UPDATED: Students Charged Retroactively for Ram Cafe Purchases Without Warning

Students+are+being+charged+retroactively+for+purchases+they+have+made+at+the+Ram+Cafe+throughout+the+semester.+%28ELIZABETH+LANDRY%2FTHE+OBSERVER%29
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UPDATED: Students Charged Retroactively for Ram Cafe Purchases Without Warning

Students are being charged retroactively for purchases they have made at the Ram Cafe throughout the semester. (ELIZABETH LANDRY/THE OBSERVER)

Students are being charged retroactively for purchases they have made at the Ram Cafe throughout the semester. (ELIZABETH LANDRY/THE OBSERVER)

Students are being charged retroactively for purchases they have made at the Ram Cafe throughout the semester. (ELIZABETH LANDRY/THE OBSERVER)

Students are being charged retroactively for purchases they have made at the Ram Cafe throughout the semester. (ELIZABETH LANDRY/THE OBSERVER)

By SOPHIE KOZUB and ELIZABETH LANDRY

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Community members at Fordham College at Lincoln Center were charged retroactively on Dec. 14 for purchases they made in the Ram Cafe. In some cases, these charges exceed ten purchases or $30, and date back to before Thanksgiving.

Fordham Hospitality Services sent an email to the Fordham community at 4:40 p.m. on Dec. 15 explaining the situation.

“We regret to inform you that since August 2016, credit/debit card charges at one of the Ram Cafe registers were not processed on or near the dates of the transactions due to a software error,” the email reads. “All of the delayed transaction charges over the period in question were automatically deducted from customers’ accounts on December 14, 2016. Once the problem was discovered, we acted immediately to correct the technical issue.”

Hospitality Services emphasized in the email that all of the charges applied to community members’ accounts on Dec. 14 are “legitimate transactions made over the last several months.”

Hospitality Services also apologized “for any inconvenience this issue may have caused” community members, and that the situation was “an oversight we deeply regret.”

“We are committed to providing the Fordham Community with the best possible service, and we regret having let you down,” the email continues. Hospitality Services encourage any community members with questions to contact them at (718) 817-0904.

On Dec. 14, a list was available near the registers in the Ram Cafe for students to fill out their information in the case that they had charges coming through en masse, purportedly to check the legitimacy of each charge.

So far 65 students have told The Observer that they have been charged retroactively for purchases at the Ram Cafe. An FCLC sophomore was charged nearly $50 and claims to have not gone to the Ram Cafe in several weeks. An FCLC junior was also charged $72.83.

USG President Pro-Tempore Yint Hmu, FCLC ’17, said that he had been affected with multiple charges that brought his Chase bank account to dangerously low levels. “I’m two cents away from going negative on my balance because they charged it,” he said. If more charges come through on his account, he will have 24 hours to make up the difference before he is charged an overdraft fee of $30. “I’m dead broke,” he explained. “I’ll need to ask my mom to transfer money but even that might not make it in time.”

Other students like Abdi Aybakar, FCLC ’19, said that they remembered their account balance declining when purchases have been made in the Ram Cafe. Aybakar says he was charged $86 on Dec. 14.

Senior Melissa Alamilla, FCLC, asked, “Why wouldn’t they notify everybody if they were going to charge everyone today? Also, how have they been running if half their charges haven’t been going through?”

Alamilla said that she had had to alert her mother to the issue, as she uses her credit account to make Ram Cafe purchases.

“It’s not about the amount,” said Daniel Halpin, FCLC ’18. “It’s that they’re charging me several months after I made this purchase. I can’t even remember what I purchased.”

UPDATED 12/15

Read the full text of the statement from Fordham Hospitality Services below:

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

The University was asked to share the following message with you on behalf of Aramark, our campus dining vendor:

Notice to the Fordham community concerning recently processed credit/debit card charges from the Ram Cafe

We regret to inform you that since August 2016, credit/debit card charges at one of the Ram Cafe registers were not processed on or near the dates of the transactions due to a software error. All of the delayed transaction charges over the period in question were automatically deducted from customers’ accounts on December 14, 2016. Once the problem was discovered, we acted immediately to correct the technical issue.

We can assure you that the Ram Cafe charges applied to your accounts on December 14 are legitimate transactions made over the last several months. You will notice that the transaction dates are listed as December 14, and not the dates of the actual transactions.

Unfortunately, the charges were posted to your accounts and credit cards before the information was shared with you, our customers, an oversight we deeply regret.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this issue may have caused you: we are committed to providing the Fordham Community with the best possible service, and we regret having let you down. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (718) 817-0904.

Sincerely,

Aramark — Fordham Campus Dining