Cash only: Kroger credit, debit systems have temporary glitch, frustrating shoppers

Shoppers rushing into stores for last-minute meal preparations on Christmas Eve ran into a temporary snag at one major supermarket chain.

Frustrated customers took to social media Tuesday to report credit card and debit card outages at Kroger stores, forcing people to use cash to pay for their purchases.

In today’s plastic-oriented, smartphone-driven way to pay for food and other shopping items, that caused some consternation nationwide.

Company officials for Kroger, based in Cincinnati, released an update around 2 p.m. EST, saying “Our EBT system was down for a short period of time. It is now fixed and working properly.”

But before that, there was chaos.

In Lexington, Kentucky, one Twitter user tweeted a photo and wrote, “What Kroger’s in #Lexington looks like at 1 p.m. on Christmas Eve when the registers go down and only cash accepted. Guy who seemed to be in charge said it’s systemwide. But the computers started functioning correctly intermittently.”

While the systems were down, customers piled into nearby banks to get cash, causing long lines at teller lines and ATMs.

Kroger has more than 4,000 stores nationwide, mostly in the South and Midwest.

Despite the frustration, there were still acts of kindness among shoppers.

“The cutest old man just (paid) for our groceries at Kroger because the credit card machines were down,” one Twitter user tweeted.