Monday, February 23, 2004

Now that's some Monday for your ass!

Sweet merciful crap, where do I even start?

Okay, shortly after I made the below post, I get a call from Sony. Not Sonny, mind you, but Sony the corporation. It seems someone ordered $302.12 worth of headphones, Walkmen and memory sticks using my wife's debit card number and wanted it shipped to an address in San Diego. Sony just wanted to know if this was legit, as the address did not match ours here in WV. (ADOPTS AMBASSADOR KOSH VOICE: "And so it begins.")

I assured Sony that the charge was indeed a fraudulent one, as they suspected, and they in turn said they were cancelling it and would not be charging our bank account after all. As an added bonus, they gave me the home address that this merchandise was to be shipped to in case I wanted to pursue the matter legally. I thanked them for watching my back on this one and said keep up the good work.

I immediately hung up and spent the next 15 minute on hold with various operators trying to get through to have Ash's debit card cancelled.

It was maddening!

I called my bank and got the recorded message runaround for a couple minutes before realizing their voice-message system had no intentions of connecting me to an actual human. So I called one of the branch offices instead and got a person right away. She couldn't take care of the problem from her end, but was happy to transfer me to the right department and assured me that I just needed to tell them what happened and they would cancel the card right away. One transfer later, I was on hold with Fraud Claims. A few minutes later and I get to tell them my sad tale. In retrospect, I think they must have misunderstood what I wanted them to do, or I had been transferred to the wrong department in the first place, because they decided to transfer me to Mastercard proper. So I get to tell Mastercard my story. They decide that they can't handle me either and want to transfer me to the Global Distribution Mastercard department. Another transfer and I get to repeat my story again. They start asking me questions about whether Ashley needs a new card to replace her lost one and I realize that they completely don't Get It.

"No," I told them. "Her debit card is not lost. Her card number has been stolen somehow and someone is sending stereo equipment to San Diego with it. She still has her card, we just want it cancelled. Quickly."

"Ohhhh, it's a debit card," they said. "Well we need to transfer you to your bank's card department."

Son of a....

So, a full 15 minutes after I began my quest to speak with my bank, I'm finally transferred to them and start the process over.

The lady at my bank was really cool, though and just like the first bank lady said she shut down the card ASAP. She said that she could see a few more charges on their way in through Ash's account number, specifically a $400 charge to Staples and a $250 charge to, an internet diamond broker and a $1 charge to set up a Yahoowallet account, into which they no doubt intended to funnel the rest of our money. Bank-lady said we needed to wait for the charges to hit then we could come in and dispute them and file a police report against the smarmly little asshole in San Diego who'd ordered all this stuff. (And I wonder if the guy at the address all this stuff was going to is even the perpetrator at all. It seems colossally stupid for someone to do what has apparently been done, so perhaps someone is setting him up for a fall somehow. I don't know. I don't care. I just know that we don't have $1000 to shell out on colossally stupid smarmy little assholes. I'm the poor spouse of a poor medical student, we're well over $100,000 in debt as it stands and I work in a frickin' library! No, sir, our smarmy asshole budget is $0.)

After hanging up, I decided to call Sony back and make sure I had all the contact information for the smarmy asshole correct. Sony confirmed it all and even gave me the order number, the asshole's e-mail address and told me how to go to their website to print it all out to hand over to the cops. I thanked Sony's fraud rep again for being so vigilant on my behalf, as there were three other companies which had, as of then, not. He suggested I try to call the other companies and get the orders halted. Great idea!

I called Staples and and spoke with fraud representatives who put a stop to the orders, confirmed that they were both being sent to the same smarmy West-Coast based asshole's address and assured me that while my account might be charged initially, a credit for the full amount would follow shortly thereafter. They said this was the sort of thing they usually caught, but we just happened to beat them to it. Mighty nice of em.

That done, I got ready to head in to work.

I thought my day couldn't get any worse. I was wrong.

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An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.