Friday, November 12, 2010

I'm Sorry

This week started off nicely enough and ended most annoyingly.

Thursday I went to fill the minutes on my cell phone. Yes, I have a drug dealer terrorist pay by the minute cell phone. I don't need to surf the damn web, check my email, or take pictures with my phone. The only people that call me (or I call) on my cell phone are:

1. Dr. Mad Scientist
2. Chunky's school
3. Moochie's daycare
4. My Big Boss

I'm pissed at #4 there. But whatever.

I enter all my credit card information.

Credit card declined.

Let's rewind to October 31.

I check my email and I've got an email from Bank of America's Fraud Department.

I click it and it says there are suspicious charges on my account and gives me a link to click.

Yeah, sure. And maybe a Nigerian prince will make my dreams come true, right?

So I clicky on over to Bank of Skanmerica's website and log in. Sure as shit, they've disabled the link to view my credit card transactions.

It's 8:00 a.m. on a Sunday and I log off of their website vowing that I'll call them soon.

15 minutes later the phone rings and it's an automatic Bank of America call.

They need me to verify some "suspicious charges." I listen to the schpiel and they list the charges they need me to verify.

Friday, October 29 --- $30 in gas.
Saturday, October 30 --- $32 in gas.

I knew Dr. Mad Scientist filled up his car on Friday and I had filled my car up the day after. I approve the charges through the robo call and the mechanical woman calling informs me that my credit card will be unfrozen in 5 minutes.


Zip Zop Zoot--it's now Friday, November 5. I'm running low on gas again (have I mentioned Moochie's old daycare location closed down and now I have to drive him further to daycare?). I go to hand the attendant my card (stupid New Jersey gas-pumping laws) and he hands it back a minute later telling me it's declined.

Miffed, I give him my check card instead (I charge my gas because of those stupid New Jersey pumping laws and my fear of a gas jockey getting my debit card number. I have more fraud protection -- as you're beginning to see -- on my credit card for unauthorized purchases).

I get to work and call up Bank of America. I'm transferred to the Fraud Department where the real people work (not the robocallers). While I'm on hold for the Fraud Department, they disconnect me.

Ho ho.

So I call them up again. I explain the whole situation AGAIN and I am asked all those stupid verification questions AGAIN.

They tell me there are suspicious charges on my card. One for Fedex, one for Netflix and one for the SOE Station*.

At this point, I'm not sure if these charges are kosher or not. I know sometimes Dr. Mad Scientist makes copies for his classes at Fedex/Kinkos, we have a Netflix account that gets charged to this card, but I'm not sure what the SOE Station charge is.

I ask them what exactly the SOE Station charge is.

"It's a game/hobby categorized purchase."

I ask, "So what does that mean?"

"That's the type of purchase it was."

"But you can't tell me what it was for?"

"No, I'm sorry m'am."

At this point I'm just plain irked.

I ask her why I was called on Sunday about possible fraudulent charges, was told my card would be unfrozen and based on my experience that morning, it wasn't.

In hindsight, I think it was NEW charges the flagged the card a second time.

However she responded "Well because you didn't actually talk with someone, your card wasn't actually unfrozen." (The Fedex, Netflix and SOE Station store charges happened around the same time as the gas charges).

I asked her what the point of a robo call was to "verify charges" if in fact it didn't verify charges and I was told something would happen that didn't happen.

"I'm sorry m'am."

She must have said this a million times.

Ok, so I know it's not her fault she's stuck in a shitty job dealing with people like me irked at the people that pay her her paycheck, but seriously, the 10th time you say "I'm sorry m'am" it starts to lose it's sincerity.

At this point, I've gone from irked to pissed and I tell her to just authorize the fucking charges. I figure I'll keep an eye on the charges made to my card online and I can call them up if anything suspicious comes in.

Time warp to Wednesday. I'm online, and I notice the "pending" charges of $1 each to Fedex, Netflix and SOE Station have disappeared. (They were allegedly flagged as having been "keyed in" as opposed to swiped. Huh, never mind they never flagged anything I've bought online w/that credit card before. You have to key in your credit card number when you buy online right?).

Cool. I figure everything is as it should be.

And then on Thursday of this week I go to fill up my cell phone--something I've done how many times before with that credit card--and DECLINED.

I call the jacknards at Bank of America up AGAIN.

I get the same song and dance.

"I don't know why your account was frozen."

I inform Denise (the poor girl who had to endure my vitriol) to do what she had to do to make this right and to inform her supervisors that I have had it with Bank of America, I was going to be paying off the card at the end of the month and NEVER CHARGING ANYTHING ON IT AGAIN.

Her response?

"I'm sorry m'am."


Later in the day, I went onto the Bank of America website and looked at my credit card account--and there was that weird SOE Station $1.00 charge again.

Sigh. Guess I'll just keep an eye on it.

And in the meantime I've applied for a new-non-Bank of America credit card.

I'm also shopping around for a new bank in the meantime too.

*SOE Station is a Sony Online Entertainment store--online video games and shit. Not sure what that's all about. I wonder if our number wasn't stolen by some gaming people??



Blogger Crafty Christina said...

Credit cards and banks suck at this fraud stuff. Two years ago, both my credit and debit number got stolen within a few months of each other. Not pretty. Took over 6 months for my debi card money to be fully refunded and what a run around I got. Good luck getting it all fixed. Oh, and it was gamers too!

9:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

What a horrible experience! I've never had any debit/credit card information stolen, fortunately.

One of my coworkers got her debit card information stolen when she ordered some textbooks online for a college class, through the college's online bookstore. Someone in China hacked the website, and stole all the debit card numbers, and took about $500 from her account. I remember her saying it was a huge hassle trying to get the bank to refund the money. They kept putting it back into her account, and then taking it back out.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that you get everything straightened out.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, it is time for a new CC and a new bank.

Good luck!

Love, Mom

11:49 PM  
Blogger Discoknits said...

We bank with BofA too. We've had mixed experiences with them. They didn't want to give us a mortgage (their loss! {and ours too, eventually, but I digress}), but they were very helpful when I dropped my card at a gas station and didn't realise.
The nice person who picked up the card was only able to fill up two cars with gas before their fraud dept put a stop on the card.
I would go into a branch and talk to a human facetoface to get this one sorted.
Good luck :0)

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a call about fraud once - apparently a charge for $1 had been put through somewhere I hadn't been. The next day a computer was charged. From what the company told me, the thieves try out the card with $1 to make sure it works, and then do the real charges they want to make. Good luck!

6:26 AM  
Blogger Helen said...

My parents have had great experiences (yes, multiple!) with Discover's fraud department. Sorted things out quickly. I love my CHASE Visa - great reqards program. We don't use cash and charge everything on there, so we rack up points quickly. You can get a good old check from them with rewards points, but gift cards are the same 'price' so sometimes we get a nice dinner or like this time I got Kohl's so I could pick up some things I need to go back to work. Just a thought...unless you really want a credit card that goes with a bank, which I think I saw you mention on FB? I have no experience with mad that I had the same bank since I was about 6 and in the three years I have been married they have changed hands/names twice. so annoying and glad to leave them!

9:26 AM  
Blogger Zonda said...

That just sucks!! I have the same bank, so far it's ok, but geesh!! Good luck getting your new card, then drop that BoAcard fast!!

11:27 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Hope you have better luck with the next one!

6:34 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Ugh! That so sucks! Definitely time for a new card. I don't have a credit card, but I'm considering opening a checkless checking account or a debit card savings account just to have the card, but my limit would be whatever was in the account, which would keep me from getting crazy - like I tend to do - with a credit card ;).

9:09 PM  
OpenID alittlebitofeach said...

When my CC# got stolen it was being used by some company that did online game downloads. I known because I googled the company that was showing up in my online balance checks. Keep an eye out on that stuff.

10:59 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

I think the worst part (besides being told "I'm sorry" over and over) is that they let you go through with the robocall and then didn't fix it like they led you to believe. What a pain.

And I made your orange chocolate chip cookies. My husband told me that they were a failed experiment and to "save me", he would take them all out to the man cave.

8:32 AM  
Blogger LBorealis said...

Yikes. We've had our card information swiped once, it took forever to get sorted and I'm pretty sure that whoever did it had a nice vacation in New Zealand!

Check out I know it's advertised as being for savvy investor types, but the rates are good, the service is better than others, and... they always forgive you ATM fee charges from non-bank machines.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Cindy in Happy Valley said...

I understand your angst, but the way they should have resolved this was to just issue you a new card...with a new ##. I realize it would be a hassle for things like netflix etc, but charging small things like the $1 to SOE is exactly how thieves check the validity of a card.

I had an AmEx card # stolen once, and they charged $10 to FeEx. AmEx (following this?), totally on the ball, just called and said the charges were suspicious, asked if I made them (NO!), and said they would decline the charges and issue me a new card. (I had only used that card for business, hotels, meals etc. So somewhere in my travels I encountered a thief.)

I never use my debit/credit for anything online or for travel...EVER.

9:08 AM  
Blogger knottygnome said...

that really sucks. i have a BOA card but i only keep it b/c i've had it for a long time. i use discover for cash back purposes and i haven't had any problems.

hope you get things sorted out. the $1 charge sounds like it could be fraud. i've heard of sketchy companies doing stuff like that hoping that you won't notice the charge.

10:05 AM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

It might be easier to have two separate CC accounts, one for you and one for DR. MS, that way if your # is pinged again, you'll know exactly what charges should be on them, and vise versa. Not to mention that you can cancel the one card without having to sit without a card until a new one is issued (unless you have Amex, who will overnight you a new card, love them).

If you prefer a bank + CC card...I prefer credit unions. But banking is like sailboat anchors is like religion...all personal preferences and no one can convince anyone that the one they like is better :).

10:43 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I had to get Mark a new card on our BOA account- replace one he already had and man oh man did we get the runaround! His broke in half (who knows!) and they actually ran a credit check on us before they'd replace it. BTW, same numbers on both our cards so it wasn't a missing thing or anything. But it was such a PITA.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous SiressYorkie said...

We've had our info swiped quite a few times. I think it's because we do so much on-line ordering. I know it's all for the Greater Good, but when we travel I resent having to ring the CC companies to give them our agenda...

2:21 AM  
Blogger Ina said...

Ruh roh. Mystery $1 charges that appear and disappear are a sign a vendor is verifying your card. While that can be legitimate, if no authorized user of your account uses SOE, be sure to report this to the Fraud Dept. You can ask for them to issue a new credit card and overnight it to you, and to port over any automatic payments (such as EZ Pass etc). Guess how I know all that. Good luck beating the hackers!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Bizarre. I just had a mysterious keyed in charge on my bank of america card to the "SOE Station Store" as well. They just cancelled my card immediately when I told them I didn't make the charge.

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a debit card from school and I haven't used it in months, I even forgot about it. I got a call today from their fraud dept that charges were attempted and denied 3 times today (I don't even think there's any $$ left on that card, it was only for school loans and such and I'm graduated now). Well one was for walmart online, some hotel I've never heard of, and SOE Station. Uhm I looked it up, Sony!? I don't even own a playstation, how the heck!? I know sony had that security breach a while back, but I don't own a playstation and have never used sony online entertainment. Craziness, but the card is cancelled and they got declined thank goodness!

11:07 AM  

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