Bad news for expats buying wedding gifts from U.S. registries…

Our German credit card is generally no-muss, no-fuss. It has a nice, low balance and allows us to make big purchases (appliances, plane tickets, etc.) with little hassle. Until today, that is. My card was mysteriously declined as I tried to purchase a gift from a Bed, Bath & Beyond registry.

Whatever could be the problem? I went over the possibilities:
-I’ve purchased from them before; they had my information on file,
-I just paid off the card last month and
-the card is backed by a large, solvent German bank.

The nice customer service agent at BB&B assured me that my order number would remain in system for at least 24 hours, allowing me time to get to the bottom of this. So I called up BigBackingBank for some answers.

The man that helped me simply explained that BigBackingBank no longer clears purchases from BB&B.


This is bad. Out of the last 10 weddings with registries in the U.S. to which I’ve been invited, ALL of the brides and grooms had registered at BB&B. It’s often the registry with the widest variety of items at the most affordable prices. This is REAL bad.

Anybody have any idea what BB&B might have done to cheese off my BigBackingBank? Do they have a history of not playing nice with returns or refunds?