuscal, a payment processor for financial providers,” a post said.

“This has meant that some Visa customers have been charged a second time for transactions with us made between March 11th-13th.

“We understand the financial hardship and distress that this may have caused and are outraged on behalf of our customers.

“Cuscal have confirmed all incorrect transactions will be rectified and refunds will be made into affected customers’ accounts by 2pm today (Tuesday).

“Rest assured we’re working to get to the bottom of this with Cuscal to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

Woolworths could not confirm the number of affected customers.