back to article Bug at payments processor WorldPay swipes £2k+ per ride ticket from Brighton Pier revellers

Hundreds of visitors to Brighton Pier have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket after a Worldpay payment snafu left them less than amused. Frolickers at the famous pier looking for some traditional bucket-and-spade seaside fun were charged more than £2,000 a pop for ride tickets after vendor WorldPay systems mistakenly …

  1. Claverhouse Silver badge
    WTF?

    I May Be Cheap...

    But it wouldn't take me an hour to see that I had paid £2000 for a ride.

    1. FBee

      Re: I May Be Cheap...

      I don't log into my bank app after every $1.75 soda purchase but mayhaps I should start to do so, eh?

      1. General Purpose Bronze badge

        Re: I May Be Cheap...

        Worldpay say they charged cards these £2104.18 amounts on 22 June, more than two months after the visits. I've not seen anyone mention whether Worldpay also charged cards correctly on 18 April 2021.

        1. logicalextreme Silver badge

          Re: I May Be Cheap...

          My experience with Worldpay and other payment providers, the fact that the charges took place two months later and the fact that one datum consistently ended up masquerading as another datum absolutely screams to me that there was a processing issue with that day's payments and somebody cobbled together a CSV file (incorrectly) using Excel (I'm aware that's a homonym for "incorrectly") in order to put the missing payments through.

          Maybe I will start checking my bank statements more often.

        2. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: I May Be Cheap...

          I check my account every damn day because of "mistakes" made by both the bank and third parties.

          It's saved me more than once.

      2. PerlyKing Silver badge

        Re: I May Be Cheap...

        My credit card app notifies me after every transaction. So far it's been a minor annoyance, but if an unexpected £2,104.18 popped up I'd see the utility!

      3. NoneSuch Silver badge
        Go

        Re: I May Be Cheap...

        I only keep £1,000 max in on my daily flexible friend and top it up weekly as needed for situations just like this.

        Whenever I use it at the shops I put my fingers in my ears before they swipe it through. The attendant always pauses to ask why I'm doing that and I reply it's in case the wife has been shopping.

      4. Nifty Silver badge

        Re: I May Be Cheap...

        Over 10 years ago I was at a UK tourist spot cafe with a group of Chinese tourists. One of them was using a Chinese based payment card. She was getting a text for every transaction no matter how trivial, showing amount paid. As it happened she had what seemed like a failed transaction at the till and was asked to repeat the payment. However her texts showed she now had 2 approved payments, she demanded and got a refund in the spot.

        PayPal app can notify you of every transaction which is why I use it wherever possible for recurring payments. Its a disappointment that something similar isn't offered wth payment cards.

  2. AMBxx Silver badge
    Windows

    Cash please

    I think I'll be using cash more in future.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Cash please

      Make sure to bring multiples of £2021. Cash uses a four digit year.

  3. Ol'Peculier

    The question is...

    I used WorldPay's payment gateway from 2004 until about 4 years ago and the only question I have is "how?"

    Way back when, they were pretty good that as an authorised integrator I got a small % of all transactions through all the sites I built that used them. Maybe this is their way of clawing some of that back?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The question is...

      WorldPay has been borged into some US based corporation, and in my experience their services have suffered from a lack of development ever since. The support staff at the parent company don't even seem to know their own product portfolio (not surprising, as they have multiple products that do the same thing).

  4. Wempy

    The thing that always ticks me off when financial companies make a cock up, debits are instant yet credits take ages. This may have been a genuine mistake, but mealy mouthed apologies will not be good enough. World Pay personnel need to seek out these people and apologise to them in person, while handing them their cash back including a payment for interest and bank charges. Now wouldn't that be a thing, also it'd stop it happening again.

    1. General Purpose Bronze badge

      Should card companies provide cardholder contact details to Worldpay so "World Pay personnel [can] seek out these people and apologise to them in person"?

    2. JWLong Bronze badge

      Wempy

      It will never happen!

      The purveyors of these ping pong financial escapades will sit on the cash as long as possible for the interest income. They will actually make money from this little oops'ie.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Wempy

        Actually, they'll have to pay, per transaction, for all of the reversals that they have to submit to make their customer's accounts good. I expect they'll also have to explain to their bank, et al, why this happened.

  5. iron Silver badge

    > The amount of people [this has affected] is enormous

    Really? How many Typhoid Marys are visiting Brighton beach in the middle of a pandemic?!?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Rather more than the locals are happy about, so I'm told.

  6. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    The return of the Y2K bug

    If the standard specified YYYYMMDD most payments would not have been processed... Probably...

    1. AW-S

      Re: The return of the Y2K bug

      I was about to write the same.

      £202,104.18 would have left me a little short in May.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: The return of the Y2K bug

      When I have no other choice but to deal with a spreadsheet file the first thing I do is convert it to CSV and run each field through a bunch of regexes to identify which column the field belongs in. I am sure few people here would be surprised by the large number of errors this corrects in every single file. It looks like WorldPay need a similar level of paranoia. I wonder if account number YYYYMMDD, sort code YY-MM-DD gets a pile of unexpected payments.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We had a good one (not via WorldPay) where the credit card number went through as the amount.

    Most people's credit limit wasn't the GDP of Belgium, so the transactions didn't happen - (actually the payment provider realised something was up and it didn't get as far as anything which upset the customer).

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mistake? Riiight!

    Given the gangsters that own the Pier previously known as Palace.

  9. Dante Alighieri Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Compensation and Credit Scores

    Unfortunately, the consequences of having an unauthorised overdraft extend to more than refunding the missing money and paying the bank fees.

    Failed mortgage and bill payments may incur significant costs and fees, and a huge hit to credit ratings.

    Are these to be compensated and corrected?

    What about the lost 0% on a credit card for a late / missed payment.

    And up to 56 days to get the bill depending on the billing cycle for credit cards so might explain why this is just showing up.

  10. DS999 Silver badge

    More proof that using a debit card is stupid

    Credit cards FTW!

    1. Demmers

      Re: More proof that using a debit card is stupid

      Right, because this happens all the time with debit cards?!

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: More proof that using a debit card is stupid

        No but it CAN happen, as can other problems where a charge goes through for the wrong amount or goes through more than once. Obviously it is much more likely that someone will get your number and make charges on your account, but the point is that no matter how it happens these are major issues with debit cards.

        It takes time to undo bad charges regardless of the source, and in the meantime you may effectively be broke and unable to buy groceries or gas, and depending on when it happens automatic payments like mortgage, rent, utilities, etc. may fail to go through leaving an even bigger mess.

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: More proof that using a debit card is stupid

          You're advocating separate accounts, not necessarily credit vs debit.

          Credit cards have additional legal protections (chargebacks etc), but a good bank will give the same protection on debit cards too.

          It's quite likely that people would notice the issue a lot sooner on a debit card.

  11. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    WorldPay's Code...

    ...needs to be pier reviewed.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    pin as a tip

    I have heard of someone accidentally putting in their pin as the tip amount - a tip of several grand on a tab of < £100. They had to go back to the bar the next day to grovel to get it reversed...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: pin as a tip

      The justifies why my PIN is 0000 :-)

      (What? You though I used 1234? That's my luggage combination! Never use the same one twice.)

  13. This is my handle
    Joke

    I finally get ...

    ... why the Fab Four was always crowing about how she'd gotten a ticket to ride... apparently that's quite the status symbol on their side of the puddle!

  14. JassMan Silver badge

    Even if they eventually pay everyone back in full...

    They will make a massive profit out of this. Large corporations often have a 10hour (or some other nomiminal timespan) and for the rest of the day (and weekends) the balance is placed on spot markets where interest rates are much higher than Joe Bloggs can earn even depositing for a fixed term. If they manage to take a couple of months to repay their victims, the directors will be giving themselves some massive windfall bonuses this year.

    1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: Even if they eventually pay everyone back in full...

      I know Brighton Pier can get crowded, but I think you're overestimating either the number of visitors or the interest rate. By quite a lot.

  15. Stanislav Bonita
    Mushroom

    Use cash

    That is all.

  16. ecofeco Silver badge

    What the hell?

    Something is going on that's bigger than this instance.

    A few years ago where I live, the toll road system stole hundreds of dollar PER driver, for 10s of thousands of drivers, for weeks. It took a year for people to get refunds. Meanwhile people were caused serious hardship when their bank accounts were drained AND they got hit with overdraft fees.

    This isn't negligence, it's theft and should prosecuted as such.

    I've heard of this same problem in other parts of the world as well. Not frequently, but enough to make me wonder is it's deliberate. But deliberate or not, it's still theft.

  17. TheSkunkyMonk

    Surely they would of noticed after a few people had there cards declined? Or am I the only one without a few grand in the current account or left on the card.

  18. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    YYMMVeryVary

  19. TechHeadToo

    WorldPay

    Bunch of charlatans. 2 years ago we had an account. Closed it. Have the records to say it was closed. Suddenly they invent a £150 debt under the heading misc, with no invoice or backup.

    Not for the first time, either. Totally incompetent back office systems. Not able to blag money from me, they turn to outright fraud.

    Might also add that despite them using paper mail with all manner of threats and legalese, they never, ever, respond in print to letters, evidently preferring the anonymity and deniability of phone calls and emails.

    Bunch of charlatans.

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