Every time you place an order with us our system does something called a credit card authorization. Credit card authorizations are a standard way of setting aside money in someone's account without actually collecting it. Frequently credit card companies will show these as "Pending transactions".
Authorizations are temporary and will expire. The time varies by credit card type:
American Express - 7 days
Visa & MasterCard - 10 days
Discover - 30 days
If an authorization expires before we ship your order, we cannot use it to collect the money due. In this case we have to make a new authorization and collect that one instead. When this happens it can look like we've billed you twice but most of the time that is not the case and the earliest transaction will eventually disappear from your card activity.
Behind the scenes credit card processors generally have four stages that a payment must go through before it is considered complete.
Authorization - Set aside the money to verify the card is not above it's limit.
Capture - Tells the card processor that we intend to collect the amount associated with an authorization.
Submitted for settlement - This automatically happens at the end of the day, it starts the process of moving the money between your account and ours. All transactions with a status of Capture will move to this stage at the end of the day.
Settled - The money has been transferred and the transaction is complete.
Occasionally you may see an authorization hang around on your account longer than it should. We're more than happy to provide PDF versions of transaction receipts that document if we collected money for a transaction. If you submit a request for one of these we can provide them.
While we try to avoid making mistakes, we've still got people on the other end of the computers and we might have accidentally billed you twice. We're always happy to look into any questions you have about your order. You can call us at 1-800-CEO-READ (1-800-236-7323) or use our help center to inquire about your order.