I call Chase on 5/31 at 4:59pm. I am told by Christina that the charge is from alapage.com and has been pending since 5/29 for the amount of $160.52. I inform her that the charge is unauthorized and fraudulent. I have never even heard of that company before nor have I ever made any purchases using this card. She says she will report my card as “lost”, but I have to wait until the charge goes through before Chase can do anything about it.
I try to log onto my account the following day to see if the charge has gone through. I cannot log on because of security reasons. I call in on 6/1 at 2:08pm and speak with a woman (whose name I didn’t get). She says to call back on Monday because it can take up to 7 days for the charge to go through. In the meantime, I go to alapage.com and find it to be entirely in (what I assume) is French. I do not speak French. I had no idea this site even existed. . . . it seems to basically be a BestBuy type of store (based on pictures of their products).
I call Chase on 6/4 (Monday) at 9:17am and speak with Jenna. Jenna tells me that the charge has not gone through. I explain that I am getting slightly frustrated because I will soon be leaving the country for 10 days and do not want this matter to go unresolved for that long of a time. She tells me “Well, pay the charge in advance if you’re worried about it.” I am confused. I ask her why I would pay an unauthorized charge on my account that I did not make. The charge is not mine. She acts confused. I repeat everything I have said and been told the past two times I have called it. She responds, “Oh. I just see that you lost your card and have been issued a new one.” I get angry and ask her if any of the other two representatives had left any notes regarding my concern for the fraudulent charge showing on my credit card. She says “no”. Right. I restate my concerns regarding the pending charge and ask if there is no way to cancel or deny a pending charge. She says no – I have to wait for it to go through and then deal with it.
I call Chase on 6/5 at 11:47am and speak with a woman. I ask about the pending charge and she says it is still pending. She then said my new credit card was mailed out on 5/4. I say that’s nice, no one ever told me they were sending another one (guess I should have automatically known this) – can you please verify what address they are supposedly sending it to? She tells me that because my card was “lost” they are replacing it for me. Yes yes, I know and that’s nice – but are they changing my account number and where are they sending the damn thing? She says the account number is changed and gives me the address – which is thankfully my address. She then transfers me to the Fraud Unit because I have the unauthorized charge pending on my account . . . . WHY DID NO ONE DO THAT BEFORE! . . . .
At 11:51am I talk to Scott in the Fraud Unit. He asks basic questions – Have I had dealings with the Company, etc . . . I assure him that I have never heard of them until this happened and their website is solely in French and I have no idea how to speak French. HE THEN ASKS IF I HAVE CONTACTED THEM SINCE THE CHARGE TO SEE IF WE CAN RESOLVED IT BETWEEN US. Sigh. He is not listening. I remind him that I do not speak French. He puts me on hold to “go over my account”. He then gets back on the line and says that he’ll be closing my account for me. Seriously – I have been through this “that charge is not mine – fraudulent – unauthorized” nonsense and my account is still OPEN – still waiting for random charges to hit it? Right. Then Scott says that he’ll have to get an Investigator on the case. This investigator will be assigned to my case within 3 to 5 business days and will send me an affidavit to sign stating that the charges are not mine. The investigator will then mediate between me and alapage.com to amicably resolve said pending charges. I tell Scott that I will be out of the country in 3 days and would like this resolved immediately. He says it takes time. I say that I brought this to their attention 6 days ago and need it resolved before I leave the country on a mission trip. He then says that the investigator can mail the affidavit anywhere in the world – so just give him the address. I restate why and where I am going as such: “I am sorry, but I do not know where I will be staying. I am going to a rural part of Honduras on a mission trip.” Smart Scotty then tells me, “Well, will you have a fax number? They can fax it to you.” I tell Scotty-Boy that where I will be will most likely not even have electricity or running water – so no, I cannot give him a fax number. However, I would be happy to give him a fax number that I would have access to for the next 2 days. He reminds me that an investigator cannot take over my case until 3 to 5 business days from now. I tell him to leave notes in my file stating that I will be gone until June 18th and will not be able to sign said affidavit until my return and that I will not be authorizing any charges to my account during that time.
I leave to rural Honduras. I return. I get my new credit card (with a different CC number), but no affidavit.
I call Chase on 6/19 at 5:42pm and speak with Katherine. She says that she does not see any charges on my account. Only payments that I have made. This is good news. This means alapage.com – see: Fraudulent Charge – has not successfully gone through for one reason or the other. I ask her to mail me a statement reflecting this since I can no longer see my balance online or hear it through their phone system. She says that I can activate my new card and see everything just fine then. I explain that I do not want to activate my “new” card until I see – on paper – that everything has been handled to my satisfaction. She sympathizes with me and says she’ll have it mailed soon and I should get it in 5 to 7 business days.
Take Home Lesson: Chase sucks. You have to speak with four different representatives regarding unauthorized/fraudulent charges until they’ll transfer you to the Fraud Unit. They will also leave your account open to possibly continue getting pinged with more fraudulent charges, which, by the way, you won't be able to see because your account is unaccessible online due to security reasons. You then must deal with bone-headed people in the Fraud Unit who do not understand what you mean by a Rural location in a Third World Country and who will not assist you in rushing a matter so the world doesn’t explode all over your credit while you’re out of the country for 10 days.