Barclaycard being declined for obscure reasons


I’ve had a Barclaycard cashback card for several years now, it’s always worked fine.

A couple of months ago, I started work in a new town and when I came to check in to my hotel, the £20 pre-authorisation was declined. I called BC and was told it was declined because the CVV number had been entered incorrectly. However, the hotel was using a PDQ chip and pin reader, so it clearly wasn’t anything to do with the CVV “being entered.” I had to use a different card, which worked perfectly.

The following week, exactly the same thing happened. I tried the hotel’s other PDQ machine, same result. Had to use a different card, which worked fine.

That evening I tried to order a pizza online. Declined. Called BC and eventually they got the transaction to go through.

Next week, pre-auth at the hotel; declined. So I called and they advised a replacement card. Did that.

Next week, pre-auth at the hotel with my new card; declined. This time it was apparently because the magnetic strip wasn’t being read correctly. Again, I was using a chip and pin machine.

I cancelled the card and ordered a new one, this time with a different number. Success! Pre-auth at the hotel last week worked. All my transactions worked! Yay!

This evening I tried to check in my hotel, and guess what? The pre-auth failed.

I have now spent several hours on the phone to BC who insist there’s nothing wrong with the card and it must be the PDQ reader at the hotel. Despite random other transaction failures.

Nobody at BC seems to know what the problem is, or have the appetite to fix it. They’re great at apologising, !!!! at doing anything productive. They’ve now escalated it and I can expect to hear something by letter in four or five days. That doesn’t sound like much of an escalation to me.

Has anybody else had this problem? I’ve now decided to ditch Barclaycard as they’re clearly incompetent and I can’t approach each transaction wondering whether it’ll work or not.


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