glad to see someone has their stuff together, sort of

It’s been an interesting few days even without the cold I’m battling while trying to do presentations and record training materials.  On Friday I received the dreaded package.  This may be something you have experienced, a box shows up addressed to you that you don’t recall ordering.  In this day and age, you wonder who’s messing with you or who sent you a controlled substance that will blow up as soon as you open the box.  This is when it’s good to go through your list of people you have angered lately.  My list was short so the box was opened and in it I found some sort of anti-aging cream and some pills.  Okay, so perhaps you’re thinking, well, Aaron, your sub-conscience ordered these things for you.  You would be wrong.  That part of me only exists to make me feel guilty about crossing the street against the light.  Back in the box they went and to the computer I dashed.

You may already know where this is going, I checked my credit card statement and found three purchases that I did not make.  It was like a commercial, except they were rather small in amounts, at least the immediate amount was small, more on that later.  Time to take action.  What follows is the company by company results to date.  We’ll see what happens as the saga continues.

Chase:  (the credit card company)  These guys must be so used to credit card fraud by now they have it down to a routine.  All I had to say is I was disputing three charges and they rolled into action.  The card was cancelled, a new one is in the process of being issued, they blocked payment on those three charges and said they would contact the companies.  In fact, they did this so quickly that when I was trying to look at charges placed before the suspect purchases (to see if perhaps the breech was with one of those companies) that my account information was gone already.  They suggested I contact companies that charge me on a periodic basis (toll fees, video membership, etc) to let them know of the new card and that was it.  The jury is still out on this, but so far, Chase gets a solid four out of five drum sticks in this review.

Collagen:  (the company that sent me anti-aging cream)  I think that was the name of this company.  The process was relatively painless.  The documentation on the product had an 800 number to call, someone answered the phone, I explained I never ordered the product, they said put it in the box and mark RTS (return to sender, not Rochester Transit Service in this case) and they refunded the money.  At least that’s what they told me.  If I get another box from them, we may have a bigger problem later.  Collagen gets 2 and a half drumsticks out of five for ease of discussion, but is pending another full drumstick when I do not see more shipments from them.

Barnes and Noble.com:  (an on-line book seller you may have heard of)  I never, ever, ever go to barnesandnoble.com.  When it comes to on-line book purchases, I’m an amazon guy.  In fact, I’ve purchased books, CDs, electronics, a wagon, etc. on Amazon.  I have gone to Barnes and Noble here in Rochester many times and like the store.  So this purchase was a little odd.  I recalled buying something in the store (books for a birthday present) but didn’t recall that costing as much as showed on my card (and I think I used a gift card for that purchase anyway).  I called up BandN.com and they told me they would have someone call in their fraud group.  I understand security and disclosure of information, but I’m paying for something, how come I can’t ask what it was or where it went?  After confirming my information all I was told was “well sir, it looks like someone used your card number, security code and billing address to order something.”  Hey, thanks Sherlock.  What was it?  “I can’t tell you what it is due to security reasons but we will refund the amount.”  Barnes and Nobel dot com gets one drum stick for agreeing to take care of the issue while being “dickish” on the phone.

GNS:  (creators of “Sexy-Slim”)  This was a small charge (under $4) on the card which seemed a little suspect.  Thankfully, whoever the ass is that decided it would be jolly fun to use my card decided it would be more fun to ship things to me.  I received this packet on Monday.  The charge was for shipping of the free trial.  Inside the packet was information that said they would send me another 60 day supply for $70 within three weeks and continue to do that until I was “sexy slim” (obviously they have never seen how close to that I already am).  They did not have an 800 number to call, and when I did call their number I heard “due to the popularity of sexy-slim, you may experience long hold times”.  My first call got through, the person cancelled the order and future orders, and because I was claiming fraud, put me through to a manager.  15 holding minutes later I hung up to save my cell minutes.  I tried again and was transferred to the manager hold line and hung up once more after 13 minutes.  A third call was where I found this gem.  The person explained he would have a manager call me back since I could not wait on the line.  He told me I should make sure I was able to take the call sometime in the next 48 hours because they wouldn’t leave a message and I’d have to wait on hold if I called back.  That isn’t even the best part.  As he was looking at the account, he explained the process of the free trial and subsequent shipments.  “What we allow you to do is try the product, and if you don’t like it, you just cancel the next shipments.  It’s a very good product that I’m sure will give you great results.”  Seriously! 

I had to step in at this point.  “Listen, I did not order this.  Someone else did using my card.  It was not someone that thinks I’m fat, it was a fraudulent charge.  Do you understand that?” 

“I do sir, but I think it’s a great product, you could think about using it since you have it there.”

“With all due respect, I don’t need it.  I eat well, work out five days a week and while I may sit on my butt all day at work, I make sure to take the stairs when I can and why am I telling you all this cancel the damn order and have a manager call me.”

GNS gets zero drums sticks and in fact owes me four and I’m going to use them to play rhythms on my desk while I listen to their hold music.

Good times all around.  Let’s see what happens moving forward.  I can’t complain too loudly, this is certainly not what I’ve read other people have gone through with stolen information.  Of course, this could just be the beginning.  Chase acted quickly, the others involved are still pending.  Now I’m just curious which vendor leaves their information floating in the breeze for people to grab.  (Attention: Business related note coming up now)  If you own a business and collect credit/debit card information, please double check your security standards and encryption.  USAT, I’m looking right at you guys.  If you truly value your customers, protect their information.   The last thing we all need in this economy is someone using our money to buy crap for us.  We can buy our own crap for ourselves, thank you very much.

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