Friday, June 02, 2006

Properly Shamed

I've been having a little problem with my debit card recently. About a week and a half ago I used it at dinner and the waitress came back with it, telling me in that embarrassed, hushed voice that my card had been declined, but that the machine didn't say why. I knew full well I had plenty ('plenty' being a relative term, of course) of money in the bank, and it continued to work at ATMs, but lo, again it was declined at the movie theater the next day.

Since I'm irresponsible, I hadn't read my mail in a week so I never noticed the letter from my bank until yesterday, which said they'd noticed some suspicious activity and had put a "check ID" tag on it...except apparently all the card machines in this city are too old to recognize such a tag, so it just plain declined it. The letter gave me a number to call, which I did this morning and had the following conversation:

Bank Rep: "So I'm going to go through your last transactions and you can confirm that you made them."
Me: "Okay, go."
BR: "X dollars at a gas station in West Virginia."
Me: "Yes."
BR: "X dollars at a gas station in Pennsylvania."
Me: "Yes."
BR: "X dollars at White House/Black Market in Ohio."
Me: "Yes."
BR: "X dollars at Bakers Shoes in Ohio."
Me: "Yeah."
BR: "X dollars at Steve Madden in Ohio."
Me: "(Sigh) Yes."
BR: "X dollars at ....

Okay, this went on, I swear to god, for at least ten more minutes. Finally I had to stop her and nearly yell, "Oh my god, how many of these are we going to go through??" It was either that or bury my head in shame and vow to cut up all my credit cards and move to a commune where cash is only used as kindling for the fire that will cook my dinner of fresh small animal meat and homegrown vegetable stew.

To be fair, I haven't actually been spending that much money lately, but I did go on a little bit of a shopping spree with my friends in Ohio the other week, so that combined with the interstate gas station transactions is what set my bank security thing off. Which is good, I guess.

I'll say this: If you think you're spending too much, I highly recommend having the bank call you every week and ask you if you "really" made those 93 debit transactions last week, one-by-everloving-one. It's like a nice kick in the gut. For your finances.


At 2:54 PM, June 06, 2006, Anonymous Roonie said...

I check my statement online daily. Even though I'm not making enough money to go apeshit, I'm still amazed at what I AM spending.

At 3:42 PM, June 16, 2006, Blogger Teague said...

There's nothing at all wrong with spending X dollars on shoes. Nothing wrong at all.

Kind of crazy though. After I got attacked and robbed in New Orleans, my credit union obviously put a monitor on my account so when I got my new cards, I'd occasionally get automated phone calls from them that would read off any charges from places I hadn't previously used my card at to verify that they were valid purchases; nice and simple. Much easier than dealing with a real person, hah.


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