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Ask Dimitry Esquire Your Own Question
Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Licensed in PA & NJ, Experienced attorney.
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I have an issue with Macy's Dept. Store I have been an on-line

Customer Question

I have an issue with Macy's Dept. Store
I have been an on-line shopper with Macy's for several years. On 05/09/15 I made an online purchase- then while checking my emails on 05/12/15 I saw that they had cancelled my order and said I needed to call them- which I did. Per the representative and finally the manager of security they stated that there had been some time of fraud on my account and they would not let me purchase the items. They said they could not tell me what type of fraud only that it had to do with the information that I used on the order, which I verified with them was the right info. (address/name etc) I tried to put the sale on another credit card but they declined that also - even declined my Macy's card. They said that I would not be able to purchase on-line again with Macys. I contacted the credit card people - Citi Bank, and they said that my account was fine and that in fact Macy's had not even put an order through. Back in december 2014 Citi bank contacted me and I confirmed this again with this latest conversation with Citi Bankthat they had contacted me regarding fraud on this card - and it was for a sale made online from Macys- this got taken care of and I never thought about it again. Citi bank issued me a new card with a new number and I have used the citi bank for other purchases and never had a problem. Citi bank also stated that even if there was fraud on the previous canceled card it should not affect the replacement card.
What can I do about this? Do I have any recourse? I have excellent credit - fico in the 880 range.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
Just to be clear, the store cut off just your online privileges, they are still permitting you to shop at their locations but not online. Was there any fraud on this card in the past?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't know about in store - they said online. there were fraud charges back on 12/2014- Citibank contacted me by phone in 12/2014 to say there were fraud charges and verified if I had shopped on specific dates- I had not. so Citi bank canceled that card and issued me a new card which I have used for several purchases since then and had no problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
and those fraud charges that citibank called me about back in december were for Macys
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But I have purchased many things on line from Macys on different credit cards, mainly a us bank visa and macy's credit card.
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your patience. Here is the issue as I see it: Legally speaking nobody has a right to shop at a store--a store is ultimately a private entity that can bar access so long as they do not do so based on discriminatory factors such as race, gender, age, religion, creed, disability, even sexuality depending on the state. But barring access over 'fraud' is not illegal, even if that fraud may or may not really be the case.You, however, CAN challenge them directly via your state's consumer protection division and claim that they are unfairly blocking your right to conduct business, as they have no viable business interest to block access (as they haven't explained or defined their cause beyond a very general excuse). You can argue that as their refusal to serve you does not meet a reasonable standard, it is a violation which would grant you the ability to either demand a good reason or have them rescind their block. Hope that helps! Sincerely, ***** *****
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
when you say the fraud may or may not be the case - what other factors could it be?
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
Fraud may be the case, and is frankly likely fraud. But the seller has to explain and define it (for example state that they get multiple attacks or charges with someone who has your name, so they have now blocked all access for anyone with your name to their site). While that may not be fair, it would be a legal reason for such a block. But it may be something else, such as discrimination, or just red tape bureaucracy (someone blocked it, they cannot figure out why, and are now closing ranks). It is unlikely to be that as well but it is possible, and as a client who is affected, you can demand a more in-depth explanation or else you can assume that the cause is not a business reason, which can then be assumed to be discriminatory.Sincerely, ***** *****
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well I did contact the Dept of Justice which is the consumer protection agency you are speaking of and they stated that if it didn't cause me to lose money that they couldn't do anything - are there any other avenues out there?
Expert:  Dimitry Esquire replied 2 years ago.
The Dept of Justice is technically correct--as I stated, nobody has a fundamental right to shop at a private store, be it online or in their physical location, and private retailers can refuse business to whomever so long as the reason is not discriminatory or barred under law. Short of suing them and claiming that the cause was discriminatory you cannot really force them to change their position. I am sorry!
Dimitry, Esq.

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