‘Tis the Season to go Crazy!

Sometimes, you just can’t make this stuff up.

I don’t know how your banks handle online purchases, but our bank instituted a system a couple of years ago where for most stores, they send you an SMS with a code number. You have to type that code into a separate screen to verify your purchase. I understand it and appreciate the added security.

At least I DID. Last summer, for a variety of reasons, including that a slightly deranged person had my mobile number and was sending me kind of disturbed text messages, I canceled my old portable and got a new account with a new, unlisted phone number.

I knew that I needed to let my bank in on this, so went to their website where I duly typed in the new number for the two accounts where I have debit cards. I waited a week or so, then made an online purchase. Except I noticed that the SMS went to my old phone number.

I called the helpline, they explained that my bank had to change the number and diligently set the security clearance to allow me to use some other information as a temporary fix. I called my local branch, gave them the new number and was assured that it would go into my file.

A month or so later, I noticed that I was again getting an SMS to the wrong number. I again called the helpline and was told that the number had not been changed in their system. They reset the temporary fix and I called my bank again.

Two weeks ago I tried to make an online purchase and one of my debit cards was rejected. I checked and there was plenty of money in the account. I went into our local pharmacy and used it with no problem. I was able to get money from the ATM. The only thing I couldn’t do was make an online purchase.

I called the helpline again. They were less helpful. Because I had been using the temporary security for so long, it was no longer valid. No, they couldn’t change the mobile number, only my bank could do that. I called the bank, he looked and said it was changed but would send the info through again.

Now, here we are in the holiday season and I need to make purchases. Only I can’t use my credit card. I spent almost the entire day today calling various “helpless” lines to get it fixed. My banker yelled at me (and he’s an extremely nice man who I didn’t think COULD yell). JM yelled at the customer non-service rep, even though she was very nice and trying her best.

Finally, we went to the bank in Limoux and tried to sort it out while we were there. Both our branch manager and his second in command called the service desk. They were told to do something to a software that they didn’t even know existed! They STILL don’t know how to resolve the problem! All the computers at our bank show the right information; only the computer at the security center are wrong, because their software doesn’t communicate with the normal banking software and they don’t have the power to change it at their end.

My branch manager wanted me to cancel my debit cards and get new ones, except that I have direct debits for various things on those cards, and if we do that, it opens up a whole different can of worms.

I asked if I was the only person in the area who had ever changed her cell number; my branch manager didn’t think so, but had never run across this problem before.

I just love being a trend setter.

Ciao for now.


Be Sociable, Share!

4 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season to go Crazy!

  1. Omigosh, what a mess, Randy! I hope you get it straightened out; their proposed “fix” would be rife with new hassles, for sure. Any time my bank cards’ numbers change it’s such a pain in the neck! And there would surely be some you’d forget.

    What are they proposing to do about it on their end?

  2. It is extremely inconvenient for sure. At first they couldn’t even understand the problem because it was so bizarre.

    They’re looking into how to change the data, but in the meantime they’re going to issue a new card that I can use just for shopping online.

  3. Ouch! I escaped that one, at least for the moment! Our bank does not use that method, and given the catastrophic results it brought you, if they propose it, I will object, and if necessary, swap banks! (Although this would be rather inconvenient, I am sure!)

    • I like the fact that they are trying to “protect” us from false charges, but I wish they would update their software so that it actually all communicated the same information to every department.

      JM has had his account with the same bank for 40 years, so I don’t think changing is much of an option for us.


Leave a Reply