Skittish Visa

May 31 this year, I arrived at Dallas/FortWorth airport, went to the rental agency, and was hoping to get a rental car and go to the hotel to sleep.  The desk agent passed me the phone form a Visa rep, who asked me what county I had lived in 6 years ago (refresher: US has counties, but people think in terms of city and state).  As you can guess, I didn’t know.  All my visa cards were locked at that point.  The woman from Visa said someone would call me real soon; on calling back in a few hours, I spoke to a guy who let me know that “real soon” would be “within 2 days”, but took pity on me stuck in a strange town, and unlocked one card for me to get to the hotel.

What got them so skittish?  I made a purchase in UK, then flew (air tickets purchased on Visa) to Dallas, and tried to rent a car.

They never did called me, I called them back, and I had Google already open.  If you listen to the recording on the call, you hear me say “… one sec… what county is Jersey City in… Hudson.  Hudson county?” to the rep on the phone.  I had fast bandwidth, so my card was unlocked.  He then explained that Visa decided not to call me back because I had a letter in my mail that would prompt me to call Visa when I got home.  I felt that was less than polite, considering I wasn’t going to be home for a another week or so.  How owuls Visa know?  They cannot; it would be nice if they didn’t assume though.

Fast-forward to today: a notice from Apple let me know that my card was blocked sometime last week.  Apparently, Visa tried to call me, twice; they used  a number I have not had on my file for quite a while (nearly as far back as when I lived in Hudson county), or so the eighth person at Visa claims — I spoke to seven people to get to her.  She proceeded to chastise me for speaking to seven other people before her — as if it was my choice.

The security people asked me about Birmingham again — a street in Birmingham or Bellingham.  I’m not sure where that is, but it might be like Illinois, where I lived in Greyslake or Gages Lake or a third name depending on where you look.  Maybe Bellingham is the third name, or the second name for Hudson county.

I do appreciate speaking to George, George, Grace, and Catherine — Visa and Chase have some nice people.  The first person who actually unlocked my cards, I didn’t collect her name, but she had the sweetest Filipino accent, and she was really, really nice.  The other seven was me trying to ask about SMS or email notification of issues, and they kept passing me back and forth because none were really sure, and perhaps it was a (JPMorgan) Chase thing, or perhaps a Visa thing, or perhaps a website thing.

Lynn, however, will someday get what she deserves: a job as a prosecutor in very, very small claims court, where she can Judge-Judy her way through the day.

The good news is that by chastising me for speaking to too many people, Lynn implies that a service exists whereby I can speak to one person, so I’ve asked about that.  I doubt it’s there, but if it is, then I can speak to seven fewer people.

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