September 19th, 2006

bad experiences, the french fry incident, bad service

capital one's reward program also might include some free silver bracelets!

i'm at the salon and trying to pay for today's waxing with my capital one mastercard...

and the charge doesn't go through. it didn't come up as declined; it just didn't appear to go anywhere.

C (the stylist) graciously tries to run it again, and it comes up with a "call center" code. C asks his boss what that specific code is, and that code is apparently the code for "stolen card".

there was definitely some WTFery, and i ended up paying by check card. no problems at all with my check card, so i figure that it's capital one.

when i got home, i checked my account. the card appears active, the payments are up to date, and it's not maxed out. these are all things that i knew to be true when i attempted to use it. in fact, there was nothing remarkable about my account.

i called customer service and explained the situation to them, including the "stolen card" bit. the CSR told me, "well, ms. stagger_lee77, it appears someone attempted to use your card today for an amount of $XX.XX, and we declined it."

i said, "i know that--that someone was me."

the CSR: it appears that your card is inactive.

me: huh?

capital one CSR: the last charge before this is on 9 sep 06 for $X at such-and-such.

me: i know that--that was me too! so you're telling me that the card that i've only had for 18 months and have used in the past 10 days is suddenly inactive?

CO CSR: right. well, it was deactivated on 15 sep.

me: um... why?

CO CSR: well, when we upgraded you to the new capital one rewards program, we automatically deactivated your card. we're sending you a new card. it was mailed out on 15 sep.

me: so what you're telling me is, you "automatically" decided to shut off my card without informing me and i should have known not to use the card that i have in my possession?

CO CSR: yes.

me: *boggles* and that's why my card--

CO CSR: ma'am, we understand that having your card declined can cause some embarrassment. but here at capital one, we are dedicated to customer service.

me: *headwall* but my card wasn't declined. it came up as stolen.

CO CSR: yes ma'am, and we understand that having your card declined can be embarrassing.

me: no. having my card declined would be my own fault for not managing my account. having my card come up as stolen is embarrassing. fortunately, it happened with a merchant that knows me and i had another way to pay. what would have happened if it wasn't a merchant that was familiar with me?

CO CSR: well, i, i don't know.

me: right. so how long is it going to take for my new card to get here? and i can't use my card until i get the new card?

CO CSR: no, you can't use your card until the new one arrives, and make sure you call and activate the new one when it arrives. if you don't get it in 14 days, be sure to call us back! and since you keep abreast of your account activity, would you like... [CSR unsuccessfully attempts to sell me some ID theft service]

maybe it was in the fine print and i didn't notice it... but in this case, the print should have been a lot bigger than fine print.

i'm probably also fortunate that i was somewhere where they know me... i don't even want to know what kind of trouble i would have been in at work for getting arrested for trying to use a stolen credit card.

x-posted to bad_service and my eljay.
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Didy Groucho

Maybe Gas Prices Are Worth It After All

So I planned to go to go to the bank this morning during the time I usually have between connections on the bus to work, but I'll have to do that tomorrow for the extremely stupid reason that my bus driver spied another driver/friend of his walking on the street AND STOPPED TO TALK TO HIM. Just pulled over, opened the door, and started talking.

We weren't at a bus stop and it wasn't about anything important, just what they did over the weekend and asking after each others familys and what not. The street wasn't that wide so cars behind us were honking and having to slide around us. Everyone else on the bus was like "WTF?!"

A couple of people called the driver on it, and he snapped at them to be quiet, that we'd be on our way in a minute; they were still on time.

Well maybe we might have been, almost ten minutes later, except it was unusually busy this morning so everything was further delayed by having to pick up other people (who were all wondering why the bus was so late).

So we got there a full 15 minutes later than we should, I had five minutes to make my connection, and had to skip my errands. Which while annoying was not a big deal, but I feel sorry for everyone else who ended up late to work because their bus driver couldn't be arsed to call his friend on his lunch break.

And yes, complaints to Metro have been made.

Bad Service from the Police

so..I work at a gas station. Lately several gas stations and check advance places in my area have been getting robbed. Since this has been happening, I've been extra paranoid at work.

Here's the deal

Around 4 pm our store was dead. I went into the cooler to put up the beer order and I left my coworker to handle the few and far between customers. A regular was at one of our two tables reading a newspaper.

Out of no where, a car pulls into the lot across several parking spaces. Two (I'm only using these as decriptors, so none of that racist bs please) 6 foot tall african american guys come strolling in. They start to approach the counter, all the while they are looking back and forth across the store. When they got a few feet from the counter, the regular got up to get himself some more soda. When the 2 guys saw him, they turned around, ran out the door, jumped in their car and sped off.

That sounds like an attempted robbery to me.

My co-worker buzzes me from the back, she and the customer explain the situation and we decide to call our boss and the cops. I searched the tapes from the parking area and I managed to barely get the license plate number. I call the police and explain the situation. I ask them to send a car periodically though the night to check in on us. They tell me no problem. The dispatcher tells me to call if they come back. She sounded like she was taking me seriously.

So my co-worker and I are paranoid all night long. After asking a few people I knew and relating the story, it turns out I went to highschool with the two "alleged attempted robbers". Yeah, ain't that some shit.

What's bigger bs though, we never once had a police officer stop in to check on us, let alone drive by. What the hell?!?! They acted all sympathetic on the phone and you would think with all the robberies going on in the area, they would do something. I'm soo freaking pissed. What if we would have been robbed? If they would have came back you would bet my local police department would be getting a whole hell of a lot more than an earful from me!