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Fraud department has helpful employees on staff

Joyce Walter reflects on continuing credit card troubles
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

Merchants operating locally and on-line are surely breathing a sigh of relief after credit card heaven has been restored to one household in this community.

The saga of our credit card, which included the unexpected disabling of a still very workable card, has mostly been sorted out but not before involving a credit card fraud and security analyst and some nasty words directed to a robot who suggested the wait time for a real person would take up to three hours.

I’m sure those robotic ears are still ringing from the human voice telling him her opinion of his company, accompanied by a pleasant suggestion for improved customer service. Profanity was not involved.

One week after being told our new cards were in the mail, they had still not arrived and we had still not made it through to talk to a real person. The second week went by and daily visits to the post office box around the corner produced nothing resembling cards for purchasing items. A friendly bank teller suggested a call to another 1-800 number might produce faster results. The wait on that line was only two hours on both occasions the number was used.

On the third week anniversary of the cards supposedly being mailed, I used the 1-800 number for the credit card’s fraud division. In no time at all — less than 10 minutes — my call was directed to a human person who commiserated with me over our household’s dilemma and asked how she could be of help.

After my explanation, she asked some skill-testing questions to verify that I was indeed who I claimed to be, she looked up the account and agreed the cards had been sent, and they should have arrived by now. More in-depth detective work on her part revealed those awaited cards had already been cancelled, even though the latest payment had gone to a number on the missing cards.

My dander got up when she apologized because she couldn’t completely help me because I wasn’t the primary card holder, even though I pay the bills and do all the work, including being nasty to a robot.

She readily agreed to talk to Housemate, the primary card holder, so we could solve our credit card dilemma. I fumed as he chatted with her and even laughed at something said on the other end of the line.

They came to an agreement that the newest version of our upgraded cards would be sent to our bank “to avoid interception” by unknown sources.

I took back the receiver and confirmed that the cards would be sent to the bank, at the correct address, and that they should be there in two business days. She apologized for all our inconveniences and wished us a good day.

The very next day we got a call from a bank employee with the news that our cards had arrived. We scurried to the branch, promptly received our package, ripped open the envelope and there they were: credit cards, one for each of us, with new numbers and instructions for activation. A successful transaction at the grocery store was the start of a beautiful weekend.

Discoveries made through the process: other patrons of this credit card company had similar experiences of disabled credit cards. From what I heard, some were much more vocal and profanity was involved.

Another discovery: I owe an apology to Canada Post. Those employees could not deliver an envelope that I suspect had not been mailed. Sincere apologies.

The fraud lady said the cards would have been in a plain white envelope. She laughed when I said the only plain white envelope we had received lately was from the health authority asking for samples of a private nature. She laughed and immediately understood.

And on a final note: a call to the credit card company to verify the account balance on our new cards was met with the information that I required a special coded number to receive that detail. But then I’m not the primary card holder so ignorance is bliss right now. Happy shopping for this non-primary person!

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.