Card arrives, we test it in Columbus before setting out, all is well! Pays for gas in OH, KY, 'Bama, and Louisiana. Works for the hotel. Works on Bourbon Street.
And then, we try it the next day at Riverfront Market. Not accepted. Try it at a different store, still no go. So we call the issuing bank, of whom one of my best friends is a branch manager. We forgot it was Sat, and she wasn't in the office, so couldn't look into it, call the number of the back of the card.
The first lady was very nice, and explained that it had been flagged because we were outside of our issuing area, and they were worried about theft. No big deal, she'll transfer us to the fraud department and they'll get it working in no time.
And so then we met Melissa. Now I understand that fraud is a concern, but after we can list social security numbers, pin numbers, secret questions, addresses, and zip codes, does she confirm it's us? Nope. We are very rudely informed that she still has doubts, and we *MUST* take it to a local branch, where they can check my husband's ID in person, and then call her personally.
It is 4pm on a Saturday. Where are we 1.) going to find an open bank, and 2.) A branch of ours.
When I ask her this, she snootily replies that apparently the card was not denied earlier, it instructed the merchants to call the Visa number and verify ID, and it wasn't her fault if stores didn't train their people correctly. Um no, I was standing right there, I saw the card-swipe come up "Unauthorized". There was no mention of calling.
I give up on this tactic, got off the phone with her, called my friend back and asked her to make a phone call for us. She tries, only to be told that there was no way we were standing "right in front of her", that we're scamming her, and she's lucky if she doesn't get fired over it.
Thankfully, the hotel we were staying at were nice enough to make the "merchant verification" for us, even though it took them 20 minutes to convince Melissa that we were standing there, card and ID in hand, and everything matched.
So it didn't ruin the trip, the card got re-activated, but it did waste a good 2 hours of the one day we had to sight-see down there. I understand fraud prevention, but you can at least be nice about it!