HUNDREDS of thousands of Co-op customers have potentially been charged twice in a blunder involving people using their cards in the retailer’s food stores or petrol stations.
A spokesman for the Co-operative said the error occurred on Tuesday. He was unable to say how many people were affected but it is thought that it could run into hundreds of thousands.
We would like to apologise to all those affected, and reassure customers that refunds will be made directly in to their accounts within 24 hours. We will also reimburse any customers who have incurred bank charges as a result of this errorCo-op spokesman
Those affected will have their money credited directly back to their accounts within the next 24 hours, he said.
The Co-operative has also promised to reimburse people who have incurred charges as a result of the error, such as overdraft fees.
A spokesman for the Co-op said the mistake was down to a “processing error”.
A statement for the Co-operative Food said: “Due to a processing error customers who shopped with us or used a petrol filling station on July 7 using a credit or debit card were charged twice.
“We would like to apologise to all those affected, and reassure customers that refunds will be made directly in to their accounts within 24 hours. We will also reimburse any customers who have incurred bank charges as a result of this error.
“These customers should contact our customer careline.”
The Co-operative Group has suffered a torrid past couple of years after the banking business nearly collapsed and dragged the wider group to a £2.5 billion annual loss in 2013 after a £1.5 billion hole was discovered in the lender’s balance sheet.
It had to be rescued in a deal which saw the group’s stake in the lender shrink from 100% to 20% as it ceded majority ownership to bondholders including US hedge funds.
There was further damage to the bank’s reputation after a drugs scandal involving former bank chairman Paul Flowers, and sharp criticism about how the Methodist minister was appointed to the role despite a lack of experience.
The Co-op’s customer careline number is 0800 068 6727.
Not everyone shopping on Tuesday with Co-op will have been affected, and if people are unsure about whether they have been affected they should check their statement.
The Co-op has 2,800 food stores and 200 filling stations across the UK. It said all of them could potentially have been affected and any type of debit or credit card could have been involved.