Last week Toney told me there was a credit card breach at several Wendy’s locations around the country, including the one I visit regularly. I let this sink in for minute, blinked a few times, and said, “Did you say something about Wendy’s?”
I didn’t know anything about this, of course. I’m fairly insulated from the real world. But it’s been in the news, I guess, and the list of specific stores was recently released. And the one within waddling distance of our front door was on that list. Fantastic.
Not that I gave it too much thought, mind you. I might be misguided, but that kind of stuff doesn’t concern me a great deal. I mean, it’s not like there are millions of dollars sitting in my account at any given time. Even if they took it all, it wouldn’t be much. If they targeted my shit, there would be some mighty disappointed red-lipped tracksuit-wearing assholes in Omsk, or wherever. Believe you me.
But on Thursday I stopped by the grocery store to purchase a six-pack of an over-hopped domestic craft beer, and my bank card was denied. What the? The balance sometimes gets down pretty low (it’s my personal account, not the main household account…), but not THAT low.
“Weird,” I told the cashier. Some people would be embarrassed and feel compelled to reassure the guy there’s plenty of money in that account, and it’s clearly some kind of mistake, etc. Me? I couldn’t give two shits what some 20 year old zit plantation thinks about me. Yes, it’s become much easier to live this life since my soul atrophied and turned coal-black, it really has. I just switched to a credit card, and was on my way.
But when I got to my car I called Toney, and she checked my account. “What’s this Lee’s Discount Liquor, for $37.84?” she asked. Huh? Never heard of the place. I asked her what city it’s in, and could hear computer keys clicking in the background. “Las Vegas,” she finally said.
Dammit! Thanks, Wendy’s. A million #1s with cheese, and now this?
After we hung up, I noticed I had three new voicemail messages. As far as I knew, my phone didn’t even ring. I played them on speaker while I drove, and all were from the credit union. “Call us immediately, there’s some shit going down!” the person said. You know, give or take.
When I got home, I called. I talked to a very nice woman named Angie. She was a normal human being, which is quite rare. We went through a list of recent charges, and all were legit except two: Lee’s Liquor, and another one for eight bucks, also in Vegas. “We’re seeing a lot of fraudulent activity there today,” she told me.
Both those charges were pending, Angie said, but there had reportedly been several other attempts that were denied. Including a couple more at Lee’s. The system realized what was going on, somehow, and locked my account down.
She said I needed to call another number to order a new debit card, and in the meantime, nothing else would be approved. Impressed by her humanness, I thanked Angie profusely. She acted like she cared a bit, and communicated with me in a non-irritating manner. That’s all it takes to stand out from the pack nowadays.
But all that was about to change…
I called the number she gave me, which was apparently the main customer service line. And I was thrust into a hall of mirrors. Press 1 for English, enter or say the last four digits of your social security number, enter or say your date of birth, etc. etc. Several times I did what they asked, and was sent back to where I started. It was maddening, and it made me miss Angie even more.
I finally made it through the maze, and settled into a “your call is very important to us” holding pattern. And instead of music there was a guy with a lisp on there bringing me up to date on blimp trivia. WTF?? Then he started talking about the person who invented a device that measures the human foot.
And the call dropped. I was listening to a bizarre litany of factoids, and suddenly nothing. So, I had to go back into the hall of mirrors, and start all over again. A few of the bad words were spoken, my friends.
Eventually some dude who was almost certainly stoned came on the line, and it didn’t go well. There was a delay, like when they’re talking to somebody in Iraq on cable news. I’d say something, and it took the guy a couple of beats before he began to reply. It made me crazy. I could also hear wind blowing. Was he outside?? What in the everlasting hell?
Yeah, he didn’t care. He told me nothing had been charged to my account yet, that the two charges were still pending. And that was supposed to make me feel all warm and fuzzy? “You’re probably cool,” he said. Cool? Was I talking to one of the guys from Workaholics?
They’d send me a new card, ol’ Bongwater mumbled. “How soon will I have it?” I asked. “About ten days,” he said. “That doesn’t work for me,” I said. “Well, that’s how long it takes,” he replied, without offering any additional suggestions or even a hint of apology. This guy was the anti-Angie. And was he on a roof or something? WTS??
I checked my account yesterday, and both charges were still pending. But today they made it all the way through, and the money is now gone from my account. One charge at Lee’s Discount Liquor, and another at a 7-11 store, both in Las Vegas. Grrr… It’s only $46 total, but it still infuriates me.
The money is one thing, but I also don’t have access to my bank account until the new card arrives. “Just stop by a branch,” Pineapple Express suggested, with an air of duh! in his voice. “I’m in Pennsylvania,” I told him. “Oh,” he replied, helpfully, from Burbank.
So, anyway… On Monday I’m going to have to call back and report fraudulent charges, and see what they can do about it. It’s a giant festering boil on the ass of my mental health. Or something.
Have you ever had something like this happen to you? I know it’s small potatoes compared to the giant nightmares people were forced to endure years ago. They’ve improved things greatly on that front, but it doesn’t make me feel any better. Not really. I don’t like to burn calories to get back to where I was three days ago. Ya know?
In any case, please share your stories in the comments if you got ’em.
And I’ll be back soon.
Have a great day!