Run Away, Run Away…


It’s official, I have become that crusty, prickly guy that causes retail reps and customer service professionals to flee. There is just so much stupid in the world and my patience for it is exhausted.

Today, I discovered my debit cards were compromised in the Home Depot credit card fraud scandal.

“Oh, your debit card was locked by our fraud prevention department,” the teller advised, “You can get it unlocked at the platform” (whatever that means), gesturing to the cubicles at the other end of the branch.


So, I waited for ten minutes while the customer service guy installed updates on his computer.Debit Card

Once I explained why I was there, he called the fraud prevention department. While holding for them, he repeatedly said “it’s for your own protection.” Finally, he was able to speak to someone and determined that the card could not be reactivated and a replacement would be issued in 7 to 10 business days.

How convenient.

He mumbled something about my own protection again and then perked up and suggested that using a credit card would be a better choice for all my purchases. “That way, if it’s compromised, they don’t have access to your accounts,” he said enthusiastically. (I really appreciate the unstated premise that compromises are inevitable)

“We have a great card that would…” he started.

I cut him off.

“You are not, seriously, going to try to sell me a credit card right now, are you?” I growled.

“Its what we recommend instead of the debit cards,” he said.

Holding up my now useless plastic rectangle and waving it as I spoke, I said “These cards were the banking industry’s idea. You shoved them down your customers throats telling us they were so much better than writing checks all over the place.

It’s not like we were clamoring for them, you saw it as better not us. I’m confident that what the banks saw were fees for every single transaction – and that was better for the bank, than the checks you couldn’t charge fees to process. Too bad you bankers didn’t invest enough of those fees in your back-end security features.”

“This is the fourth time my cards have been compromised. The last time you had to reissue my card, you screwed up the reissue and had to reissue the reissued cards.”

And now, I will have to figure out what gets charged to my cards automatically, and change all those to the new card number……..again.

How come the fraud guys are so much smarter than your guys? How about hiring some of them?

Forty-five minutes I was in that branch.

Annoyed? You bet.

I’d be willing to bet, the next time I walk into my bank, that customer service rep will head for the hills.

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