Students, faculty and staff at Texas A&M University-San Antonio who made debit and credit purchases at the college’s eatery Chartwells may face past charges through spring break from as far back as last August, university officials confirm.
Chartwells first addressed the issue in a university email last Saturday night, a day after students reported transactions were beginning to process. A follow-up email was sent from the university Monday afternoon.
“Due to a technical error originating with the point of sale system and our external debit card processor, there was a delayed payment for transactions that occurred between August 31, 2017 and March 1, 2018,” the second email read.
Emily Marquise, a senior education major who works in the Student Activities office, recalled first seeing 19 transactions totaling $110 process in her bank account Saturday.
“I had eight dollars left in my bank account,” Marquise said. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is bad; the day before spring break.’”
Bill Spindle, vice president of Business Affairs, said that the university identified the issue last Thursday and recognized the “negative impact” that it has had on students.
“Chartwells is working on implementing safeguards that will give them better notification, in the future, of a possible problem,” Spindle said. “A&M-San Antonio will be in communication with Chartwells on a regular basis in the days and weeks ahead to make sure they are satisfactorily addressing students individual situations.”
Students, some who said they were over drafted and faced hundreds of dollars in accumulated fees, took to social media with their issues and made calls to university officials. One student noted on a Facebook thread that he could not leave a message to Vedner over the weekend because his inbox was full.
Angelee Almendarez, an alumna who graduated in December, was celebrating her birthday weekend when she found out about the $50 in charges from her last semester at A&M-San Antonio through a Facebook post.
“It was really poor timing to happen with spring break and everything,” Almendarez said. “What rubbed me the wrong way was that I found out through Facebook.”
Almendarez added that because she is a graduate, she did not see the university’s email in her inbox. She also expressed that she would have liked to see coordination within the university and graduate services reaching out to alumni on the matter.
“I love the campus and all that it has given me, but I just think they could have handled this differently,” Almendarez said.
Spindle advises those affected to reach out to Robert Vedner, director of Dining Services, for one-on-one assistance with issues relating to the delayed charges on their bank accounts.
Vedner could not speak about the incident or the assistance that patrons could receive but did say for them to stop by his office during the week in the Central Academic Building room 131 to discuss the matter.