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Lost and Stolen? We have a scheduled maintenance…

I discovered recently I had somehow managed to lose, misplace or had stolen my credit card issued from a large US based company.

Having searched high and low, and after checking my on-line account I had to resign myself to calling the lost and stolen hotline.

I was greeted by a myriad of automated telephone options, which started off with, please enter your credit card number, press hash if you need more time to look for your card…???

I’ve lost my card, I’m calling your dedicated number to report lost and stolen cards, and your asking me for my card number?

My memories good, but not that good! The automated voice relentlessly offered opportunities to give me more time to find my card, and after 5 minutes it thankfully gave up and offered to transfer me to a human operator… After waiting on hold for just over 40 minutes and getting fed up of the two tunes they played, I finally got through to an operator, who explained that their system was undergoing routine maintenance and that they were unable to cancel my card, but could I perhaps call back in the morning?

You’re a credit card company unable to cancel cards in a timely fashion? What about a backup procedure? I’m sorry sir, for reasons of PCI-DSS I am unable to take that information. Whoa… Hold your horses, as it happens I’m a PCI-DSS SME! Then again, on second thoughts maybe I don’t need some stranger taking my details, date of birth and address written down on paper.

It’s inevitable that card companies have to upgrade systems and software, but usually this is done during the early hours of the morning and proper procedures put in place to allow for exceptions in BAU processes.

The questions not satisfactorily answered are :-

  1. Why did I have to wait for so long in a call that’s not free phone?
  2. Why did the operator have no procedures or escalation route available to them?
  3. Should the card be used fraudulently, who is liable for the transaction?
  4. If you have a dedicated lost and stolen hotline, why does the automated voice ask me for my card number?
  5. If you’re under maintenance, why not post a message to that effect on your website.
  6. Better still, give your website the functionality to cancel your card and report it lost and stolen?

Any hoo, card finally cancelled I now have to wait two weeks for a new card to be issued… If the cash back rate wasn’t so good, I’d have cancelled my account by now!

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