I was in Medellin and I tried to take out money with my Chase debit card. It did not work. I called the 800 number (see TPOL’s Tip: Use Skype for 800 #s Abroad) and was told that the fraud department was closed. Eventually, a text came through asking if I approved the transaction and all was well.
This week I made a few purchases on my United Business card, hoping to extricate myself from min spend hell (see Oops!… I Did It Again). The last purchase was a booking for a new year’s eve celebration. Each time I tried, I received a message that the card was declined. I called Chase at 1AM and received the following automated message: “Our fraud office is closed right now. We apologize for the inconvenience. Goodbye!” And then the phone disconnected.
Rage is the appropriate word to describe what I was feeling. How is the fraud department not 24/7? What if this were an emergency? Why wasn’t there a notification on my phone? When would they open again?
I called at 8AM and received the same message that the office was closed. I called at 9AM and they were finally open. Their excuse was that people were working from home during Covid so they can’t staff the fraud department around the clock. I replied, “When do you think most fraud alerts are occurring, in the middle of the workday?” They concluded with the words, “Don’t worry, we have lifted the block on your account. Your card is now available for immediate use.”