New special wine ordering system for Pa. restaurants starts

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A new system Pennsylvania restaurateurs must use to order wines not available in state stores has had some stumbles since launching Sunday.

The new Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board system restaurants must use to order wines that are not available in state stores has, as expected, had a few hiccups since launching Sunday, but the PLCB said it had processed more than 1,000 orders as of Tuesday morning.

There was a problem processing special-order payments for 29 licensees, “whose credit-card transactions were refused by banks and marked as ‘do not honor’ transactions,” the PLCB said.

Under the old special orders system, restaurants would go to their local state store and pay for their special order with one swipe of their credit card, even if they ordered from five different vendors. Under the new system, which requires restaurants to pay before they pick up their orders, multiple small payments to the PLCB for each of the five vendors are triggering fraudulent payment warnings at some banks.

A PLCB email on Tuesday asked licensees with payment problems to tell their bank that the charges are not fraudulent.

“Most customers who have had issues have responded to us and cleared the matter with their banks, and their orders have been reprocessed. So far, in every case that has been brought to our attention and in which the customer has responded to the PLCB, the issue has been resolved,” the PLCB said.

Jason M. Malumed, a partner in a MFW Wines, a small distributor, said that on Sunday orders were being canceled before payments were even attempted. That was fixed Sunday night, Malumed said.

Some restaurant licensees also failed to check a box to join the special orders program in the PLCB’s online ordering system. That meant they could not receive orders before they got a PLCB administrator to add them to the special order program, Malumed said.