Thursday, February 08, 2007

Draconian-ly patronized

So it turns out that, yes, someone was using our account to purchase things. Specifically they bought international mailing labels to send, say, pirated copies of Happy Feet or fake Kate Spade handbags. And after a hard day's work of pilfering our checking account, he or she treated themselves to some stuff on Amazon.

First thing yesterday morning, I called USPS (which was showing on the ledger) and then the Bank. It was 7:15 am when I started the call and I didn't finish until 9 am. I just want to ask a question: is it considered best practices to transfer a customer who is reporting account fraud to 7 different departments and make her repeat the story to each representative? Do you have something in front of you that might be computer-like which you could input the information? Or even just write it down on a piece of paper and pass it to the customer rep sitting next to you. Between the transferring, recounting of the story and holding, I kept thinking: doesn't account fraud and identity theft happen every day all day long? Shouldn't this be a textbook exercise by now?

Each bank rep had their own role and personality flaw, kinda like the Seven Dwarfs. The most notable was the first who I'll call "Chipper". He was so hyperly-optimistic I began to get dizzy from all the forced pleasantries spilling from his every sentence. "You've been a bank customer since 2004! Isn't that great?! Thank you so much for banking with us!" I wanted to say, 'Easy now, don't go using it all up on me. You have a whole day of bullshitting ahead of you.'

And then there was the forth rep, "Yappy". I spent several minutes trying to figure out where she was going with this:
"You know, I attended law school but dropped out due to some unforeseen circumstances but I inspired my sister to go to law school and now my cousin wants to be a politician because she likes to argue."
"OK... so back to the breach of our account. What should we do about new ATM cards?"
"One time my dog ate my ATM card so I have to be careful where I leave it."

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The Bank knows that there is a certain way to treat people who "patronize" them. The word 'patronize' means either giving an organization your business OR acting in a condescending manner.

So in terms of my experience...Yeah, that's about right.

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