CSAs From Hell

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From: Grlygrl201@aol.com
Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 15:34:03 PDT

I need to vent.

Two weeks ago, on the 13th, I decided to look at my bank statement online. I
discovered three unauthorized withdrawals to a PFl Life Insurance, made on
the 11th of each month since March. No lectures PLEASE. I called my bank,
First Fucking Union, and alerted them to the mistake. I also explained I had
just started a new job, which meant lag time between paychecks, so it was
IMPORTANT that this be cleared up ASAP.. I was afraid a check might bounce.
The CSA, Carla, promised to get back to me Monday with merchant information,
at least, and would try to get my money back. She promised no checks would
bounce. She said she would send me a stop-payment form for June.

The following Friday rolled around and I still hadn't heard from anyone. I
called First Fucking Union from work (something I am lioathe to do - no
privacy) and was told by Linda there was no record of my call. They did,
however, after sufficient ranting on my part, give me the phone number of PFL
Life Insurance. I called PFL, again from work, and was told they needed a
policy number, that they couldn't find me in their system wuth either my SSN
or bank account number .. I called the bank back - they couldn't find a
policy number - they told me to call PFL back and ask where to find it. I
called PFL back, and now I am told that they've done some research and found
that they've debited this account since 1994. I told them no way, my account
number is new. My wallet was stolen in February so I closed my account and
opened a new one. They suggested the bank had given me a USED account
number. I laughed.

I callled the bank back - they denied recycling account numbers, but offered
no other fucking explanation. In frustration, I suggested that they "do
their customer service best and call the merchant and get back to me with a
solution." First Fucking Union called the merchant, then called me back and
explained that the merchant, PFL Life Insurance, had recently asked its
xustomers for updated information and apparently a customer had transposed a
number. PFL innocently submitted the wrong information to FU and FU
innocently debited my account. I wondered which CSA came up with this
explanation, wherein neither bank nor merchant is at fault, but rather it's
the CUSTOMER who screwed up.

I asked what I thought was the obvious question: Why would you withdraw money
from my account with nothing more than an account number? Don't you check
it against anything else?

They followed FU policy, I am told. I immediately asked to talk to someone
in charge. I get a Jeffrey on the line - almost unintelligible accent, maybe
asian I asked him why FU didn't check account numbers against SSN's or even
names before transacting FU policy, he told me. I asked him if this policy
posed a problem for him, that such a weak link existed in FU's system.
He.explained it was a STATE policy and that every bank in Florida had the
same weak link, not just FU. He asked how much was wiithdrawn - I told him it
didn't fucking matter if it was $10 or $1000, what about their system? He
suggested I write to the state banking commission. He also promised to get
back to me. That was Friday the 19th.

By Friday the 26th, still no word. Nothing had changed vis a vis my
statement, except now I had a service charge for a bounced check! I called
First Fucking Union again. I am told by a Celeste that they've mailed out a
cancel check form for June 11 to forestall another unauthorized withdrawal.
I asked about the other PREVIOUS withdrawals - she toldl me to talk to the
merchant. I paused. I asked Celeste if she knew who her customer was.
Silence. I thought as much, I said..

I asked to talk to God. I finally got a woman who was willing to give me
both her first and last name. I explained, for the fucking tenth time, from
start to finish, what had transpired. I told her I was less upset over the
mistake than I was over their abyssmal customer service. .I told her Jeffrey
was a worthless piece of customer service shit. She apologized profusely
and, I am convinced, sincerely. She removed the overdraft charge. She
promised she would call the merchant for me on Tuesday, as soon after the
holiday as was possible, and fix everything.. She also promised to initiate
a change in auto debit policy by writing to the commission herself.

If only I had enough money that the withdrawal of all of it over this problem
would get someone fired.


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