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I was in Asda at the weekend and used my Highline (Maestro) debit card as usual when their self-scanner checkout locked up and had to be restarted. After this, my card wasa showing as 'Blocked - No Not Swipe', but there were no problems with lack of funds, so it remained a mtstery. To solve the problem, ASDA did swipe it using an manual imprinter and I got my groceries.


I then find that I cannot access my online balance as I get an error message asking me to enter my new card number! My card isn;t due to expire until next year.


Phoning them up - I'm told I was sent a letter in May, complete with a new Visa Debit card, and should have switched to that. Since I hadn't recieved any card or letter, trhis wasn't possible. I asked could they not have noticed that the new card had not been activated?


Their answer? No we couldn't, as it is sent out 'live' - no activation is required!


Can you believe this?


If you've got an old Maestro card - watch out, asa you;ll never know whether they are sending you a replacement, and you cannot complain about non receipt as you won;t know they've sent it you you until your old card is vapourised.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the heads-up. That's quite worrying.


I've always had to activate my cards, but still I'm a paranoid banker. I check my online banking at least twice a week.

A debt collector for my sins; I hope any advice I can offer of the industry can help. It might help me sleep at night.

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  • 4 weeks later...

If you still have an old Maestro card with RBS contact your branch and ask if you have been sent, or are due to be sent a replacement Visa Debit card. Everyone will get one in due course as the bank's previous agreement with MasterCard who underwrote the Maestro scheme will end soon.


You should also note that the purchase of any foreign currency outside of the RBS network, results in a cash handling charge which retailers are allowed to charge under the Visa scheme. The fee has a max of £4.50 unless you use ATMs abroad, in which case it £5.00. I found this out when I went to Thomas Cook in Glasgow to buy Euros and the helpful member of staff advised me to nip outside and get cash from the ATM to avoid the extra fee. I checked with my bank and they advised that the cards are sent out pre-activated to avoid problems for the user........


There is an upside to the changeover, under Visa, purchasers receive much better protection than they did with Maestro, so if your retailer goes bust, especially travel firms we should be better off. Shame Ryanair still charge for them though, but what do you expect from them?

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