Brian Pemberton contacted us after a chip and pin mistake left him 30,000 in the red.

Mr Pemberton wanted to expose the problem so that other poeple were aware of the pitfalls.

The Daily Mail ran the story as an exclusive to raise awareness of the problem.

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'Chip and pin error left me 30,000 in the red'


When Larysa Pemberton took her three-year-old to an indoor play area, she was happy to hand over her debit card to pay the 3 fee.

But little Amy's half hour of fun proved to be significantly more expensive than that.

After keying in her pin code on the assistant's machine, a shocked Mrs Pemberton received a receipt showing a transaction for 30,003.06 had taken place.

It soon emerged that a communication breakdown with the young assistant led Mrs Pemberton to key in her four-digit code next to the figures 300, which were supposed to represent 3.

Mrs Pemberton, 32, left the Hare and Hounds pub in Menston, West Yorkshire, feeling anxious despite assurances from staff the transaction would not go through. Yet all appeared well the next day when her husband Brian was told by their debit-card firm the amount had not been processed.

A further precautionary check with the manager of their local Lloyds TSB branch in Shipley brought further reassurances.

So the couple were stunned when Mr Pemberton, 61, checked their online account on Wednesday night and found they were 28,308.14p overdrawn.

And their concern deepened the next morning when he was refused money from a cash machine.

The former fireman went to the police, who, though sympathetic, advised him to speak to his bank. After some frantic calls, the Pembertons' bank and their card firm agreed to reverse the payment.

The snag was Mr Pemberton would be in the red for the ten days it takes for transactions to be reversed.

He said: 'The bank manager agreed to extend my overdraft facility to take into account that I was nearly 30,000 in debt.

'As it stands now, my account has gone back to normal. But I am very unhappy about this. What if I hadn't checked my bank account when I did? The wider issue is whether these chip and pin machines are secure enough for everyone to use.'

A statement from Spirit Group, which runs the Hare and Hounds pub, blamed Mrs Pemberton. It said: 'The customer incorrectly entered the card's pin number when asked to confirm the amount of 3. This altered the amount to 30,003.06p.'

But Mrs Pemberton, who has now changed her pin, said: 'She put 3 in the machine and then asked me to put my pin number in.

'Then she gave me the card back and asked me to put my pin in again. When I saw the receipt I couldn't believe it. I've used machines like this around the world and this has never happened before.'

A spokesman for Lloyds TSB said: 'This was an error on the part of the retailer whereby the amount was entered incorrectly.

'We declined the transaction, however, the retailer chose to override this instruction and continue to process the payment.

'Although this was a point of sale error, we worked with Mr Pemberton to help reverse the payment.'

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