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Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

Established Member

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

About 18 years ago, when I was in my late 20s, friends of mine introduced me to a friend of theirs that they thought was a perfect match for me.  We went out on a double date and had a great time. 

 

A couple of days later, I called her at work to see how her day was going and she was having a horrible day.  Since she worked downtown and I lived downtown, I suggested she come over after work and we could go grab dinner and some drinks.  She took me up on my offer and we went to one of my hangouts a block away from my apartment.  We spent 3-4 hours there, had a great time, and she really got to relax after a rough day at work.  After I threw down my debit card to pay the bill, our waitress (who I knew) came back and said "Sorry, it was declined.  I ran it 3 times".  Before I could get my wallet out, my date threw down one of her cards and picked up the check.  I felt like a complete idiot. 

 

I knew I had plenty of money in the account, so I couldn't understand what happened....until I hit up the ATM the next day.  The ATM gave me a PIN error and I looked at the card like "What is going on here?!?".  At that point, I noticed someone else's name on what I thought was my card.  I had been to the same restaurant a few nights earlier and they gave me back the wrong card when I paid.  As soon as I showed up at that restauant, they knew exactly what had happened and had my card waiting for me.

 

As embarrassing as that was, all is not lost.  Flash forward to the present...my date from that night and I just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.  She still teases me about that night.

Message 11 of 41
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Established Contributor

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

I can think of two decline events that stick out in my head:

 

Once, when I was 18 at Nordstrom and buying a dress for a wedding. They asked if I wanted to apply for a store card. I really had no clue what she was talking about, but I applied, and was declined. The woman had a look on her face as if she was embarrassed for me, but I was like "yeah, whatevs" and bought the dress with cash. I was too young and too dumb about credit to register that I should have been embarrassed.

 

Most recent decline was a couple of years ago with my Discover card. I changed the design on the card, and forgot to activate it. I went to use it at Macys, and it was declined. It was especially embarassing because there was the clerk helping me, and another clerk who was assisting a customer. Of course, all three of them were giving me the side-eye look. Getting declined is like a car wreck... it is not polite to stare, but people do. Anyway, I called Discover on the spot, they activated my card, and I was able to complete my purchase. 

Message 12 of 41
Contributor

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

My last decline was December 4th of last year at a restaurant celebrating my mom’s boyfriend’s birthday. The authorization on the BofA cash rewards card went through but the restaurants payment service provider was the one who declined my card. Extremely embarrassing. So I used my Fifth Third bank card. No problems. I haven’t been back to that restaurant since. On top of the embarrassment I had to wait a week until the authorized amount was added back to my available credit.
Message 13 of 41
Valued Contributor

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories


matrix12 wrote:

About 18 years ago, when I was in my late 20s, friends of mine introduced me to a friend of theirs that they thought was a perfect match for me.  We went out on a double date and had a great time. 

 

A couple of days later, I called her at work to see how her day was going and she was having a horrible day.  Since she worked downtown and I lived downtown, I suggested she come over after work and we could go grab dinner and some drinks.  She took me up on my offer and we went to one of my hangouts a block away from my apartment.  We spent 3-4 hours there, had a great time, and she really got to relax after a rough day at work.  After I threw down my debit card to pay the bill, our waitress (who I knew) came back and said "Sorry, it was declined.  I ran it 3 times".  Before I could get my wallet out, my date threw down one of her cards and picked up the check.  I felt like a complete idiot. 

 

I knew I had plenty of money in the account, so I couldn't understand what happened....until I hit up the ATM the next day.  The ATM gave me a PIN error and I looked at the card like "What is going on here?!?".  At that point, I noticed someone else's name on what I thought was my card.  I had been to the same restaurant a few nights earlier and they gave me back the wrong card when I paid.  As soon as I showed up at that restauant, they knew exactly what had happened and had my card waiting for me.

 

As embarrassing as that was, all is not lost.  Flash forward to the present...my date from that night and I just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary.  She still teases me about that night.


And I was hoping I was paranoid to make sure the card was mine when I get it back...


TU FICO 8: 745 (1/18) — Ex FICO 8: 738 (1/18)
Message 14 of 41
Valued Contributor

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

My only declines have been

  1. We don't take Disco (When it was my only card, too)
  2. EMV malfunctions

I do fear a declined card on a date, but seeing as we both talk about credit util, etc. already (first date coming up), I don't think she'd think it was an issue with me...

 

 


TU FICO 8: 745 (1/18) — Ex FICO 8: 738 (1/18)
Message 15 of 41
Established Contributor

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

I've had mine declined a few times, but none were embarrassing. Why is it considered embarrassing when your card is declined? I don't think it is at all. Everyone here so far has had their card declined due to some sort of accident or mix up. So why all the embarrassment?
Message 16 of 41
Moderator

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories


ALK11 wrote:
I've had mine declined a few times, but none were embarrassing. Why is it considered embarrassing when your card is declined? I don't think it is at all. Everyone here so far has had their card declined due to some sort of accident or mix up. So why all the embarrassment?

It's not always embarassing, but in certain social situations it can be awkward if you don't want the people you're with to think you are having money problems.  Think out on a date, business dinner, etc.

 

All of us on here know that there are a multitude of reasons a card can be declined, but the general public often isn't as savvy.

 

That said, I share your feelings about declines that happen while shopping alone; I'm not too concerned about what someone I probably will never see again (clerk, someone else in line, etc.) might assume about my financial situation.

Message 17 of 41
Established Contributor

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

I guess I consider it embarrassing because the cashier does not know that you have available credit. I just assume they think oh dear here is an idiot with a stolen card or here is an idiot who has a shopping problem and has maxed out their credit card.

AAOA 15 months Fico 08's 714 717 678 11% Utilization
Message 18 of 41
Established Contributor

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

Two things.

1. When I worked as a cashier I couldn't care less when a card was declined. I've seen cards declined for a $5 transaction and a $10K transaction. After the $10K transaction was declined, the guy ended up writing a check for it.

2. Here's my actual story. I was at what you could call a business dinner. My company was in the process of switching banks. The old card was supposed to stop working on the first of the month, but the new card didn't come in yet. I kept using the old card after the first and it kept working. Well here I am about to pay for about 30 people and it gets declined. Should've been embarrassing according to a lot of you, but it wasn't for me. Pulled out another card and problem solved.
Message 19 of 41
Regular Contributor

Re: Embarrassing "your card has been declined" stories

Ah man i've had this happen to me a few times.

 

A few times I had a card declined. Once was I was getting food, dvd at a store with a girl i was dating and it was waaaay before Netflix and chill. So anyway i loaded everything up and boom declined. Not once but 5 times in a row!!! i ended up diggin into my cash to pay for it. Guess what it declined the next two customers. lol

 

The most embarrasing time was I was getting the most random stuff too. duct tape , deodorant , yogurt , Jerky, soda, condoms , fruit by the foot, milk, apples. First the look on the cashiers face was great as i loaded my items lol i'll never forget it. But it declined due to the card being deactivated by me bc of a fraud charge from a online purchase. Yea i forgot to cut up my own card. That lead to me speaking to the store manager and they ended up cutting up my card after verifiyng it was on purpose I was just an idiot.

 

fun times

 

Message 20 of 41