Friday, January 28

MBNA America: Who Am I?

Our credit company, MBNA America, suckered us into one of those free trials for some credit protection thing. The trial period ended long ago. Jared swears he canceled it months ago, but it keeps showing up on our monthly statement. I called today to cancel it once and for all.

After I made it through the phone tree, it asked for the "4-digit reference number" for my questionable charge. On my statement, next to the charge, it says "500F." Well, I typed in 5-0-0-3, the 3 being the "F."

"I'm sorry," the recording apologized, "that is not a valid reference number. Please enter the 4-digit reference number now. It appears on your statement next to the charge." It was then that I realized none of the other charges has a letter in the reference number. Of course, the system is not equipped to handle them. (I overcame this little hurdle by entering 4 random digits and waiting.)

After 15 minutes on hold, I finally got through to a warm body. And . . . wait, you can guess this part. Yup-- she had to transfer me!


Got a human being again. He asked to verify my credit card number. Never mind that I had to enter it when I dialed and got put on hold, AND verified with the woman I orginally spoke with. Third time's the charm.

"Your name?"

"Megan Clarke."

"Verify your birthdate."

I did.

Silence. "Uhh, is there another cardholder on this account?"

"Yes, my husband."

"Verify his birthdate please."

Silence. "What's his middle initial?"

Gave it.

Pause. "Okay, I have the right account here, but those birthdays don't match. Can you verify your billing address?"


"Hmm . . . and phone number?"

Here ya go.

Another pause. "Well, none of this information is matching what I have in the system."

"Are you sure you have the right account?"

Turns out he did. With our mailing address and phone number of 18 months ago, and completely wrong birthdays to boot. (And we're not talking a little wrong, like month and day reversed. No, we're talking different months, different days, and 20 years off.)

I had a little question. "If you have an outdated address, how am I getting bills at my current residence?"

Of course, HIS department doesn't send out bills. HIS department does only this credit protection crap. My next question: "Considering your information is so wildly incorrect, isn't it possible that my husband actually DID call and cancel, and this is just another error?"

Oh, no. Not possible. They record every customer interaction. (I'm thinking yeah, probably about as well as AT&T does . . .) But alas, my spirit has been broken. I used up my Righteous Indignation with AT&T Part VII yesterday.

So this is supposedly canceled, anyway. Stay tuned.

P.S. Part of this credit protection is a sort of "insurance," where in case of hospitalization or involuntary unemployment, we are not responsible for our monthly CC payment. Gee, wish we'd known we were still paying for that during the 3 months Jared was involuntarily unemployed last year. Naturally, it's past their claims deadline. My new motto: pay twice, get screwed all day!


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