The $1.48 Hassle

For the third time in six months, I received a letter from Diners Club. The basic message is “In order to protect you, we have stopped all activity on your account, due to potential fraudulent activity.” Please call us as soon as possible to remedy this situation.

I let it sit on my desk for a week, but finally needed to clear the pile of paper, so I called them. Here is the rub or rather rubs. This is turning into a lovefest with Diners Club. They seem to be developing a dependency on hearing from me. As long as they continue to accept those collect calls, I am prone to play their silly little game. However, this is gripe number 2. 

The number they gave me to call was the general number. I had to explain to the guy who was reading from his good customer service script wasting my time while he pandered on, before I was able to tell him my reason for calling. I was not calling to check the weather forecasts in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Well, potential fraud on the account, all of a sudden his attention has been stimulated to think in a new direction. He will now have to transfer me to a specialist in that area. Do they have their very on CSI unit, do they have the Mentalist on board, is Kyra Sedgwick running a major crimes division in their spare room? So, I get put on hold to wait for the Diners Club detective squad to come on the line to unravel the possible fraud committed with my card. Why can’t they have a direct line to the fraud unit? This leads to major gripe number 3.

The amount in question was $1.48 charged on September 6th. Note where the decimal is placed, after the 1. One dollar, not even two. The last time the amount was !.57 and the time before was 1.89. It is not like I purposefully charge these small amounts, but when you do things over the Internet, you cannot exactly hand over the cash. The woman asked me if I charged something on the Internet for $1.48 on September 6th. How the hell should I remember? Then she said it was through PayPal. The light went on, so I said I could check my PayPal account while she held on. Suddenly, she seemed concerned about their phone bill. She wanted to stop my card completely and issue me a new one. For $1.48? It has to cost more than that to make the plastic, laminated it stamp the card with the digits and then mail it overseas. Let’s be real here. So I am saying “Just a minute, I am checking my PayPal account.” She is saying, “We can cancel your card, I am going to do that right now.” Finally, I had enough. I sternly, firmly said “You will wait for me to check this PayPal account before you do anything.” Hearing “Yes, sir!” told me I had her attention. 

September 6th, a PayPal transaction for $1.00 plus service charge, but not $1.48. Strange. Then I asked who the recipient was. It was me. It was when I was trying to test PayPal for credit card payments through our website. The PayPal gift that keeps on giving…aggravation. 

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