Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Debit Cards!

So I got to spend 3 days freaking out over why my debit card didn't work anymore...and learned through the process that bank employees are either inadequate, or are just not adequately informed.

On Sunday it worked fine, and on Monday after swiping it 3 times and the cashier swiping it and then manually entering the numbers it finally worked after they suspended the sale and took me to another register. They said they were going to call their tech support because they thought that terminal was broken.

On Tuesday it failed when I was doing the grocery shopping for the week, so I did an electronic check instead. When I got home, I had an email from the retailer for an online purchase that morning that had been declined, for a piddly $40. I spent 30 minutes on the phone (with someone probably in India pretending to know English) who tells me there is nothing wrong with the card, nothing wrong with the account, so please go try to use it again. Sigh.

It failed. At Starbucks. For $3. Excuse me?? So I drive over to Citibank and walk in and the teller looks at everything and tells me everything is fine. She asked me to make an ATM withdrawal to see if it would work at the ATM and it does. So she asks me to go to the grocery store across the way to test it. It worked fine! I think it's cured and what do you know...I head to the yarn store to get an Addi size 3 needle to finish the baby sweater I'm working on and the card fails. We're talking 10 minutes after it worked at the grocery store for a flat of water. Back to Citibank I go, this time sitting down with the manager. She tells me all this garbage about it maybe being a "network" issue where I'm shopping...excuse me but the people immediately before and after me in line don't have "network" issues. So she calls in and is told the same thing I was - there is no problem with the card or the account.

I head to the grocery store to do the major fails. No way am I going to do this shopping for a third time, so the cashier suspended the sale while I called Citibank from the store and I told the guy I wouldn't hang up until he had the problem solved. FINALLY someone understood that there was a real problem here! He left me on hold for quite some time and came back to tell me there had been a fraud alert placed on my account and that someone should have called me days ago. He apologized for that call never being made, took the alert off the account, and stayed on the phone with me while the cashier recalled my sale and the card worked exactly the way it was supposed to.

Bank...thanks for the fraud alert, but please give me a head's up next time...and don't spend the federal bail out money on a luxury jet please.

1 comment:

Cara said...

interesting. usually if there's a fraud alert it affects your card 100% of the time, not just part of the time.
i was thinking it was a magnetic stripe issue, until you got to the fraud alert part.