On Wednesday, July 19th, 2005 (last date, just wanted to get that one in so we can see how long it takes to get this taken care of
) I took my
cousin out for a birthday dinner to Mongolian BBQ. We went to Best Buy after we ate because he wanted The Count Of Monte Cristo (the book is
much better!) on DVD and I wanted to pick up a copy of The Simms 2. Wanted to ruin someone else's life with my bad decisions for a
I bought him the DVD with my game and a few DVDs I picked up. Impulse buy, naturally, but Die Hard on its own is worth $20, and this package
had all three of them for $20!
I take him home, start watching one of the most terrible movies ever (Wrote a thread
it the next morning copying the commentary I sent a buddy of mine through the film via email. Warning: I do swear a couple of times in the copied
email, but the movie was really terrible and when I thought to check for that today the edit button was disabled.) I go to bed, no big whoop.
The next morning I wake up, get ready for work, but am running a little late. Instead of grabbing breakfast at home, I run to the nearest gas station
to pull some cash from an ATM, then was going to grab an egg McMuffin. I swipe my card, try to withdraw $40. "Insufficient Funds," the screen tells
me. I think to myself, "there's no way I botched my account so badly, even with the $200 last night I should still have about $600 in my account!"
I try again, who knows maybe the ATM misread the card and the person with the different card number had the same pin. What can I saw, I was confused
and not thinking clearly. I try $10, same message. Oooookay...Swipe it again, this time checking the balance. I'm at -$1,500! My mouth dropped before
I could control it, and I slowly walked out of the gas station staring at the receipt in disbelief.
I drive to work in a...shall we say less than good mood. Not the best mood to be in when you have about 20 miles of Chicago rush hour traffic, but
somehow I make it in without killing anyone. I think I have K-Love and Michael Yussef to thank for that. I try getting customer service so I could
possibly use my card number instead of my account number to find out what the heck happened, but couldn't find the option to bypass the automation.
Very distracted at work, right at 5 I was out the door and headed home to get my last bank statement, and therefore my account number, to hear my last
5 transactions and proceed from there.
Naturally, traffic was horrible, and I didn't get home until about 6:45. Doh! I get home, grab the bank statement and call the number on the back of
my card. When listening to the purchases made with my card, I hear the first, no problem, I hear the second, and my mouth drops. For some reason it
really hadn't hit me that someone else was using my card until that moment. The charge was for $691 and some change. After that, the same thing, $691
and the same amount of change. The third was for about $800 and was followed by an overdraft fee. It's really hard to explain what happened in my
head at this. At once I hit * on my phone to go up a menu and hit 0 for customer service (I'd heard the option this time), and at the same time
thinking, dang, I had a lot more money in there than I thought I did. It was a really strange mix of emotions.
I'm on hold for about 45 minutes. Every few minutes a recording would come on saying they were experiencing a high call volume, and it could take up
to 5 minutes, maybe even more. A co-worker had mentioned reading something about a bank's database being hacked into and losing a lot of credit
information; after about a half hour on hold, I started wondering if that was the case. After all, the message only expected a 5 minute wait, it's a
big bank chain, so I figured they had many folks on staff.
I talked to the woman, and she was really cool. I asked her a lot of questions, she cancled my card, and filed a claim for me. Then I had 5 days to
submit a signed letter to them explaining how I found out I was missing a butt-load of money, and what I did to confirm it. So I wrote about the same
thing I did here, but with less detail, threw my cell number on it since I usually can't be reached at home (the number they have), signed it and
faxed it. That was this morning. Now I sit, wait, and wonder.
Now I have two questions for y'all. First, do you know what I can do if the claim investigators believe I somehow authorized these payments? Second,
have any of you gone through this, and if so, how long does this process usually take? I mean, that was a hefty little chunk of change some punk
"borrowed" from me, and I'd like to know when to expect to get it back. That was probably the only question I forgot to ask...