I was just at Whole Foods where my credit/check card got declined. Of course, this was unexpected, but it happened and I hurried home to check my accounts online. As I had just done my books a couple of days ago, I knew there was money in that account, so the declination wigged me out a bit. When I checked, there was a charge from a department store in Atlanta ($1.00, I’m thinking that may have been a test by the thieves) from a couple of days ago and another from a gas station in Montreal, Canada. That one was for over $90 and it was posted three hours after I made a purchase at a bookstore here in San Diego.
Someone had gotten my card number and was ripping me off.
I called my bank and the first woman I spoke to was, to put it kindly, snippy and no help. She said “the charges are only authorizations and haven’t hit your account yet so there’s nothing anyone can do. Check back in a couple of days.” Um…hell no. I’m not going to wait a couple of days to see how much more I lose. I mentioned the declination and she actually said “I don’t see that here so it couldn’t have happened.”
Look lady, I was there. It happened.
I finally got her to transfer me to the fraud department which she did in a huff. There I got lots of kind and caring help. The woman I spoke to said, right off, that she would do whatever she could to fix the problem then she told me that my account had been frozen because the bank had caught the Canadian charge and thought it was suspicious. That’s why my card was declined. She then said that she marked the suspicious charges for removal and that I’d be getting a bunch of paperwork (and a new card) in the mail, etc.
In other words, my bank had already seen there was a problem and had been trying to contact me to check out the charge. They were being the good guys. Too bad I never would have known that from the first Customer Service person I spoke to. If I had listened to her and not been the pushy broad I can be when necessary, who knows when this would have gotten resolved! And how much stress would I have gone through and how likely was it that I would even stay with that bank if I lost money this way?
When one of your clients calls you with a problem do you go into defensive mode (“I don’t see that here so it couldn’t have happened”) or do you try to help? Even (especially!) if it’s not your problem, you can do a world of good if you set aside your defenses and simply try to help.
When it counts, a client will remember the person who saved his/her (client’s) ass in a pinch.