Monday, April 23, 2012

Saving Money With Wells Fargo

How did this become my own private corporate complaints area? Got no clue, but here's the latest.

So, this was Stitches South weekend here in Atlanta--four days of classes, camaraderie and credit-busting. As always, it was wonderful--lots of knitters, knitting, wearing knitted garments, buying knitting supplies. And crocheters. Yes, there was yarn involved.

And this year was especially fun for me, because I worked with the SS folks doing some customer service stuff--met everyone, loved it! But when you sit behind a registration desk for four days, you don't have much time in the Market, searching out vendors. There's always a customer waiting and, really, that's what's most important.

Finally, on Sunday afternoon, I had about 20 minutes to wander through the Market. I grabbed up my short list of booths that I absolutely had to get to, mapped out a route, and took off running.

Four quick stops later (and I do mean quick!), my phone rang. Wells Fargo Security informing me of a possible fraud alert on my debit card.  Was someone using my card to send $3 million to a Nigerian prince to secure an inheritance? Taking a first class flight to India? Wow!

[Recorded Voice]: This is the Wells Fargo Fraud Investigation Department, warning you of a possible fraudulent use of your card. Is this Woofgangpug? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no.

[Me, pressing 1]: Uh huh.

[Recorded Voice]: We need to verify your identity. Please tell us your zip code. Press 1 for (your zip code) or 2 for another zip code.

[Me, pressing 1]: Uh huh.

[Recorded Voice]: That does not agree with our records. Stay on the line for the first available Fraud Investigator.

[Me, smacking forehead]: Oh, crap.

[Wells Fargo Fraud Investigator, minutes later]: Hello, is this Woofgangpug?

[Me]: Yes. How long will this take?

[WF]: Ms. Pug, can you verify your mother's maiden name, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and the color of your underwear?*

[Me, ripping hair out]: Yes.  King, XXXX, and Grandmother Beige. How long will this take?

[WF]: Thank you, Ms. Pug. We believe there is fraudulent activity on your debit card. Can you verify your last four transactions?

[Me, finally getting the point of the conversation]:  Yes, of course.  I'm here at a knitting convention and I've been buying yarn.

[WF, skeptically]: So, you bought something from someone named Miss Bob?

[Me]: Yes, yarn. And that's Miss Babs. It was beautiful--dark red worsted. You see, I'm here at a knitting convention and I'm buying yarn.

[WF]: Uh huh. And, let's see, Buffalo Wool?

[Me]: Yes, yarn. Sock yarn. It was a great deal, buy three skeins and get a fourth. I'll probably make socks, but you never know--maybe shawlettes. You see, I'm here ....

[WF]: But it says buffalo.

[Me, with a bit of edge in my voice]: Yes. Big, bulky, furry things. Horns. Intimidating. They make yarn from the fur.

[WF, still testing me to see if I'm a Nigerian prince]: I've never heard of yarn from buffaloes.

[Me, checking time, 19 minutes gone]: Yes, can we move on, please? You see, I'm here at a yarn convention and I want to get back to shopping. With my debit card. For yarn.

[WF]: Oh, no. Your debit card is locked until we determine if there's been fraud. Now, did you make a purchase at Erin Lane bags? That doesn't sound like yarn.

[Me]: You mean if I hadn't heard my phone in this really large, noisy place, full of hundreds of people, all of them BUYING YARN, you would have humiliated me while I'm here BUYING YARN by declining me?

[WF]: Well, of course, because there's a pattern of possible fraudulent activity.

[Me, screaming]:  Did my husband call you? Because if he did .... Yes, I bought a bag to put my YARN in, because I'm here at a ....

[WF]: What about Fiesta? That sounds like a party store.

[Me]: Yes. Fiesta, a party on your needles! Ole!  I am SO cancelling my account.

[WF]: So you're saying all these transactions are legitimate? You made them?

[Me]: Yes, yes, yes! Now may I PLEASE go back to shopping?

[WF]: We'll release your card. Thank you for your time.

Of course, by then it was time to go back to my duties. I'm still suspicious of my husband. And I am SO cancelling my account.

Author's clarification: I have been asked by concerned readers to tell you that the asterisked line is poetic license--the intrusive questions asked did not really involve undergarments and no shapers were harmed in the writing of this account. Oh, well...take it for what it is.


Barbara said...

You are lucky you didn't buy anything at "Purdy Thangs". I am guessing that would have led to more undepants questions.

Nease's Needlework said...

Oh, that so reminds me of my multiple purchases at last year's Rennaissance Festival! Cuz you know all those folks don't live in East South Atlanta Metro area full time, doncha? Yes, we finally had to whip out Ye Ol' Master Card because we got tired of 'splaining to Wells Fargo that a Stomacher is a kind of corset only not so high up, and we DO, in fact, know that the jewelry maker lives in Albuquerque, NM, and, and, and . . . the Magic Money Machine only lets you take out $100. Once. Oh, my, yes, those ever vigilant fraud investigators.