The “Is This Your Charge?” Call

Good or bad our credit card company gets a lot of info from our purchases. We use one card for everything. They know a lot about the Foxes.

I was asleep when Helaine answered the call from Chase. They’d just gotten a $2,000 charge from an overseas website. It didn’t fit our spending pattern and had been declined, but Chase wanted to make sure.

Make no mistake, Chase is protecting Chase. Any benefit to me comes when our interests are coincidentally aligned. I believe “your call is important to us,” is about as much commitment as they want.

Good or bad our credit card company gets a lot of info from our purchases. We use one card for everything. They know a lot about the Foxes.

At 2:00 PM the card will be shut down. Tomorrow a new card will be delivered. Chase takes a lot of the responsibility. We did nothing wrong, but we’re responsible for some work too. We’ll have to find everyone who regularly bills our card and let them know.

While Helaine was out making the last of our allowed purchases the very nice (I mean very, very nice) American based woman from Chase, Theresa Gonzalez, called. She was checking to see if she could throw the switch? It gave me a chance to ask how they knew.

The online merchant itself was legit. The trigger was the large amount going out-of-country. It didn’t fit our pattern (my words, not hers).

This is a downside in our mobile and connected society. I absolutely feel Chase knows too much. I’m not sure how they could do business otherwise.

The alternative is giving up the convenience our credit card society affords us. I definitely don’t want to do that.

4 thoughts on “The “Is This Your Charge?” Call”

  1. At least Chase caught it and declined it, Geoff. It is a price we pay for being a “connected” society, but there are some merchants watching out for us.

  2. I went to New York City last year to celebrate a friends birthday. She was moving out to become a weathergirl in the Montana ABC affiliate actually. Anyways, we hit up an Indian restaurant then a bar.

    I have a bad habit of letting my tank run empty before I fill up. Get back home, and go into a gas station near UConn. My Bank of America credit card is declined. Didnt have any other cards or my cell phone because I left my jacket in the city. I had to scrounge for change in the car just enough to get me home.

    Called BofA – the kind representative on the phone from “Fraud protection services” said that my card had been put on hold because of suspicious activity that “didnt fit my pattern of spending” (and that was his words). I said “so it is out of pattern for a 21 year old college student to hit a bar in NYC.” He said it was because 99% of my purchases were in state.

    He also said if I planned to make any special trips in the future that I should call Bank of America to prevent this from happening again. Although, I appreciate their efforts, I dont like the fact I could be at an airport about to buy a last minute ticket and my card could be declined simply because it is irregular compared to my usual spending patterns (happened at JFK in 2009 because I wanted to upgrade my class).

  3. At least Chase gave you a heads-up before they turned off your card. More than once I have had to deal with American Express shutting off the card I use for every single tour-related expense, because we were touring in a new region or country and it never occurred to them that THIS IS WHAT WE USE THE CARD FOR.

    The first time I ever did a foreign tour, I stopped at an ATM as soon as we got through Customs in Heathrow and took out a few pounds sterling. A few days later I needed more, and hit another ATM only to find my card wasn’t working. My bank (good old CT-based Liberty Bank) had oh-so-helpfully shut off my card for “suspicious activity”. And for various other stupid reasons, it took over a month for me to have a working ATM card again. *That* was a fun month, let me tell you. 😛 (At least they put some sort of “frequent global traveler” flag on my account so that it wouldn’t happen again, and to their credit, it hasn’t.)

    I do appreciate “fraud protection”, but crikey, *check* first!!

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