Before we moved across country from Colorado to New York State in 2007, I informed all the major enterprises with which I was seeking to continue relationship: charitable organizations, a couple of magazines, cell phone company, etc. . . . and my credit card company, Chase Bank, NA. (Who knows what their official name is now? Financial companies seem to buy up, buy out, divest, combine, and change names willy-nilly.)
So, as I was saying, I informed Chase of our move, giving them the effective date and the new home address. We had no issues during the trip. At every stop, we charged the card: $100 in the U-haul, $30 in the car, $5 in our mouths. I’m sure we’d racked up $1,000 on the card as we trekked, and it would have been quite easy to follow our progress on Chase’s fraud alert map: Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York. We arrived and began to settle in. Then, a day or two later, we had our first outing to civilization. Wal-mart and Wegmans, here we come.
Our credit card was denied as we attempted to buy household items for our new place. It seems the large amount ($400+, as I recall) was viewed as a possible fraud, and I spent 10 minutes on the phone going through representatives, supervisors, and managers in order to explain that yes, this was me, and yes, we had just moved, just as I had previously informed you, and yes, we were actually needing to buy household things for . . . oh, wait . . our new house! What an annoying intrusion into a difficult few days—a credit card company that thought it should flag us for doing what was quite normal and expected. And what’s worse was that it happened again less than a week later. The same card was denied at the same Wal-mart for the same reason.
Chase’s fraud alert system was broken. It should have been clear, given the new address and the well-communicated move (not to mention the first, heated phone conversation), that we were who we said we were, and that we were buying legit things for a legit new house.
When systems are broken, they need to be fixed. Whenever next we move, I intend to make this point in advance with Chase, in order to head off issues. Chase, being a huge corporation that is now, I think, owned by JPMorgan, is not likely to listen to people who tell them they need to fix systems.
But, umm, yeah . . . . when systems are broken, they do need to be fixed. Church? Christendom? Do you hear this?