Has anybody been having trouble with the self service pumps, it has been declining my card but dedecting money from my account!!!
Is it an English (or non French) Card?
English - LLoyds bank
It could be a temporary charge that will get refunded shortly. Are they fixed amounts of around 120 euros?
Ah, then that's the reason.
The card is pre-debited with a fixed amount to ensure payment before fuel is delivered. After the fuel is delivered, the actual amount for the fuel is sent as a transaction against the card and the 'held' amount is released.
If this happens over a weekend, it can be quite a few days before the held amount against your card is released meaning that sum is no longer available to you as credit.
This is quite unlike UK petrol stations where the card is presented after the transaction has taken place and is to ensure that sufficient funds are available.
Because the card is presented in advance, if the merchant's software is at any point before delivery of fuel concerned about the transaction or the card, it will fail but the held amount will still be retained for a set period of days (because that transaction has already taken place) and if not claimed by the merchant, will be released back to the card holder as available credit.
It has consequences, of course, particularly if you are close to your card spending limit but it is designed to prevent fraud and 'drive throughs' so prevelant in the UK.
But, the important thing to remember is, the money has not been taken... it is an amount held or reserved against your card to ensure a happy outcome for the merchant.
This has been the case in France for the 8+ years we have been here but does not happen with our Carte Bleu Visa or when the caisse at the fuel station is manned (if we use our pre-paid currency card).
If you speak to your card issuer, I'm sure they will confirm this for you.
That amount probably represents the merchant's floor limit for a single transaction (in euros) but will be shown as a sterling equivalence on a UK Credit Card. 8 years ago it was considerably less ;-)