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the story of the mastercard...

Monday, May 30, 2016
...is tedious and frustrating, but since I have not been hacked, mistreated, abused or being held hostage for someone's theft of my identity, I guess it has a happy ending. As many tales of some a of credit-card crisis do not, with people being caught unawares, cards being misused, personal info. hijacked, and credit ruined for years. To say nothing of the nightmare of trying to unravel the huge mess left in the wake of an uninitiated, uninvited, unwanted Hot Mess of a financial debacle.

But this one is satisfactorily resolved. It started when I noticed early in the month that my credit card had an expiration date of 5/16, and knew I should expect to receive a replacement before the end of May. I would occasionally notice the exp. date when I would pull the card out of my wallet to use it, on an almost daily basis (an Important Fact: frequent use). When a new card did not come in the mail by the middle of the month, I began to be a little concerned, wondering when it would arrive.

First mistake - though we think we are supposed to call the toll free number when we anticipate a problem, right?  I called that number on the back of the card, merely to inquire about when I might expect to get a replacement. And went through that process of tell us the number three times, and 'who did you say you are?', and 'are you really, really you?'

Apparently after that long, tedious, convoluted part where you have to prove that you are you, we passed the point of No Return.  Unknowingly set off some invisible warning that caused the card to be cancelled. So no matter what the conversation at that point, I was card-less. The rep. I spoke with reported the replacement card had been mailed out the end of March? What? Where was it? Who had it? What had happened to the card I did not get? It was sent to the post office box, so maybe just mis-put? But definitely not received by me. And thankfully not used by some anonymous creep. This does explain the necessity of cancelling - the fact that it had been shipped, but not received. And we changed the mailing address from the post office to street address.

I don't use a debit card, but do depend mightily on my MasterCard, pulling it out to buy gas, or groceries on a regular basis. Often multiple times a day, as I am so conveniently located in a supermarket nearly every day of the week. Plus rarely have actual cash in my pocket, so really dependent on the plastic.

I begged that customer service rep. to not cancel me, but to no avail. She said all my info. had been transferred to another account, and they would mail me the new card with the new number. I do have sense enough to not put checks for payments, or valuable mail in my box up on the street for pickup, and don't want stuff sitting in my box all day for passers-by and riff-raff to snatch it away. So I said you cannot send it to the street address and leave my credit card sitting in the box up on the street. They agreed to overnight it, and also FedEx, so it would be delivered to the door instead of languishing in that sweltering hot little metal box on the wooden post.

I was paranoid, anxious, stressed out, fearful, mildly confused, panick-y the whole time I was without a card. Sadly, so accustomed to pulling the plastic out and swiping with impunity, I was hyperventilating waiting for the replacement to arrive. When the FedEx guy pulled up in the driveway, I was out there waiting to give him a big hug. And I am generally Not A Hugger.

Needless to say, after the aforementioned trials and tribulations, the 'replacement' that she claimed was mailed in late March, with obsolete, nonfunctioning number came as well. What I am thinking is that the service rep. fumbled the ball with her dates, and did decipher what ever code they use for shipping properly, telling me March, when she meant May. She otherwise spoke perfectly good English... so it was not a problem with ESOL...

Anyway: happy ending. I have already put thousands of dollars on my new card, just to test it. Now all I have to do is pay the bill when it comes!

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