Sunday, November 09, 2008

Whoever Has My Voodoo Doll, Stop Sticking Pins in It

All right, so this hasn't been my easiest semester ever, and I've been pretty swamped with work, extra work, some family stuff, dying cats, the basement renovations, and a couple other things. In short, my life's been out of control, and minor catastrophes keep happening.

Well on Saturday I stepped up to larger catastrophe: My wallet got stolen. Fortunately I carry basically my drivers' license and a couple credit cards, so it only took an hour to get everything canceled (except the Blockbuster card, which you apparently do have to cancel if it gets stolen, but can only cancel on weekdays). This also rendered it the least successful wallet-stealing EVER, as I carry no money in my wallet and all the cards were canceled before the idiot managed to charge anything, and he got no juicy personal data.

As everyone who's ever had their wallet stolen knows, this is ENORMOUSLY upsetting. (I had it happen to me once before, in high school.) Even though being slightly organized (being able to immediately put your hands on the credit card details to start canceling) makes it not actually that big a deal, it's just horrible. There's the first heart-stopping moment when you realize it's gone, followed by the panicked rummaging, the dumping out of the purse on a table, and then the frantic searching of everywhere it might have fallen out/gotten left. And then, really, the sense of violation that someone has your wallet. The bits of your life. Ick.

(And then there's the special extra trip to the DMV, which is just salt in the wound.)

One thing the experience reaffirmed for me is how much better AmEx is than other credit cards. There's a minimum of phone-tree hassle, someone picks up in seconds, and they canceled quickly and efficiently. They express the new card at no extra cost, and when you have two people on the account, THEY HAVE DIFFERENT NUMBERS, so Mr. McGee can still use his AmEx because his number wasn't compromised.

My Bank of America MasterCard, on the other hand, took FOREVER to get to a live person. They canceled it okay, but told me it would take 7-10 days to get the new card and there was no possible way to speed that up. (What am I supposed to do for money????? This is the 21st century! Who carries cash???) But then, this is the kicker, THE FRAUD PREVENTION GUY STARTS TRYING TO UPSELL ME ON MORE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES FROM BofA. I am almost never rude to phone people, but I said in total disbelief (and in a pretty pissed-off tone of voice), "Are you serious? I have to call and cancel all my other cards! I don't want your crap!"

I realize he was on a script, but OH MY LORD, how inappropriate. Proving for the five billionth time that AmEx is a vastly superior company to do business with in ALL POSSIBLE WAYS. Every time we deal with either card we're reminded of this.


Anonymous said...

Good luck with the DMV. I know they are closed on Mondays (which I never understood as it seems like most people loose their wallets over the weekend). Also I am assuming they will be closed on Tuesday for Veteran's Day.

Yooper Girl

Ms. PH said...

Hey - hang in there. Speaking as someone who has been poked a lot with the bad voodoo pins in the last year or so, you have to put in all in perspective. With the bad always comes the good. You may not realize it at the time, but the good always comes. And, in my experience, the worse the bad, the better the good.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about the theft.

Just wondering: aside from the good customer service, what else do you like about AMEX? I've never had one, nor have my parents, and I've never understood what the benefit was. Why did you get one?

Eyebrows McGee said...

We have an AmEx Blue, which is a traditional credit card (not a charge card). It has the best rewards program in the industry, and the customer service is head and shoulders above everyone else. What else do you pick a credit card based on?

We'd used a MasterCard as our primary card for years, but when our card got bought by BofA, it just became one snafu after another with them, so we went hunting for a new card and the AmEx Blue was the clear industry leader for our wants/needs. We've been delighted with it.

We still have the MC because the only downside of AmEx is that not everywhere takes it. (Menard's is our big complaint. What the heck, Menard's? It's one thing for a mom & pop place, but Menard's? TAKE THE CARD!)

Anonymous said...

Menards is the worst. Statement said pay by end of promotion date, so I did just that. Now I get a bill for 101.78 in deferred charges + interest charges. I sent 730.24 as my payment. Now they tell me that I also needed to include a 23.00 min payment with that, so they charged me for everything since I opened the account. I also took 4 months to get the card , because they couldn't get the address right. Lets see...they got it right for billing, but not sending the card. I closed my account, I will not shop at Menards. Then they suddenly announce when I said close the account that she was going to help me out. Too Late!