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A Warning For First Time LEGO S&H Buyers Posted by Richard on July 1, 2009 at 12:07 PM CST:
I've been ordering most of my sets for review through LEGO® S@H services for years now, so I wanted to tell first time online shoppers responding to the article about the new set's availability online a little about the credit charge complications I have had before.
I have a check card, which is a debit card with a credit card logo. Most banks now have a visa or mastercard logo on it, which lets you to use the card like a credit card where those brands are accepted. I use this to make online purchases, and it takes the money directly from my checking account rather than having me use an actual credit card and pay back the credit card company.
However, The LEGO company has an odd system that checks your available funds, and while this may not be a problem with actual credit cards which can't be overdrawn and instead hit a limit, it charges you ahead of time with an average cost of your S&H purchase.
For example, I just ordered the Skopio XV-1 with my check card, and was charged ahead of time for $108.00 USD after tax and shipping. Then, I STILL HAVE a SECOND CHARGE listed for $108.01 pending through, totaling $216.01 USD. The first charge listed as "UAF PAID ITEMS PENALTY" will eventually be dropped and refunded to my account, but if I DO NOT have at least $216.01 USD in my checking account, my account CAN be overdrawn, and I have at least once before had to pay more than $60.00 USD in bank fees as the result of another company using this process. I originally could not debate the charge because when the pre-charge was dropped and refunded, all records of it on my account disappeared leaving me with nothing to show the bank and debate the validity of their overcharge fees, which remained even though the first charge was dropped.
To avoid this problem, whenever you order directly from LEGO S&H, you must have twice the total cost of your purchase in the account ahead of time. I'm also told you can call your bank and have them drop the initial charge early on since the automated systems at LEGO S@H already have completed their funds availability check, and just haven't already taken it off for you.