Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Visa Issues

A little over a year ago, in late August, Ted and Alex were making plans to spend Labor Day weekend in Gettysburg. Hey, that's just dandy with me! That meant I could basically do what I want all weekend long, and I knew that Joey would stay back in the "bat cave" most of the time.

Ted asked me to make hotel reservations for them, so I did that. First I checked out the prices online and he told me where they wanted to stay, so I called the hotel chain's 800 number and reserved their room. Since I was sitting there at the computer with my credit card handy, I thought it would be a good time to pay my Visa bill. I've been paying my Visa online for about 5 years and it's so easy to do.

I go to the website, punch in my username and password, and my account came up. I looked at it and thought to myself, "that's higher than I thought it would be." I figured that I probably spent a little more than I realized, as I clicked to view my actual statement.

As I checked through each entry, I was thinking, "I remember buying that...oh yeah...this is going to add up to more than I thought...yep, I recall that trip to WalMart....I forgot about those books I ordered from Amazon...those were the school clothes I got for Alex...WAIT...what's this MANSWORLD.COM charge for $399.50?????"

I wasn't about to visit that website, (because who knew what it would be???) but I called the Visa company. The customer service rep eventually told me that it was a website (duh, I knew that) and that I should see if it was something I purchased. I got brave and typed it in.


I told her that in NO uncertain terms. She asked me if anyone else in the house would have ordered anything from the site. I told her that I always knew the sites my kids went to AND they didn't have access to my credit cards. She asked if I was married and I replied that I was. Then she told me to ask my husband...who happened to be sitting right there in the den with me.

So I asked him. And his response??


I told him that she made me ask. I knew he wouldn't do that.

Okay, so then she said that they would take the charge off my account, and send me some paperwork to fill out. Then she said that since it was an issue of credit card fraud AND the amount was over $250, they would need to close my account, and they would open another account for me, and send the new cards in a week to ten days. Okay, that worked for me.

After we hung up, I thought that I had better call the hotel chain back and put the hotel reservation on another credit card. They were all worked up, making it clear that it was very inconvenient to them.

Talk about inconvenience!

But they were able to switch to a different card.

Then I realized that I hadn't paid my bill. I quickly went back to the Visa site to see if I could pay it before they closed the account.

NOPE. "This account is closed."

I had to call the Visa company back. They weren't too pleasant. I explained the situation to the person I spoke to and said that all I wanted to do was pay my bill.

"Lady, I can't help you because the account is closed and the new account isn't opened yet."

Let's just say that I was a little irritated by this time.

I asked the kind gentleman what I was supposed to do because I was NOT going to pay a late fee if the new account wasn't opened in time so that my payment would not be late. He told me to call back the next day and they would have my account open and I could pay it then, but I just wouldn't have the actual credit card.

What a freaking hassle.

The paperwork eventually came. I filled it out. I had it notarized. I sent it all back in. By the end of November the charge finally disappeared from my account, along with the interest they had charged.

And I haven't heard a word about it since. Thank goodness.