Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I am a Victim

My bank sent me a letter a week ago saying that my debit account may have been "compromised" in a recent computer glitch, and therefore they were sending me a new card. I should destroy the old card when the new one arrived. As another security precaution they locked me out of my online access, so it wasn't until yesterday that I got back on and was able to see that someone had been using my number to make all sorts of purchases--chiefly electronics and liquor. Someone has been having a glorious party with my hard-earned dollars (and my husband's).

Naturally, I feel victimized by the nameless people who are somehow wielding my number (I still have the old card) with great success in a wide variety of suburbs. But I'm concerned about the bank, that Goliath that takes in all of my money electronically and then sends a letter saying "Oops--someone may have gotten access." This is especially vexing because they now tell me that I will have the right to "dispute" the charges; this terminology makes it sound like I'm somehow taking this to court, which should be unnecessary. The bank should say, "This is our fault, and we'll take care of it."

But maybe I'm thinking of a time when banks were littler, and the people you dealt with had faces. However, I plan to make myself such a nuisance that they'll have to deal with me one way or the other. But again, why should I have to take time out of my day? None of this was my fault. I didn't leave my card lying around for someone to steal; I don't allow other people access to my online banking. This was simply a gigantic bank error, and I'm paying about 1000 dollars in damages.


Eric Mayer said...

How awful! It has nothing t do with you. It's up to the bank to protect the money in their care. Would a bank have written and said, "Oops. Robbers blew open our vault and your safe deposit box may have been compromised." ? Big business is great. It wants pay, pay pay but doesn't want to deliver any services in return.

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks, Eric. I agree with you, but so far this morning they've wasted a lot of my time by putting people who know nothing on the phone--they don't know how to handle it or really even what I'm talking about. I almost wonder if this is a big-business tactic--let's wear them out with the low-level drones so they won't bother our managers with their problems. I have yet to find someone with enough authority to say, "Don't worry, I'll handle it."