Credit card glitch snags Wal-Mart, Sam's : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Credit card glitch snags Wal-Mart, Sam's

By Scott McCabe, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Sunday, August 12, 2001

A satellite glitch in the credit card system for Wal-Mart and Sam's Club shoppers nationwide frustrated both cashiers and customers Saturday during the last back-to-school weekend in Palm Beach County, employees said.

The Arkansas-based store's credit card system crashed about 8 p.m. Friday. By 4 p.m. Saturday, workers could accept credit but not all debit cards.

At a Wal-Mart Store on Forest Hill Boulevard west of West Palm Beach, cashiers overrode the glitch for credit cards and some ATM cards. When that didn't work, customers were directed to the ATM machine at the front.

Managers posted signs saying "No debit/ATM cards," and called in extra workers. They handed out candy kisses to shoppers and occasionally explained the situation over the loudspeaker.

Lines were reportedly long early Saturday, but by evening seemed shorter than normal.

"Ultimately, we're not here to hold them in line," said assistant manager Jonathan Keith.

At the Sam's Club on 45th Street in West Palm Beach, employees said efforts to contact headquarters in Arkansas had been unsuccessful. The store also had difficulty accepting the Sam's Club in-house credit card and the Discover card.

But lines were not unusually long there and customer frustration levels did not seem unusually high Saturday afternoon.

Sam's customer Mike Hart said he tried to use his debit card at Wal-Mart on State Road 7, couldn't, and wrote a check instead. Other customers who didn't have their checkbooks weren't as lucky, he said.

"A lot of people were upset," Hart said.

Staff writer George Bennett contributed to this story.

-- Martin Thompson (, August 12, 2001


Were shopping just when the announced the problem, a whole bunch of folks just put their stuff down and walked out. It was amazing the amount of folks who whined about it.

And then when in line if some tried to 'force' it the checkout computer would seize up and need rebooting. Then the stuff would neeed to be re-scaned.

A truly enjoyable experince was had be all. :)

-- (, August 12, 2001.

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