Monday, February 24, 2014

My husband's Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle experience with his U.S. Bank/REI card.

So my hubby and I are fine with credit cards monitoring suspicious activity and putting freezes on our accounts when something looks fishy.  That's great customer service.

What isn't great customer service is when a bank freezes transactions that shouldn't be frozen after specific instructions from the customer himself.

Jeff regularly flings himself out of perfectly good airplanes for fun.  He does this once a month, at the same place--and he has done so since Memorial Day Weekend.

Lately, US Bank/REI has decided that, wherever Jeff is, his credit shouldn't come with him--the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Bad Customer Service.  Every month, he tries to charge something at the jump site.  Every month, his account is blocked.  He calls the bank and explains the situation; the bank agrees that the charges shouldn't be blocked; Jeff goes home.  (Of course, when he goes home and tries to pay for parking, the same bank blocks his credit there, too.)

This cycle of folly continues each month:
  • Jeff calls the bank to explain that there's no fraud on charges from these two particular sites.
  • The bank says that it understands and won't block the charges again.
  • Jeff goes to the jump site, charges something, and finds out that the charge was blocked.
  • Jeff calls the bank.
  • The bank promises not to block the charge.
  • Jeff comes home and tries to pay for parking.
  • The bank blocks the charge.
  • Jeff calls the bank.
  • The bank promises not to block the charge.
  • Repeat ad nauseum.
The cycle of folly has now ended after the bank, yet again, blocked the charges and then explained to Jeff that Jeff must call the bank ahead of time to explain that he is traveling and to ask--basically, with a "pretty, pretty please"--let his charges go through.

No more.  Now Jeff has a card with a different bank.  And we wonder why banks have such a bad rap.

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