Enough Already

I love my bank, I do. I love that they are open until 8 at night, and that they give me free checking, and that they don't charge me for using other banks' ATMs, and even refund any fees that OTHER banks charge me... but I'm getting a bit tired of their over-protective nature when it comes to "fraud." They've suspended my ATM card 5 times now. Every time it has been the result of an internet purchase. I buy something... the next day, my card doesn't work. I appreciate their attempt to protect me, but I buy things online. A LOT. If they are going to turn off my damn card every time I'm going to have to change banks. This time I attempted to use the card, only to have it declined, but I couldn't recall having made any purchases lately that should have set it off. I called the bank only to find that the domain registration for this blog had auto-renewed. When I asked why that had set off a fraud alert on my account they said that it was because the merchant was in another state fom where the card was registered, combined with the fact that I had made a withdrawal in yet another state (I'm travelling). I calmly explained that, yes... that was the way online purchasing worked, and that the modern economy was full of such transactions. The card has been restored, and I aksed them to loosen the controls on my card if such a thing was possible. We went through several transactions that I have made in the past few months to tray and establish a pattern with her. This hard since I am often buying esoteric props from a wide variety of places. Hopefully this willstraighten out some of the problem... we'll see. Is one issue with a merchant that I otherwise have a great relationship with enough to give up the relationship?

2 Response to "Enough Already"

  • libhom Says:

    The most important thing about changing banks is to leave a period of a month or two with both accounts open to deal with outstanding checks, slow direct deposits, etc.

  • Ajo Says:

    I've had two recent incidents like this, not with my (excellent) credit union, but with my bank card. In the first case, I was unable to buy something online, even after an extensive back-and-forth with the merchant, because "verified by Visa" does not like something it's using to verify my card. That hasn't been a problem anywhere else, so the merchant just lost the sale. He wasn't happy, so maybe he'll complain to Visa, which is pushing the verification program, and with which he is now not at all thrilled.

    In the second case, Costco refused an online order twice, but couldn't tell me why. Their form did reject our address once, preferring their own version, but since we've been using our "version" for 14 years, and both the card and the account at the credit union are that old, that seemed, well, stupid, since it's been working just fine for us all that time.

    When I called Costco customer service, they said they could go around the verification process by taking a lot of additional information from me. They then proceeded to ask an amazingly intrusive batch of questions. When they got around to asking me who owned the house where the file cabinet would be delivered, I lost it and told them I'd just get it somewhere else. What were they thinking? They're going to check the title to the house???

    We've had our Costco card for over a decade, too, and never a problem with it or them, but apparently that didn't mean a thing.

    I guess Costco experiences a lot of fraud from people like us who buy a single file cabinet, so I'm sure they think their third degree is a burning necessity.

    Naturally, I ended up buying the cabinet from a local outfit. I got the last laugh, too -- we had it in one day (Costco: two to three), and we paid $40 less for it. Go figure.

    I assume these idiots, like your bank, will someday figure out these methods aren't a reasonable way to combat fraud. I gotta think there are a lot of really, really ticked-off people out there who are just as annoyed by this kind of "service" as we are.