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Winn-Dixie computers double bill some debit card

A computer glitch caused thousands of shoppers who used their bank debit cards at Winn-Dixie supermarkets during the past several weeks to be charged more than once for the same purchases.

Winn-Dixie Stores Inc., based in Jacksonville, said Friday that its computers had been unable to handle the high volume of purchases since before Easter. The result was that some debit-card users were hit more than once with charges for the same purchases _ up to seven times in some cases.

The company said it didn't know how many customers were affected, but numbers provided by banks that issue debit cards indicate that at least 13,000 people were overcharged, according to the Florida Times-Union of Jacksonville. One bank reported that it was seeing problems as recently as Thursday.

Customer Margaret Allen said she made a $26.94 purchase during Easter weekend and found her checking account was debited twice. She has not received a refund. "I get paid every two weeks, and I have to watch my money," Allen said.

Winn-Dixie said it was taking steps to fix the problem.

As late as Thursday, NationsBank reported that it still was seeing problems with debit cards used at Winn-Dixie checkout stands.

The bank said that about 8,000 NationsBank and Barnett customer transactions at Winn-Dixie checkouts had produced duplicate charges beginning about April 10.

First Union National Bank said it has adjusted 18,000 Winn-Dixie transactions to remove duplicate charges.