Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Give Me Some Credit!!!!!

There are things that cause a sinking feeling in the stomach that everyone has experienced.  That feeling when you reach for your purse and it's not there...the shock of spinning your car on black ice...an unexpected call from the doctor's office after a test.  Here's another one I experienced for the very first time today:  "Your credit card was rejected".

We finished lunch, and my friend and I stuck our credit cards into our individual black restaurant folders for the chirpy waitress to pick up.  When she returned she said in a cheerful voice, "Here you go ladies, and your credit card was rejected."  Her tone was so happy that I thought for a second I'd misunderstood what she said.  I had not.

"Did you try it twice," I asked?   She had.  Of course I said what everyone says in this situation, "There's no way it shouldn't work".  Bet she's heard that one before, but in this case it happened to be true.  I was totally mystified.

Back at the office I couldn't wait to rip the offending piece of plastic out of my wallet and call the infinitesimally small number on the back of the card.   I was in such a hurry I misdialed twice, but I finally got the phone tree that told me to press one for this and two for that and three if I was from Mars....something like that.

After being told that my entire conversation would be recorded for quality and training purposes (I was really hoping this conversation wouldn't deteriorate into a training moment but I had no guarantees to offer) I was greeted by a very professional voice who was more than helpful; she was polite!

After jumping through all the security hoops I was allowed to explain my dilemma. That was accompanied by the clicking of keys, and the helpful woman's voice informed me they had frozen my account.  "Did you make any charges at 2 o'clock this morning?  An air B&B?"

Resisting the temptation to put that training moment in gear I replied, "No, I did not".

"Someone tried to charge $8,427.00 to your card in four separate transactions. (There's that stomach drop!)  They managed to get two of the charges past, but we stopped the other two.  You have $2,300.00 on your card right now. (A training worthy shriek almost escaped my lips)   I see another $10.00 charge was rejected today," she finished.

"That ten dollars actually was me, but they wouldn't take the card," I sighed.

The thought of being part of a training module on how to handle crazy customers, or perhaps having my voice show up on a Christmas party tape for a group of drunken office workers to hear kept me in check.  I can tell you that $8,427.00 is enough to make me waffle on that, however.

She continued, "I will send you a copy of all these charges and list the ones that are fraudulent.  Our no risk policy means you are not liable for the theft, and we will send you a new card in seven to ten working days."

This lady could have informed me they'd be sending me a dead mackerel in the mail after telling me I wasn't liable for the $8,427.00 some jerk(s) had just charged to my name and I still would have sent her a birthday present.   I was one very relieved person.

I've got some clean up work to do on line, but so far the experience has been relatively painless.  I have no idea if a restaurant server out of sight with my card made a copy, or if a card reader had been installed on a gas pump.  Someone, somewhere had the numbers in hand to make my life miserable for a while and I have no idea how they got them.

I may never know how some criminal element came up with my card, but I am I'm relieved that I don't have to come up with $8,427.00 to pay for someone else's vacation.  I'm also grateful for the calm voice on the other end of the telephone who simultaneously soothed and informed me, thereby keeping me from becoming a cautionary tale to other customer service reps.

                  Thank you faceless, nameless professional...you really made my day.

                                                             Life is Good