Your card has been declined.

Your card has been declined.

I had a call on Saturday from my bank’s fraud department.

They were concerned about some transactions on my account.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t identify one of them and I couldn’t look it up at the time, as I was out with Comet.

So the lady asked me to call back once I knew one way or the other.

No problem at all.


I tried to use my debit card half an hour later to pay for postage in the Post Office.

Declined. Twice.

Got home to an email from Mailchimp saying my card had been declined.

Tried to order on Amazon, again, card declined.

Very annoying, particularly as the bank lady hadn’t informed me that the card would be stopped, and the suspicious amount was actually a direct debit, not a card transaction!

I rang first thing Monday to get them to unlock the card and the security questions I had to ask to get through, because there had been “fraud” on the account were pretty onerous:

What is your account number?

Last number telephone pin?

First number telephone pin?

Agreed overdraft?

Date and month of birth?

Debit card number?

ID number on the bank of my internet banking widget?

At this point I got angry (okay, I was angry before then, but held it just about in check).

“No-one rings up the fraud department to approve a suspicious transaction if they are not the account holder! This is not a fun or easy activity! If they wanted to defraud me they would do it via cybercrime!”

At which point I was put through to fraud quite quickly.

And, amazingly enough, I did get one apology for the inconvenience of having my card declined.

One. And that was more for the fact that his colleague hadn’t told me that the card would be stopped.

Now whilst I appreciate the fraud protection activities, they seem to feel that because they are trying to protect me, that justifies any actions on their part, and I don’t have the right to be annoyed or get upset about it.

And it would have been human to have apologised for the inconvenience to me over the weekend, but it wasn’t on his script, and he didn’t want to admit liability, and anyway, they were doing it to protect me, so all’s fair in that case.

Are there any things which are “obvious” to your clients, but which you don’t state?

And do your customer service people become like automatons when a complaint comes in, rather than apologising and therefore taking the sting out of the situation?

My experience left me feeling that maybe there’s a reason why bankers rhymes with another word?!

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