Ranting on behalf of a friend. We were out grabbing vegetables for the guinea pigs, a quick dinner and some wine for her. Trying to purchase wine, her debit card was declined. Figuring it was a fluke and the bad mojo of our local Wine Nazi rubbing off, she tried again at Wahoo’s and it got declined again. She figured maybe her balance dipped below 0 as she just bought a new computer and paid for three months of rent at the same time. Before heading back we swung by her bank’s ATM to let her deposit a few checks she never did, and her ATM refused to let her do any transactions. Thinking her balance was below 0, the ATM wouldn’t let her deposit money to cover the balance, how stupid is that? That seems like the bank just being dickish to help garner overdraft fees.
The next morning I get a call at 8:30AM from her bank’s fraud department. entirely automated, it ask if I am X or someone that can speak on behalf of X. I hit 1 in case I can fix the problem. The system proceeds to ask me two multiple guess questions to validate who I am, but never makes me enter the PIN associated with her debit card. It then asks me to confirm the last four transactions; “21 dollars at a liquor store, declined” (1 for yes), “8 dollars at a restaurant, declined” (1 for yes), “1100 dollars at a computer company, accepted” (1 for yes), “10 dollars at a marketing firm” (1 for yes). I have no clue what the last one is, but she is fond of buying small art and guinea pig supplies over the net, many of which show up on statements with odd names. Since it was clear the system categorized the transactions (liquor store, restaurant, computer company) I figured it was one of those. After all of that, “thank you, your card is ready for use”.
So she never dipped below the minimum balance at all, her card was put on hold for potential fraudulent purchase(s) and they found it important to wake me up before business hours to fix it. Hours later after I woke up (again) and thought about it, it occurred to me just how stupid the entire system is. Calling at 8:32 I assume is intended to reach the person before work, but I know many people who leave well before 8:30 for their 9 – 5 job. Even if the goal is to reach them, calling me outside business hours to clear up your stupidity is absurd, especially when she can’t use your ATM or online system to fix the problem outside business hours.
- There was ONE abnormal purchase on her card (the computer). The declined wine purchase was at the same store she frequents several times a week. The declined restaurant was Wahoo’s, where we eat as many as 4 times a week. That one purchase for 1100 was considerably smaller than another single item purchase she made in the last 9 months. That total was roughly the same amount as half a dozen purchases in a three day period in another state. Why did this one flag her account and the others didn’t?
- The card was locked for potential fraud, but the ATM would not allow her to go through the same routine I did? She could have entered the card, the PIN and answered those questions and fixed it without waiting a day.
- The only security offered in the validation process was calling the number on record. not asking for the PIN to be entered and asking two very trivially guessed questions instead is absurd.
So Chase Bank, eat a big bowl of dicks. Your policies and procedures are laughable and annoying.