Over the past month we have had a few instances where clients outside of Canada have reported receiving double charges to their credit card. This is the first time this has ever happened. We believe this new phenomenon may be due to added security measures because of the volume increase this year in online purchasing.
Often a credit card purchase is initially declined by a bank if it is not a purchase you might normally make. The purchase may then be authorized a few days later. But, a 'hold funds' may be placed at the time the card is initially declined, until the bank can verify you did make the purchase and should authorize it. After a week or so the 'hold funds' amount will disappear from the cardholder's statement. But many cardholders think they have received a duplicate charge and dispute it before they really understand what happens
Here's why this 'hold funds' happens ... If you pay at a store, your credit card transaction is immediate. But, if you pay online, it has to be authorized to verify the funds are available at that moment to the merchant. That can take 3-5 days before the merchant is credited. So your credit card company may immediately put a hold on those funds to ensure the merchant gets paid in the event that you spend past your credit limit or don’t pay your bill at the end of the month. What it really means is that amount is frozen so you can't spend it somewhere else.
After 6-7 days the frozen funds notification disappears and only the actual charge remains. Because currency exchange fluctuates daily, the funds frozen and the funds actually charged a few days later might be slightly different amounts and can therefore seem like 2 different charges
Did you know that at the time you order your products from us on-line your credit card is not actually charged? The order comes to us as a purchase order only. That is so that we can first check your order to make certain you are ordering the right products for your needs, and if you have ordered testing, we don't yet know what you need.
So, a duplicate charge does NOT result from a charge at the time of your online checkout when you receive your email order confirmation.
Your credit card is charged for your purchase only AFTER we have determined what will be shipped and have weighed your package to determine shipping charges and have applied any discounts or credits to which you are entitled.
Then we email you a receipt with your itemized account total and the tracking number for your package. This is always in Canadian funds. So, if you live outside of Canada, the sum that appears on your credit card statement will be in your own country's currency. In the case of USA, it will be about 25% less.
So, if a duplicate charge does appear on your credit card statement, please contact your bank first to ascertain whether one of the charges is a funds freeze/withhold temporary charge. The actual purchase will always have an authorization number. Then, if needed, contact us and we will access your bank's statement to verify the dates and amounts of any actual funds transferred to us.
Please be very cautious in disputing a duplicate charge, as it results in an immediate $20 charge to us--even if YOU are the one in error. So, you will no longer be allowed to order our products, and we may also charge you for this unwarranted fee.