Jun 142017
 

We switched bank credit cards a short while ago. It had nothing to do with fees, interest rates, or those 800 phone calls about lowering our interest rates. Those calls are aggravating to be sure, and always seem to occur at dinnertime, but they are not the reason we decided to make the change.

The bank with which we had a credit card for several years was hacked three times in the space of two years. Each time the bank’s credit card accounts were compromised, we received new cards with new account numbers. Such changes can precipitate moments of extreme embarrassment.

We shrugged it off naively the first time it happened—until the day our trash remained at the curb uncollected and our newspaper failed to be delivered. With righteous indignation, I first phoned the waste management service we used and inquired as to why our trash pickup was overlooked. I provided our home address and was immediately transferred to accounting.

Accounting? Shouldn’t I have been transferred to the inept route manager?

A no-nonsense bookkeeper informed me that our account was seriously overdue. I was floored. I had set the account up for automatic payment so I wouldn’t have to worry about making the payments on time. The bookkeeper informed me further that our credit card account was cancelled. Payment was refused.

::gulp:: My breath caught in my throat. I had visions of insolvency and our credit rating plummeting all the way down to bedrock. Collection agencies would hound us, out for our life’s blood. The county tax collector would auction off our possessions to pay our debts. Poverty and homelessness loomed in the offing.

MG would blame me, of course. I’m the one who takes care of the bill paying. I was so in deep doo-doo.

Then, mercifully, came the dawn.

Breathing once again, I explained to the bookkeeper that our former bank card had been compromised and the bank issued a new account number to us. I apologized for failing to notify the company of the change. I gave her the new account number to resume trash collection and so averted our homestead being turned into a half-acre landfill and horsefly nature preserve.

I spent the rest of the morning on the phone apologizing to the local newspaper, the phone company, the cellphone company, the power company, the TV cable company and ISP, and the lawn service. Truly embarrassing.

Since that unfortunate event, I have managed our accounts online and subscribed to paperless billing. The last two times our credit card was compromised because of a breach of the bank’s security, I had to go online to each company’s website to update our card number. Each occurrence was more annoying and inconvenient than the last. Enough was enough, and we decided to ditch that bank’s card.

In one of life’s sadistic ironies, we just received a notice from our new bank card company that their credit card accounts had been compromised. The bank therefore issued us new credit cards, and here we go again.

Can you guess what I was stuck doing online yesterday?

 

  • Margo Hoornstra

    Sorry for your discomfort, but, but…hee-hee…in a way hilarious! Thanks for the day’s entertainment.

    • I wish it actually was funny. It happened once while we were on vacation. The horror!

  • Lucy Kubash

    It’s all gotten to be such a pain and unfortunately, not even the new cards with chips are hack-proof. I guess if we don’t keep a sense of humor we’ll all go nuts! I took out a separate debit card to use for buying online, gas and grocery store shopping and for when we travel. I only keep a certain amount in the account, so no one will get much if they manage to access it. Wouldn’t you know, it got hacked by someone out west trying to pay their freaking electric bill by phone. Credit union fraud alert immediately went into effect, thank goodness. Good luck with your new card!

    • Thanks! I now have alerts for every purchase, not just for a certain amount or over said amount. They are immediate. As soon as I charge something, I get an email. The card has a chip and may not be hack proof, but I’ll know ASAP if someone else tried to use my account and it will be closed. Years ago, someone tried to charge a new car on my son’s card. That takes brass! Fortunately, the salesperson was suspicious. He checked my son’s information and called him. Then he called the police. The thief didn’t get a new car, but he did get a new address that included room, board, and solid bars. 😀

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