Thursday, 19 July 2007

Not Good...

I am not the happiest of bunnies... I tried to buy a book online earlier (a new Chemistry book, as I think I need to do some extra reading over the Summer) and got a message back from Amazon telling me that the transaction had been declined. I wasn't too happy, but Amazon had had a few glitches during the day, and I didn't think anything more of it.

I then went to a cash machine on my way home. After one (correct) PIN number entry, the machine spat the card back out at me, saying that too many incorrect PIN numbers had been tried, and that the card was declined. Alarm bells started going off in my head...

I rang the bank. The operator asked if I wanted a new PIN to unblock the card. No, I explained, I wanted to know why the card had been blocked in the first place. I was told that I had entered the incorrect PIN number too many times. I told the operator that I jolly well had not put in the wrong number, not even once. She then told me that the card must have been blocked by a faulty machine, and that a new PIN number would be all I needed to get the card working again.

I was starting to get a little frustrated by this point. I felt that she wasn't actually listening to what I was saying, but was reading from a prepared script. I pointed out that I hadn't used a machine until this evening, after the card had been blocked (illustrated by my declined Amazon purchase.) After first trying to fob me off with the claim that she couldn't tell why the card had been blocked, she then changed her tune and said that someone in Scarborough had tried to pay for items using the card, but the PIN had been incorrect, and the card had then been blocked. So, now did I want a new PIN number to be issued?

With difficulty, I explained that I was very concerned about the integrity of the card - if I asked for a new PIN, surely the person with the cloned card had a possibility of getting the correct PIN number, by pure chance. There was also the problem of the internet... no-one asks for a PIN number online, just the card number. And what if they tried to sign for stuff using my card...?

No, no... I was being unreasonable. My card had to be used with the correct PIN. They would give me a new PIN. I pointed out (again) that the PIN wasn't needed for online purchases. I was reassured that the card had been blocked, and wouldn't work until I got the new PIN. I pointed out (again, with less patience) that PIN numbers were not used online, and one I activated my new PIN, the toe-rag with the cloned card could start shopping again...

Eventually, the operator handed me over to her supervisor. She checked the online purchases, and nothing untoward had gone out in the past couple of weeks. And to prevent the card being mis-used when I get my new PIN, I'm going to get a new card as well, just to be on the safe side...

However, I shall also make a little trip to my nearest branch and make my displeasure known!

13 comments:

karen h. -- san diego said...

well done, Mac. You are right to keep your guard up. I don't know if your call centers are being shipped overseas, but I find them most annoying to deal with. Especially when they sound like they can't handle anything "off script." And you're right to get a new ATM card number and pin and security code. Going down to the bank personally is the best.

were you in any new restaurants, etc. where you gave them your card to take out of sight to ring up your check?

Mark said...

Gosh; not good at all!

Switching banks crossed my mind but I know that's a real hassle.

Mac McLernon said...

Karen - not that I can remember...

Mark - I've only just changed banks fairly recently, because I wasn't happy with the service given by my old one... I don't really want to have to change again...
;-(

Kasia said...

Very sorry to hear all this...though I am tickled that you used the term "toe-rag"...and that with Harry Potter only two days off! (HP is where I learned that particular British-ism...)

You're quite right to insist on a new card. There's quite a lot of damage that can be done in a short time with a credit or debit card...

Clive said...

Uh uh!!! Cloned Card Alert. Cloned Card Alert. Yep, new card, new pin is the way to go.

It jolly well is troubling that the High Street Banks no longer seem to give a stuff about the security of our cards and accounts.

Apparently, credit card fraud is now no longer even a crime. It is up to the banks to deal with this now and they tell the Police not to bother about bringing such trifles to their attention. I heard a senior officer from the Chief Officers Association venting his spleen only the other day on the 'Today' programme.

Jay said...

I was abroad for several days and I used my card 2-3 times to take cash. All was fine, but when it came to pay for my hotel bill, my card was declined! I went to cash machine and I was praying on my way that it would work. It worked, but I used two cards to get proper, quite substantial amount. It was 'prayer answered' really as it turned out back in England that both cards were blocked. For no reason et all. I get through the process of unblocking and it was fine.

Mark said...

You are correct that they only read answers from a script, and more and more, the conversations go "off script."

Kasia said...

Ah, Jay, the trick is that now you're supposed to call your card company before going abroad so they don't say "What are all these charges in Spain?!" and block your card as a precautionary measure...

antonia said...

I once had my card details stolen from an online site, and someone bought almost 2000 pounds worth of flights on my card in about 3 days.


Thank God the bank investigated the issue however and I got all my money back


also, my husband tried to buy a book from Amazon the other day and he had some issues with his card too..maybe it was just an amazon problem..?

Mark said...

Mac,

Amazon are being more cautious about things these days. A while back I bought a number of books--about £50-worth--but they were all second-hand, via the Marketplace, so they went through as individual transactions. Because they're computer's set-up wrong, they decided it was bizarre, cancelled the order, and I had to do it all again. Better safe than sorry, though!

Anonymous said...

The service provided by most if not all banks in England has declined to a remarkable degree over the past two years. I think they have made the decission that it is not economically viable to provide a high level of service. Up until six months ago I could make an appointment and go to see my bank manager at my branch for major transactions. Apparently he no longer exists and I have to deal with a single manager who covers the whole of Gloucestershire and Wiltshire!! What can you do??? Apologies for the spelling mistakes I'm a two fingered typist and I broken one! Really!

Lesley said...

My card was cloned the week before Christmas and I had great trouble getting any sense from the person on the phone. Being an ex bank employee I knew that the youngest, most "raw" member of staff is the one to answer the phone. I asked to speak to the Bank Manager and was refused! This person was happy to leave me with no means of buying food, let alone presents for the whole of the Christmas period. When I asked to speak to the Manager I was told that they had been instructed only to put upset and/or abusive customers through. My response was I am now very upset and unless I speak to the Manager now I am likely to get very abusive.

The Manager was lovely, organised a new card which was with me in less than 48 hours and enabled me to withdraw cash to cover me over the Christmas period in case the card didn't arrive in time.

Anonymous said...

This is frustrating - I had my card cloned a couple of years ago, it was very frsutrating but the bank were very good in investigating the matter and giving me back the £1300 that was taking from my account.

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