Sunday, November 20, 2016

Credit Card Woes

This has been a bad weekend for me and credit cards. I went to buy something on line last night and my Amex was declined. I knew that wasn't possible (well, it was possible since it happened, but I typically pay the bill the day it comes) and so after entering and re-entering the number a number of times, I called Amex only to be told I have a fraud alert on my card which was news to me. The woman reviewed charges where I had to say whether they were mine or not. I guess I (they) caught this early as it was two charges -- one for a dollar something and one for nine dollars, both in Houston.

She asked me if anyone else has access to my card and I said to her I have no boyfriend, no husband, no children and live alone so no. Mary later asked me if I felt she was being accusatory and I said no, not really. I am sure it's just a standard question.

This one got solved with canceling the card and they're sending me a new card to arrive on Tuesday. I really hate the scammers and spammers.

Oh another thing. I only have one other credit card and Mary suggested I check that which I did and last night and this morning there were no transactions. I checked twice.

Today I went online to make a car reservation for Thanksgiving, this time using my Citibank Mastercard, only to have that declined as well. Made me nervous. Entered and re-entered the number and then called Citibank who told me I had a fraud alert on the card, but this one was different.

This car/limo place prior to your paying on line first does a test to charge your card for $1. I had always used my Amex to pay for cars from this placce so the one dollar charge from an all-new vendor AUTOMATICALLY triggered a fraud alert. So the car place charges $1 and then my card for the full amount got declined.

I got an email from Citibank where I  clicked yes to confirm the car place was valid...which I did and then it took me to a page that said all was well.

Sort of.

In the meantime, since the fraud alert was lifted, I guess retroactively, I now had two identical charges for one trip.

I had yet to reserve my return trip.

So I call the car place, they connect me twice to customer service where I was promtly disconnected both times. On my third call, I said NO connecting me to customer service.

It took the patience of an animal trainer to explain to the guy that I needed on charge canceled. To add to the confusion, I was willing to just put the second, duplicate charge to the return trip which I had yet to make/reserve.

He finally got it sorted out, made the reservation for the return trip... and I would say what should have taken five minutes on line took more than an hour. Of course, with Citibank I had to go through all the security questions including my "secret word."

What?  I don't know how the hell we're supposed to remember all the codes, words, secret words, PINs, paswords, etc.

The friendly recording said that my secret word may be my best friend's last name so I gave it a shot and said Mary's last name and that worked although I have zero memory of ever recording that as my  (ahem) secret word.

No lessons or morals here, just whining about modern life in a world of crroks.


Barbara said...

I have a friend who came up with a great solution for passwords: an old fashioned rolodex card file, alphabetical by website name. And it's so low tech that it is safe from hackers! Of course this wouldn't help when you are travelling.

Pat said...

I keep a spiral notebook on my desk for notes and to do lists, etc and I've written passwords on the inside back cover and the date I changed them. Now this notebook is used up so it's time to transfer and I'm thinking of something similar -- not a Rolodex but just a piecce of paper.