Credit card denials at Apple stores

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by eelriver, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. eelriver macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2006
    Has anyone else had problems with certain credit cards at Apple Retail stores? I want to become a PowerBook owner as soon as I can. So I go to my nearest Apple Store knowing exactly what I want. I ran the gauntlet of Applecare and other add on sales pitches and got to the checkout finally. The cleck runs my perfectly good card, with a zero balance because I pay it off every month, plenty of "room" on it for my purchase, etc. She swipes it and says she has to call it in. She calls it in and tells me it was denied!!! Won't give me a reason or anything, just asks if I have another card. I ask her why it was declined, and she says she doesn't know (I know she doesn't know, but there's usually a code number or something). At this point the clerk next to her say's "Is it a United Visa". It is. He tells her "We have problems with those". WTH? She just shrugs her shoulders and asks again if I have another card.

    At this point I just leave. I had already been there for an hour saying no to add-ons, and I expected the whole deal to take about 10 minutes. I hop online and order one through Amazon, will be here Tuesday.

    Has anyone else had this problem with Apple Stores, or was it just a fluke? If at least one other clerk thinks there's a problem, why don't they do something about it?
  2. psycho- macrumors member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Del Mar, CA
    I use a United Visa card. It's a chase/FirstUSA card..There's fraud prevention. you just call the 1800 number in the back and verify it in the automated system. It'll clear and allow the purchase to go through.
  3. amacgenius macrumors 68000


    Aug 3, 2005
    Buffalo, NY
    When I went to buy my first Mac (PowerBook), the charge wouldn't go through so they had to call the company in store and verify, then when I ordered my 20" iMac (3rd Mac) online, they charged my mom's CC 6 times so it wouldn't go through until we called the card company and cancelled the other 5, whenever I use a CC with Apple it seems to have some sort of problem, never fails.
  4. powerbook911 macrumors 68040


    Mar 15, 2005
    Whenever I make significant purchase, the CC company starts calling a hour or so later, until I eventually am home, and then I tell them "Yeah that was mine."
  5. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have that happen all the time with my Discover card. Anytime I charge $1500 or more either the clerk has to call it in and I have to talk to Discover or when I get home Discover fraud prevention has left me a message.

    I don't mind -- it is better to deal with fraud prevention than stolen identity or theft using my credit card.
  6. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    With a debit card very often the bank sets a limit on how much you can use per day and I ran into that problem a couple of times, once in a camera shop and once with Apple. Finally got wise and had the bank raise my daily limit and that helped. With a credit card sometimes it helps to notify the credit card company ahead of time that you're about to make a significant purchase if you aren't in the habit of regularly doing so and then they've had a heads-up that you're about to drop $2000-3000 in the local Apple store or online.
  7. tweakers_suck macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Very good point regarding giving CC company a heads-up. When I went to China last November I alerted my CC companies about my trip. I gave them the dates of my travel and where I was going. If I had not called them, they said I probably would have been denied at point of sale.

    Also, they knew of my travel dates so that would make it easier to dispute a fraudelent charge once I got back home.
  8. technicolor macrumors 68000


    Dec 21, 2005
    Thatis the best thing to do.

    I had this happen with my Homedepot Mastercard which is issued by Citibank, buying an ipod. They shut that sucker off and the charge wouldnt go through. I had to call them on my cell in the line to get them to turn it back on.

    My other CC companied called me within the hour of ordering my macbook pro.
  9. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Yeah, I had that happen when I ordered an iBook at the flagship store in San Francisco. They let me use their phone to call my credit card company, and they okayed everything to let the charge go through. Only time I've ever had that happen, and I've made several big purchases on my card.
  10. alep85 macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2005
    God bless my Amex Gold Rewards charge card with no pre-set limit :) Put a 4,000 dollar purchase on it and they called ME about a day later asking if I purchased it. Now THAT'S how it should be :)
  11. Timepass macrumors 65816

    Jan 4, 2005
    It all depends. Like other have said you raised a red flag in there system by the charge being so large and it fraud preventions to them. Like others have said it best to tell them ahead of time that you are going to make a huge charge.

    I think the number is based of a % of you max crieted limit on that card in checking for red flags. If some one almost max out there card in one charge that is a red flag because it is not normal for them do to that. I going to guess you crieted limited is like 5-10g so (more than likely closer to the 5 since you said you made sure it was clear ahead of time) so the one time charge was a huge part of it so a red flag got raised and they stopped it.

    For me I would rather pay by check since they are not denied as quickly and the bank can question me on it later but I know it would be one of those checks that they take a much closer look at.
  12. eelriver thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2006
    Well it seems like a common enough thing that they should at least make suggestions like calling the company, etc. She seemed to just not care. Oh well, I'll have my Powerbook in a few days and can read and write about more important Mac things.

    Thanks everyone.
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    First off -- the card company NEVER discloses to the merchant why your transaction was declined. That would be a violation of your privacy. There are no codes, and nothing the merchant can tell you why your charge was declined.

    Some card companies screen for large purchases and force you to call in to verify that it is you buying a shiny new computer and not someone who boosted your wallet on the subway 20 minutes earlier.

    It's up to you as the consumer to call the customer service number on the back of your card and talk to your card company, the merchant cannot do a thing about it. If you are unhappy with the charge card company forcing you to go through the extra hoop, change cards. It's between you and them, nothing to do with Apple.
  14. dont24 macrumors regular

    Jan 17, 2005
    Too bad we can't use the Rewards to purchase Apple gear :(

    Edit: Looks like you can. Should have checked ShopAmex first....

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