Thursday, March 19, 2009

Adventures with Customer Service

I just called the number on the back of my Wells Fargo credit card to inform them I'll be traveling to Japan. You know, so they don't lock my account when I try to use it there. Since my attempts at blogging about Customer Service seemed to go well last time, I thought I'd try it again.

First, I typed my complete credit card number into the phone, then the last 4 of my social. I've come to expect this as basically standard. (Though for a second I wondered if I could possibly have accidentally dialed some CC # harvesting operation. I guess I'm paranoid, but isn't that because they drilled it into me?)

I navigated my way to a person, and of course, the first thing she asks for are the things I just typed, and my address for verification. Oddly, everyone knows this is relatively standard too. No big surprise. Maybe they'll make the note on my account now. Not so fast! How do they know I'm really me, and not someone who just knows my social security and credit card numbers who wants to go to Japan?

Do you have the expiration date on your card handy?

I give it to her.

What's the 3-digit code on the back?

I give it to her.

What's you're checking account number?

**Alarm Bells** Why are they asking for my checking account number? I told her I wasn't aware that my card was tied to my checking account. She said it's "just another way to verify who you are." It sure is. I happened to have it handy, though.

What's you're mother's middle name? [not the more standard Maiden Name]

My mother's middle name? I think at this point I laughed. Then I told her. I think it took me an extra second to recall it. In my defense, my mom doesn't like her middle name, and I'm sure she wishes we'd all forget it.

Spell it for me.

Crap. I actually wasn't positive how to spell it, and I told her that. I guessed, and I got it wrong. (Shame!)

It won't take that spelling.

I tried again, and this time I got it right. (Whew!) Maybe now they'll finally believe that I'm me, and not some impostor who knows my address, credit card number, social, bank account number, and my mother's middle name.

What's your birth date?

The crucial datum. They will at last inform their terminal that the man on the other end of the line will soon be traveling. Hooray.


Chris said...

I'd never considered a back-and-forth identity check before now.

Customer Service: "What's your mother's middle name?"
Me: "Janice. How many transfers did it take for me to get to talk to you?"
CS: "Three. What is your birthday?"
Me: "1/2/1987. How much did you over-charge me last month?"
CS: "$24.83. What is your address?"
Me: "123 Lemming St. How is my wife's name misspelled on our statements?"


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