Credit Cards Are Being Regularly Declined

As of 7-23-21, this issue has been reported to Booker and given a case number of 02855491.

Keep in mind we have been using Booker for at least five years now. This kind of history with a product like Booker means that we understand its strengths and shortcomings very well — and how to work around the shortcomings. This current credit card problem has been happening for the last few months (since about mid-May 2021), but each occurrence seemed random and infrequent enough that we didn’t have any actual data to report to Booker until AFTER a declined card was already fixed by someone on our staff. By that time, Booker would be unable to replicate this bug.

Here’s the scenario. We are seeing a client that we have seen many times before and using the same manually entered and saved credit card that we have used before. This time when we try to process the payment through Booker (and WorldPay, Booker’s preferred credit card processor), the card is declined. We often joke that Booker is susceptible to a “disturbance in the force” so we have had some luck in the past (prior to this current issue) with waiting an hour and running the card again — successfully. This workaround no longer works for us. The current workaround is MUCH MORE TEDIOUS. It starts with verifying the card information with the client, which we find is always accurate because this the same card has worked in the past. Then we try one more time to run the credit card, which is then declined again with the following message, “the card could not be preauthorized.” Then we delete that credit card and re-enter the very same credit card again, run the charge and it works!

All of this would be an easy fix if this was the only instance, but we have been running into this latest bug between 10-20 times per week. This is starting to frustrate off our clients and the cost to our company (spending 20-30 minutes with each client) is noticeable.

It is also difficult to share specifics because there is client data involved, so I will share only information that Booker could find helpful. The two most recent occurrences of this bug are as follows:

DATENAME CARD (last 4 digits)
7-21-21Jazmine S.8637
7-22-21Michelle I.2065
8-2-21Kari T.1012
8-7-21Sandra U.6842
8-9-21Jim D.3345
These are just a few of our customers who have been impacted by this bug.

I suspect that this has something to do with tokens between Booker and WorldPay or encryption or something similar.

Please Booker, do not merely brush this off as a problem with WorldPay that I have to troubleshoot. You have done that to me before and it only wastes more of my time. You provide the payment front end, please fix it.

UPDATE 7-30-21

As expected, Booker required me to spend a fair amount of time to confirm with WorldPay that this bug is not on WorldPays end. WorldPay confirmed that these declined transactions are not coming from their side of the equation. I have written more about this pattern with Booker here. I wish I was making this all up!

UPDATE 8-5-21

This bug is still rearing it’s ugly head 3-5 times each and every week. From my perspective, it does not seem like this bug is a big deal to Booker because little to nothing has been done to chase this bug down. This has me wondering if there is anyone at Booker who is skilled enough to understand what’s going on here or if they merely choose to ignore bugs like this in hopes that customers like us will get used to the workarounds and stop pestering their tech support staff for fixes and answers.

I have been able to confirm another instance of this bug being a Booker only bug and not a WorldPay bug. I have a client who has used the same American Express card ending in 1012 five times in the past three months to pay for services without a hitch. Suddenly, this card which expires in August of 2023 is giving us the following error:

“The preauthorization of the credit card failed. Response code:000100, OTHER NOT ACCEPTED..”

Here is what I know so far (even though I’m not a software engineer):

  • Our client continues to use this card elsewhere without problems.
  • This client has called her bank and confirmed there are no issues with her card or her account.
  • These errors are not showing up in WorldPays reporting portal even though errors generated by WorldPay and reported back to services like Booker do show up there, I have seen them on other occasions.
  • The typos in the error message seem curious to me. There are no spaces between the word “code” and the error number, only a colon. And, maybe more importantly, there are two periods at the end of the sentence. That fact alone should be enough for a semi-skilled software engineer to search Booker’s code to see where this error is being generated in their software.

UPDATE: 10-15-21

I have reached out to Booker several times in an effort to compare notes and try to resolve this issue. I have even left messages for Vanessa, the “Senior Customer Support Specialist” who was assigned to help us work through this frustrating issue. Crickets. No call back. No email with helpful info. Nothing.

Which is precisely why I wrote another article called Does Booker Care About it’s Customers? That seems to be a rhetorical question at this point.