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    Geography Skills Suffering From A Tokyo Drift

    , | USA | Extra Stupid, Geography, Ignoring/Inattentive, Money, Tourists & Travel

    (I’ve somehow ended up on ‘high security’ from my credit card company. As such, even though the card I carry is meant specifically for people who travel abroad frequently, I have to call in and let them know when I’m going abroad so my card will work outside of the US. I call to tell them about an upcoming trip.)

    Me: “Hi. I’m calling because I will be traveling abroad soon, and I need my card to work while traveling.”

    Representative: “We can certainly put a travel notation on your account, and your card will work in your destination. Where will you be traveling?”

    Me: “My final destination is China, but I will be transiting through Tokyo and Hong Kong on my way there. Can you set it up so that my card will work in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and mainland China during [dates]?”

    Representative: “Certainly. Please hold momentarily.” *comes back after a minute* “You’re all set for your trip.”

    (A week later in Narita airport…)

    Cashier At Restaurant: “I’m sorry, ma’am, your card was declined.”

    (Fortunately she was nice enough to let me go to an ATM and withdraw funds from my work card to pay the bill. Upon returning home, I call my bank again…)

    Me: “Yes, I called before my latest trip and specifically asked that my card be available for use in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and China. However, my card was declined in Tokyo, and the only reason I can figure is that you failed to allow use of my card in Japan. I’m not extremely upset, but I’d like to know what I can do to make sure my card works when I travel in the future.”

    Representative: “Let me check the notes… Oh. Oh, Oh… I’m so, so sorry. It appears that the previous rep didn’t understand your travel information, and left a… uh… rather unsavory note about it.”

    Me: “Are you joking? This card is for people who TRAVEL! What did she say in the note? I need a good laugh.”

    Representative: “Before I say this, I want your permission and acknowledgement that you will not hold me responsible for coarse language.”

    Me: *now chuckling* “Go ahead. I won’t be offended, and I promise you are in the clear, no matter what you say.”

    Representative: “She wrote, ‘This dumb b**** made up countries called ‘Tokyo’ and ‘Hong Kong.’ Card has been activated for use in China. Fraud alert level has been increased for any other foreign use.’ It also appears from this that your card wouldn’t have worked in Hong Kong, since our system recognizes that separately from mainland China, but if she so much as started to type Hong Kong, it would have come up… Did you also have problems in Hong Kong?”

    Me: “No, I didn’t try to use my card there since I was only in that airport for a few minutes before traveling on. Thanks for the laugh. Buy that ‘b****’ a map, would you?”

    Representative: “We have noted your comment, and I’m sure the issue will be dealt with promptly.”

    (And I now make sure to name the *country* every time I call in. Silly me for thinking that most people would know Tokyo is in Japan and that Hong Kong is a real place…or ask if they didn’t.)

    Laughing All The Way To The (Other) Bank

    | MA, USA | Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Money

    (I have recently received a promotion and bonus, so I’ve decided to open a savings account at the bank where I currently hold a checking account. I’m talking to an account representative at the branch I’ve been using for three years. Because I do not drive I use a state-issued ID card in lieu of a driver’s license as identification.)

    Me: “I’d like to open a savings account; I have $[total] to deposit initially.

    Representative: “Great! Just fill out these papers and provide your driver’s license.”

    (I hand her my ID card.)

    Representative: “This isn’t a driver’s license. You need to have a driver’s license to open an account here.”

    Me: “That is an official ID issued by the Commonwealth. It’s legally acceptable.”

    Representative: “No, it has to be a driver’s license. I’m just asking for the same identification the teller would ask you for!”

    Me: “No, the tellers are all aware that both of the ID cards are legally acceptable proof of identification. I don’t have a driver’s license as I cannot drive.”

    Representative: “I’m sorry. If you don’t have a driver’s license you won’t be able to open an account today.”

    Me: “Oh, well. In that case I’d like to close my account.”

    Representative: “…close your account? But you haven’t opened one!”

    Me: “Yes, as a matter of fact, I opened account [number] three years ago. However, since you’re no longer accepting my government-issued ID and I will no longer be able to cash my checks here, I’ll be closing that now.”

    (I took everything to the bank across the street, and got a better interest rate on my brand-new savings account than I would have done at my former bank.)

    Listening To The Voice Of Reason

    | England, UK | Bigotry, Employees, Money

    (I’m trans*, and identify as male. For various reasons, I still sound female. My bank knows this and left a note on my account details, with my permission, explaining this should I ever have to turn up. This guy, however, took the cake. I’d had a couple of transactions show up oddly on the account, so I’ve been in touch with the fraud department to try and work out where they came from. We get the transactions sorted, and then this exchange happens:)

    Fraud Guy: “So, [My Name], there’s still a few more issues with this account I’m not happy with. I’d like you to go into [Branch] with ID tomorrow to get it sorted out, if you can.”

    Me: “Right. Why? I’m pretty sure I can explain everything else on the account. It was just those three charges.”

    Fraud Guy: “I’m just not happy with these other charges, and I’d like you to go into [Branch] with ID to sort this out.”

    Me: “Which ones, exactly?”

    (He rattles off a bunch of standard transactions and at this point, I’m suspicious. But still, I’d like to give him the benefit of the doubt.)

    Me: “So, again, why do I need to go into [Branch], with ID, to sort this out? The branch knows who I am. H***, they’ve had to deal with me every time I needed to use the account when I didn’t have a card for it for a month. What’s the actual issue here?”

    Fraud Guy: “Nothing. We just need you to go into branch with ID and—”

    Me: “Because I sound female, right?”

    Fraud Guy: “Well…”

    Me: “If it’s because I sound female you might as well admit it, and get it over and done with.”

    Fraud Guy: “Yes. It’s because you sound female. I’m not happy about…”

    (This goes back and forth for another couple of minutes, until eventually he says he wants to speak to his supervisor. This is cool by me, as long as I can speak to the supervisor as well. He leaves and is gone no more than two minutes.)

    Fraud Guy: “So, I’ve spoken to my supervisor, and they’ve seen a notice where your name’s been changed and I can see now where the issue was.”

    Me: “Mmhmm.”

    Fraud Guy: “And to prevent this ever happening again I’m going to leave a note on the account explaining all this…”

    Me: “Like… the note that was already there, huh?”

    Fraud Guy: “Well, it wasn’t very clear, so I’m just going to put another one in, and hopefully this will never happen again.”

    (That notice was so hard to find that he went to speak to his supervisor, and the supervisor looked it up, showed him, spoke to him, and then he managed to come back to explain this all to me… within two minutes. There’s fraud prevention… and then there’s just ignoring everything you have sitting in front of you because the guy’s voice sounds a little strange!)

    For A Few Dollars More

    | Australia | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal, Money

    (I decide to shut down an account at the bank. The teller completes the transactions and gives me the balance of the account in cash. Later that day, there’s a knock at my door. My mother opens the door to see two police officers and an angry looking man in a suit demanding to see me.)

    Police #1: “Were you in [Bank] today?”

    Me: “Yes. What is this about?”

    Police #1: “The bank manager here says that you took money.”

    Me: “I closed an account; the teller gave me my balance.”

    Manager: *shouting* “YOU TOOK MONEY! YOU STOLE IT!”

    Me: “No. I only got what the teller gave me. I didn’t count it as it was so little.”

    Police #1: “So little? How much is so little?”

    Me: “I don’t know. I didn’t check the balance, but it was under $10.”

    Bank Manager: “It was supposed to be $8 but you took $9.”

    Me: “I had no idea the teller gave me $1 more.”

    (I pull a dollar note out of my pocket. The manager snatches it.)

    Bank Manager: *to police* “Aren’t you going to arrest him?”

    Police #2: “HIM? H***, NO! You, on the other hand, have wasted valuable police time over a measly dollar. You were acting as if it was thousands. H***, I would have given you a dollar myself if I had known. And, it was the bank’s fault.”

    (After apologising to me they took the red-faced manager out, promising to report him to his superiors.)

    Fraudulent Claims

    | UK | At The Checkout, Employees, Extra Stupid, Money

    Me: “I need to pull out £500 for my mum; she’s sick and can’t get here. I have her card and PIN but her daily limit from the cash machine is £250.”

    Cashier: “You can’t make transactions on someone else’s account. That’s fraud.”

    Me: “Okay, but she gave me her card and she can’t get here.”

    Cashier: “Well you can always pull out £250 today and £250 tomorrow from the cash machine. That would work.”

    Me: “Okay… Why can’t I do it over the counter? You use the PIN to verify the transaction.”

    Cashier: “Because that’s fraud.”

    Me: “So, it’s not fraud for me to get exactly the same amount out of the machine?”

    Cashier: *fixing me with a hard stare* “Bank customers should NEVER reveal their PIN to ANYONE.”

    Me: “But you just told me to get the money out of the machine…”

    Cashier: “That’s FRAUD.”

    Me: “Okay, then… Bye…”

    (I got the money from the machine with no problem at all.)


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