Monday, September 22, 2014

Here We Go Again



Last night, during one last check of my e-mails I see these two e-mails:


Uh . . . . exCUSE me?  


Since when do I have a Cabella's account?  You know Cabella's don't you?  That's the company that sells hunting gear.  Camouflage, camping equipment and GUNS.

The e-mails thank me for opening an account with Cabella's (I didn't) and the second e-mail informs me that they will CHARGE me $539.59 on September 28, 2014.

Remember last month when I was on my way to Canada?  I took the plane to Buffalo where Pat, my Toronto host, picked me up to complete the last leg of my trip.  I stopped at the Walmart in Buffalo and by the time I got to Toronto I saw I had a charge of $2,581.25 on my Discovercard.  My credit card number was compromised.  Stolen. 

So of course I had to call Discover and I got a new card.  When I got home I had to notify everyone on the Internet that I had set up for automatic billing.  Still doing it by the way.

Thus it was with some anger that I saw those e-mails last night.  

It was too late to call last night and resolve this issue.  I called the first thing this morning.

It didn't go easy.  

I call the 800 number and go through the menu hurdles then get put on hold listening to "Your call is very important" and "All our operators are busy now due to an unexpected increase in volume."  Oh sure, like I haven't heard THAT line before.

I finally get through to "Ed."  He asks for my zip code.  Then my address.  Then my mother's last name.  Then my "last four" of my Social Security number.  Of course none of this information matches up to what they have on record.  Then he puts me on hold . . . . for 23 minutes!

Finally,  he comes back on the line. Apologizes to me and thanks me for being "so patient". He informs me that he is switching me to "Melanie" of Fraud Protection.  

Melanie comes on the line.  I go through all the information again.  She said the information I give her doesn't match up with what they have on their records.  When I was in the Army we had a response for this kind of response:  "NO SHIT SHERLOCK." Of course I didn't say that to her, she was nice.

Then we batted around what may have happened.  She was concerned that I got the e-mail because she said they were "pretty careful with recording the e-mail addresses."  

I suggested to her that perhaps because my e-mail address was my name and then gmail.com that maybe there was another "Ronald Tipton" who had the same e-mail address but with a number on the end.  While I was talking to her I lost the phone connection.  I was on my portable phone. The battery ran out.

I call back.  I hear the menus again.  I jump through the hoops and eventually get a live person.  this time it is "John".  He starts asking me the same questions.  I stop him short and tell him that none of the information I give him except my name will match up.  I tell him that I'm on a portable phone (the kitchen one now) and by the time we go through this routine I'll lose him too when the battery wears down on my portable phone.  I tell him I'm in a Catch-22 here and could he please get "Melanie" because I gave her ALL the information already.  He got a little snarky with me and said "I have to get your name first to do anything." Okay, I can understand that requirement.  I give him my name.  He says "Hold on."  Here we go again.

Well, it didn't take too long until he came back on the line.  He told me "Don't worry, we'll take care of it."  He said "That person who opened the account had the same e-mail as you."  I said "No he didn't."  Then he said "Well, it was similar to yours."  I said "Okay but it couldn't be the same."  Duh.

I was frustrated and my fuse was getting shorter.  I could sense that his was too but man oh man, I've wasted already about a hour and a half of my precious Morning Time trying to resolve this latest instance of either incompetence (keying error) or fraud.  

Okay, now I can take a deep breath and prepare myself for yet more challenges in this, our day, in this tech age.  Haven't you often thought: 

"What did our parents do?"
  
"What do old people do?" 

"Does life seem more complicated these days?" 

And why is it that someone is always trying to get access to my money.  I don't have any!




14 comments:

  1. have cash will travel. technology has complicated life, not made it easier.

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  2. Anne Marie,
    Life is definitely more complicated these days. And I thought computers would make life easier. Well, they have in a way but in other ways, we're speeding towards a very complicated existence.
    Ron

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  3. Ron - get a copy of your credit report and make sure someone is not opening accounts in your name. A reliable source for information is the Federal Trade Commission - http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0155-free-credit-reports - there is a link on here for www.annualcreditreport.com - the legitimate site for federally mandated free credit reports. There are also phone numbers. If you don't want to do it online, or by phone, your bank can pull a credit report for you for a small fee (many will do it for free for regular customers.)

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    Replies
    1. David,
      I have Wallet Protection with Discover. They are the ones who notified me immediately when there was an unusually high charge on my Discover card during my brief time in Buffalo. They also monitor my credit reports. In this latest breach, I think Cabella's just screwed up with entering the wrong e-mail address.
      Ron

      Delete
  4. The Engineer had his PIECE OF SH*T moment last night trying to access our Visa card online. He was looking as Home Depot just had all their data stolen. We have it thru a local credit union and I will go down to complain but bet I am sent back to their 800 number from hell who always tells me nothing is wrong and I/he should be able to get in....
    sometime I'm going to make up a story of little green men and spaceships to tell them when I finally get thru.

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    Replies
    1. the dog's mother,
      These companies always act like a security breach is so rare and unusual but unfortunately they are becoming the norm. It's a shame. But they have the Telephone Menu Trap down pat.
      Ron

      Delete
  5. Anonymous11:51 PM

    I wanted to let you know that Bob McCamley died yesterday. Thought that you would want to know. I don't know anything else. Miles Slatcher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Miles,
      Thank you for letting me know. Even though I knew this was gong to happen, this news has hit me very hard. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness.
      Ron

      Delete
  6. After that experience (to be continued?) you must know Vivaldi's 'Four Season's' by heart (or at least the opening of 'Spring') - backwards, upside down and every which way else!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ray,
      I'll have to listen to Vivaldi's Four Seasons again.
      Ron

      Delete
  7. Anonymous7:18 AM

    This seems to me the typical scam message. They want you to click in their link for some purpose that they only know. I would nor take any action. Of course, always keeping an eye on the real card and bank accounts.
    Yes, modern life has new problems, older life had other problems. Problems and dealing with those who cause them are an important part of life. Juan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,
      This one isn't a scam. It was a legitimate screwup. But my first reaction was that this was a scam. Thus we are conditioned in today's environment.
      Ron

      Delete
  8. Ron - I like the mantra - life is simple you make it as complicated as you want it. Maybe to a great extent that's true. But with technology a lot of others can deliberately complicate your life.

    Pat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So right Pat, so right.
      Ron

      Delete