Published: 10:02, 15 April 2015
A Katy Perry lookalike was one of hundreds of shoppers left out of pocket after a card reader problem at a supermarket delayed payments by up to three weeks.
Customers at Aldi, in Maidstone, were shocked when transactions were declined on Friday after hundreds of pounds were debited from their accounts in one lump sum.
Some reports suggest as much as £700,000 of payments racked up in the Well Road store since the middle of March were taken from numerous accounts without warning, leaving many stung by bank fines.
One of those affected was Katy Perry tribute act Suzanne O’Neill who tweeted the supermarket to express her anger.
"When I phoned them they were completely unsympathetic and were not able to explain why it had happened" - Suzanne O’Neill
The 27-year-old, from Waterlow Road, had almost £200 taken from her account and says that when she approached the chain's customer services they failed to apologise or offer any solution.
Miss O'Neill said: "I know a lot of people have been landed with bank fines as a result of unexpectedly going into their overdrafts.
"A lot of single mothers live near the shop and this has left them in financial difficulty. I was going to take my son out on Thursday but now I can't.
"When I phoned them they were completely unsympathetic and were not able to explain why it had happened."
The mother of one, who has thousands of followers on social media, added: "I will never shop at Aldi again.
I'm really angry about this and will be doing as much as possibly to make people aware of what has gone on."
Another enraged shopper added: “A lot of people who shop here are on benefits so every little counts, they rely an awful lot on money coming into their accounts on certain dates so to have this happen without any warning is a real issue.
“I understand we have to pay, but you would expect the least the shop could do once they realised they were having an issue is put a sign up to make people aware of the fault.”
A spokesman for the cut-price chain said: “Our Maidstone store recently experienced card transaction issues, which may have resulted in a delay in customer payments being debited from their accounts.
"Aldi is pleased to report that the problem has now been resolved and apologises for any inconvenience caused.
"The issue was over the last 3 weeks, but all customer payments have now been debited. Any customer queries are being dealt with by the Maidstone Store Manager rather than through a sign in store."
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