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August 22nd, 2006


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09:44 pm - PROTIP: DON'T TALK TO THE CUSTOMER SERVICE DOOD WHO SAYS "OH, WOW" WHEN LOOKING UP YOUR INFORMATION
I called Citizen's Bank today because my debit card is set to expire at the end of the month and I don't have my new one yet, and I was just making sure I was going to automatically get a new one and not have to fill out any more paperwork because God knows what this world needs now is paperwork, sweet paperwork. The last time my card expired, two years ago, I got one in the mail about two weeks before the end of August, I called the activation number and all was hunky dory.

This morning while on a break at work I called Citizens' 800 number, plugged in my information, waited on hold for a real live operator and asked if the new card had been sent yet. When I got to the part where I verified my address, the guy on the other said "Oh, wow."

"What, it's not $NEWADDRESS?" I asked.

"Nooooo..." he said.

"Is it $OLDADDRESS?" I asked.

"Yessss..." he said.

"But I changed that a year ago," I said. "You even sent me new checks with the new address on it. Granted, you got the new address wrong, using a U where there should have been an A, but I called you then and you said everything would be fine and dandy sugar candy.1"

"Sure," he said.

"And I know I've made credit card payments in the past and used my new address as the billing address and it came through," I said.

"Sure," he said.

"And I don't get paper statements anymore so I hadn't thought anything of it up until now," I said.

"Okay," he said.

"Why was my old address still in your system then?"

"I don't know."

"Can you tell me if my replacement card was sent to $OLDADDRESS?"

Tap tap tap tap.

"Oh, wow," he said. That meant yes.

"But has it been activated yet?" I asked. I had just heard my balance read to me automatically over the phone, and knew it was roughly around what it should've been now that the August rent check had cleared. I knew that at least if someone had gotten ahold of my new card, they'd been amazingly nice about taking out small amounts.

"It doesn't look like it's been activated yet to me," the customer service rep said. "I'm going to put in a code so it can't be activated... oh, what's the code... uh... Did Not Receive... DNR... uh, I think it's DNRCD..."

He then put me on hold while he looked up the actual code. Once that was over, he got back on the line and gave me the good news.

"Okay," he said, "I sent a new new card to your new address, and I noted you did not receive the other new card so it can't be activated, and you're all set. You'll get your new card in 5 to 7 business days."

"I'm all set?" I said.

"Yes," he said.

"Good to go?" I said.

"Good to go," he affirmed.

"So I won't be stuck having to write checks out to CASH while waiting for my new card?" I asked.

"Nope, you're all set," he said.

"Thank you very much!" I said. "You've been very helpful and I appreciate all the help you've done for me today, tell your supervisor you should get a raise."

"No problem," he said. Usually when I'm happy with customer service I ask to speak to the supervisor, and then I give a very nice compliment, as I've been in the rep's place before. I know what it means for your supervisor to get a direct compliment from someone you just helped. I was waiting for him to take the initiative and offer to transfer me over, which is also nice, but he didn't. Instead he hung up and we went on our merry ways.

Anyway.

You can guess where this is going, and it went straight to a dinner at Summer Shack this evening with an old high school friend of mine that I haven't seen in 13 years. It was wonderful. We caught up on so much, she looks great, dinner was great, we both downed a lot of oysters and had some amazing yellowtail tuna cooked so rare it might have been sushi, enjoyed bananas foster deliciously, and decided to split the bill seeing as how we'd pretty much split everything else.

The waitress came back with the check. "Uh, ma'am, your card is fine, but sir, your card was declined. And I ran it through twice."

"Uh."

"I noticed the card expires this month, sir, you may want to check with your bank."

"OH I THINK I WILL. I THINK I WILL VERY VERY MUCH."

Beep boop beep boop went the phone, right there at the table. After waiting on hold for longer than usual, I told the new person on the other end of the line my problem. She ran the card number through and gave me the news that, at this point, I was dreading:

"Well, today when your replacement card was cancelled, we had to cancel your existing card as well."

"Um. I was not told that today when I called."

"I'm sorry, sir, they should have told you."

"I was told everything would be fine and my new card would arrive next week and that the replacement card was marked Was Not Received or somesuch, and that I was all set and wouldn't have to spend the rest of this week cashing checks written out to myself."

My free hand was now unconsciously balling itself up into a tight fist. My free hand was also holding my old credit card.

"I'm very sorry you were not advised of this, sir. Your new replacement card has to have an entirely new number. We had to cancel the previous number out entirely. Your new card will arrive in five to seven business days."

"Please, is there anything you can do for me here? I have to pay a restaurant tab and I don't have my checkbook."

"I'm sorry, sir, we can't reinstate your old card number. It's cancelled for good."

"Well, then, which dish detergent would you recommend as the softest on the hands? Dawn, Joy, or the industrial stuff?2"

A pause.

"I'm really sorry you were not told of this earlier today, sir."

"It's okay. It's not your fault, and I thank you for being patient with me. I'll figure something out. Good night."

I really am glad I didn't give that earlier dood a compliment, because I'd hate to have to go through the process of taking it back.

My friend luckily offered to pay my share, and I offered to PayPal her back. In the meantime, I am flat broke with money I can't access, payday's Friday, and I gotta go grocery shopping at some point. I just realized my license is expired, too, so I don't think the bank will take that as ID for me to write checks for myself.

If you're cash flush, would you mind helping me out, please? I can either write you a check or PayPal you if you have the greenbacks. We'll do exchanges. It'll be cool and stuff.


your pal,
archimedes q. fukdisshit


1. I did not really say "fine and dandy sugar candy."
2. I actually really did say this and I sure as hell hope that call was recorded and monitored for quality assurance.

(23 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:August 23rd, 2006 02:16 am (UTC)
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I can lend you money, tonight if necessary. Let me know via e-mail or AIM.
[User Picture]
From:muse0fire
Date:August 23rd, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
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What a freakin' pain in the arse!

More than happy to lend some green - email me and let me know the best way to get it to you - museoffire at gmail dot com.
[User Picture]
From:joenotcharles
Date:August 23rd, 2006 02:44 am (UTC)
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What's this "write checks to myself" bit? Can't you just walk into a bank branch and fill out a withdrawal note anymore?
[User Picture]
From:slit
Date:August 23rd, 2006 04:48 am (UTC)
(Link)
We can lend you cash. E-mail me slit at livejournal and tell me the best way to get it to you (preferably one that doesn't involve driving to Somerville?)
[User Picture]
From:pecosy
Date:August 23rd, 2006 05:27 am (UTC)
(Link)
Dawn? Joy? Are you kidding me? It's Palmolive. You're soaking in it.
[User Picture]
From:dogofthefuture
Date:August 23rd, 2006 09:06 am (UTC)
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Do you have, like, anybody you know who is related to you who is even remotely connected with the military? Because USAA is seriously the best bank ever and they, I am pretty sure, would not do this to you.
[User Picture]
From:dogofthefuture
Date:August 23rd, 2006 09:08 am (UTC)
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Also if you need a wee smidge of dough holler at me or at byrneout and we can almost certainly come up with something. I (we) do mean this. It's just money. Holler, okay? Please?
[User Picture]
From:glapaloopscap
Date:August 23rd, 2006 11:04 am (UTC)
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Can't you just walk into the bank and ask the teller to get you out some cash?
[User Picture]
From:kpht
Date:August 23rd, 2006 11:25 am (UTC)
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yeah, i've done that with citizens. you just hand them your ID. they'll hand you the withdrawal slip.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:August 23rd, 2006 11:51 am (UTC)
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The license has expired. I am sure that would throw a monkey wrench into the plans and add a few extra layers of fiscal bureacracy.
[User Picture]
From:kpht
Date:August 23rd, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
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I'd still try anyway. They probably won't even notice the date.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:August 23rd, 2006 01:07 pm (UTC)
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And if they do, I'm sure there'll be another great story to write about soon enough!
[User Picture]
From:kpht
Date:August 23rd, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
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Hahaha, you've seen how incredibly stupid they are. Expiration dates escape them.
[User Picture]
From:spwebdesign
Date:September 2nd, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC)
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They always seemed to notice the expiration date on my license the few times I tried.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 23rd, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)
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I work at Citizens as a branch manager it takes four letters to turn your card back on. ACTV. Tell them to go to AM00 and place it in that screen on the card you currently have in your possession. Do Not go to the tellers in traditional banks. Better yet just go to an In-Store Branch(Grocery Store), anyone there can help you out.
[User Picture]
From:minkrose
Date:August 23rd, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)
(Link)
not that I see you very often, but I can easily PayPal money to ya if someone else doesn't already have you covered.

I'd try the bank thing anyway - if they dont notice, you dont have a problem. If they do notice, you still have us.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:August 23rd, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC)
(Link)
But if you send him money by PayPal, won't it still end up in his bank account? Where he already has money, but can't easily get it out?

(I've never used PayPal, so my understanding of this may be completely wrong.)
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:August 23rd, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Ron is right; I have money in my bank account, I just can't get at it without gnashing and strife.

And, see, if I could give someone PayPal or check in exchange for cash, that means I'd have to, you know, see them. Face to face an' everything!
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:August 23rd, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Which I think we're doing, but you need to tell me when and where. (A check is fine for me.)
[User Picture]
From:ariwriter
Date:August 23rd, 2006 07:52 pm (UTC)
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I'll echo the others. If you need something, ask me.
[User Picture]
From:jotasbrane
Date:August 24th, 2006 10:15 am (UTC)
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This is a good time to ask yourself, "Have I given my credit card number to any businesses which automatically deduct from it on a regular basis in exchange for their on-going services?" If so, you might want to have a talk with them, or else they won't be getting paid this month.
[User Picture]
From:fleep513
Date:August 24th, 2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
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Good advice, I had a similiar thing happen to me a couple years ago and it fucked up all kinds of auto-payment stuff I had set up. Suck-o-rama.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:August 28th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I hope that by now, you've gotten a new card from Citizens. Let us know.

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