Several things I do at the bank for customers:
-Complete the debit card form for traveling customers going to different states/countries. (I designed the form and am quite proud of this.)
-Increase debit card daily limits temporarily, as requested
-Open, close, or rearrange most kinds of checking or savings accounts
Recently, I’d explained to customers how to freeze their credit, to thwart further fraud. What a grand idea, so, to be prudent, I froze my own credit. I’m so resourceful.
Occasionally, I get customers who’re ready to pull their hair out, because of some financial frustration. Recently, I got an opportunity to feel that kind of pain…
Last month, I visited our daughter, Korey, in Denver. Call me “Savvy”, regarding my traveling abilities, when it comes to being prepared financially. This includes taking a debit card, two credit cards and cash. With Uber now, less cash is needed than before, and my bank refunds me up to $20/month on ATM fees, so no problem, if more cash is needed.
Denver, Night #1: Alert informs me of “questionable credit card charges”. The fraud line representative described the suspect charges, but was difficult to understand, seeing as she had a heavy accent. I cancelled the card immediately.
Mountains, Day #2: Saturday, we used my debit card for coffee, en route to skiing. What’s sweeter than sun, moderate temperatures and spring skiing? Between Korey and her roommate, I was fully outfitted: jacket, gloves and helmet. I could’ve packed ski clothes, but they’re bulky. Except Korey had no extra pants and Meghan’s about 5’9” and slim. Surely, there’d be end-of-season sales in Keystone Village. Sadly, sales boiled down to one pair of ill-fitting, men’s, ski pants for $195 (I know…) and no further options. I prayed the snap wouldn’t pop getting on the lift each time. My debit card was declined. Hmmmmm, I wasn’t overdrawn. Wait…NOOOOOOOOOO: I’d neglected to complete my traveling debit card form! Apparently, the card worked at Starbucks, but using it twice, rather rapidly, unfurls a red flag. If I hadn’t designed this form myself, it wouldn’t be so ironic. Plus, I’d helped customers with this form, the day before at work! The card would remain frozen from until Monday. I’m now: 0 for 2. Declined debit and compromised credit cards. No worries, as I, the savvy traveler, present credit card #2 for the pants. DECLINED; I break a sweat. Korey uses her card for my pants, lift tickets and lunch. I call customer service; apparently, my credit limit is just $500. WHAT? Who even has a credit card this low? Me, apparently. I requested a limit increase and paid off my balance, by phone, to reinstate the card. However, the payment wouldn’t show for 2-3 days. Lovely. Soon, an email regarding my credit limit request arrived: request was on hold. It seems that my credit was frozen. ARRRRGGGHHH. “Inform us when you’ve lifted the freeze.” Right. Except I couldn’t remember my password for Transunion, the credit reporting agency. What else is new?
I survived on Korey’s credit until Monday; when my debit card was revived and my credit card payment was applied. We’re back in business! Yes, I owe Korey oodles, but she saved me, and besides, she earned air miles for the assist. Eventually, credit was unfrozen (once I found my password) and a letter arrived, regarding the two, suspect credit card items. The first: $5.00 charge to Yad Vashem, Holocaust Museum, Jerusalem. A worthy cause, but this wasn’t mine; the other item, Amazon.com credit, for returned merchandise. “A credit”, you say? Who on earth call’s a credit for returned merchandise suspicious? I’m not sure when I’ll travel next, but remind me to fill out the traveler form, make sure my kids always have a higher credit limit than and leave ski clothes at Korey’s. For now, I must run to an alterations appointment to make my ski pants a bigger! bw