This Should Work… But It Doesn’t

You know that line they sent me, “You can use your card with confidence?” No, you can’t.

It was the perfect setup for a Sunday afternoon. Helaine was out shopping. I was taking a nap. Foolishly I’d left the sound up on my cellphone. That’s how Chase woke me with a text.

I had no idea if Helaine had attempted a $121.17 charge at a variety store so I called her.

Yup, it was her purchase. It was blocked.

I texted back a confirming “1” and told Helaine to try again.


You know that line they sent me, “You can use your card with confidence?” No, you can’t.

With Helaine in one ear I made the international circuit of customer service operators finally ending up with ‘no accent’ Karl. Whether Karl fixed the problem or it fixed itself I’ll never know, but the $121.17 charge did finally go through.

This is not my first time to the fraud prevention rodeo. Most of the time it’s a false positive on Chase’s part, as it was today. Each time I say there must be a better way. There probably is, but my time is free to Chase. They have little incentive to make my life easier.

8 thoughts on “This Should Work… But It Doesn’t”

  1. I used to end up getting a facacta phone calls from them every time I bought something from the Apple app store or iTunes store. I finally gave up and switched cards on that account. Interestingly, they never used to throw a fit if I bought something from the Android Marketplace when I had a Droid.

  2. So, let me get this straight, they will automatically flag a purchase that doesn’t meet what they consider to be your “regular purchasing habits?” Sounds like a nightmare when you’re on vacation or something…

  3. Geoff, I went through the same thing today. With e-commerce occurring more frequently I have to imagine that this will continue at a more consistent rate. My card was flagged because I have purchased, stove equipment, a website design program, and coffee over the internet over the past two days and it was just too much for BofA (so many things to make the “b” stand for, as well as the “a”) to handle. So frustrating, and with no solution as the customer is no longer the important factor in transactions, we will continue to feel like we are on receiving end of a mallet hitting square over our huge noggins. Guess its back to dealing with people again – sarcasm is thick with me tonight. Sorry.

  4. I have a friend who recently got caught in the international fiasco called support while trying to use the lifetime support extra she purchased from a well known computer company with her initial purchase. When, after a half an hour having no idea what the person in “support” was saying, she asked to speak to someone else who spoke English, she was informed that it would cost extra!

  5. Nice.

    I know when I had an AMEX card they were proactive on a couple of charges that popped up on my statement, but strangely enough, never got any kind of inquiries from the oil companies when I took a cross-country vacation in ’08 and had about 25 charges spread out over three cards for a solid week.

    Go figure.

  6. They are not looking out for you — they are looking out for themselves. You are not liable for anything over $50, so this loving concern is really total self-interest. Try going to another country! When I was humilated by a blocked charge in Canada and called the credit card co., I was informed I should have notified them before I went on such a trip — as though they are my parents and I am staying out after curfew! Unfortunately, I could not even close the account in protest, as that impacts my credit score!

  7. I am leaving for Ireland in a couple days, and even though I’ve notified my credit card bank and my ATM bank, I still wait for the “when” not “if” of one or both of my cards getting cut off while I’m gone. I’m doubly worried for my mom, who will be traveling abroad for only the 3rd time in her life on this trip and who has BofA everything. She contacted them but I doubt she’ll make it through the trip without an issue.

    Meanwhile, I hear from at least one person of my acquaintance per week who is dealing with identity theft, credit card fraud, etc. Something is clearly bass-ackwards in this system.

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