Tuesday, June 23

You Spin Me Right Round

I don't carry cash. Mostly. That is, I withdraw $15 every week or so, and that is the money that I use to function. It covers my lunches, my dates with Chef Vending Machine, and my voyages to Starbucks. If I run out of cash too quickly, I'm out of luck. Sir Debit Card is sometimes invited to come out to play, but only for higher priced basic necessities like gas and groceries and such.

What I'm saying is that I really don't spend money. On my own. Rather, I wait until the weekend to go wild and crazy and then I make Mr. Husband use his debit card. It's more fun that way, and it's totally all his fault if "we" spend too much.

So, when I got word that there was a message on our voicemail from our bank regarding some sort of problem with my debit card, I wasn't worried. I still had $10 of my "allowance" floating around in my camera bag (I gave up on carrying a purse when I had Mr. Canon permanently attached to my face) and I knew I hadn't been anywhere freaky. If there was a debit for a strip club party or new car, I knew very well Mr. Husband would have mentioned it. Unless he was the one who did it.

Anyhoooo . . .

It took me a day or two to follow the directions in the voicemail and call the bank back. I knew it was regarding "suspicious activity" but I just couldn't be bothered to put on my care face. When I did finally call, it ended up being past regular business hours, which basically meant that I got to talk to some chick in India who didn't actually have access to a computer. Or speak English. She placed some sort of voodoo hex on my card and told me to call back between 8 and 4 the next day.

I did.


I love my friends who work for PNC Bank. I really do. They are some of the bestest people around, but OMG, they work with idiots. Truly. Primo idiot was the guy I got to talk to when I called the second time (after playing Duck Duck Goose with three other people, I might add). Mr. I Work in Fraud, but Don't Take that Word "Work" Too Seriously was all, "What number did we call?" I was all, "412-somenumbersIcouldprobablyputherebecausenobodyevercallsus." He was all, "No we didn't." I was all, "Yes, you did." He was all, "What other number could we have called." I was all, "THAT is the number you called." He was all, "No, we didn't." I was all, "Yes, you did." He was all, "What other number could we have called?" I was all, "THAT is the number you called."

And so on.

Really. We repeated that same spinny conversation FIVE times before I finally just hung up on Mr. Work? No, Thanks.

Because I am a moron, I dialed the 800 number again. This time I was told that my debit card number didn't exist.

Cause, you know, I never learned how to read numbers when I was in grade school.

Annnnnd I hung up again. And dialed again. And asked for a manager. And then asked for her manager. Finally, I was connected to someone who was capable of hearing the words that were falling out of my mouth.

After some hemming and hawing, she blurted out that she couldn't see a reason for a fraud alert to have ever been put on my debit card, so she lifted the hold and advised me to go on a wild shopping spree.

I obliged. I went to the grocery store and snagged $20 worth of necessities. For some reason, I didn't go to the Be Your Own Slave Checkout and instead let some Miserable Teen slowly drag my ice cream and Lima beans across the scanner. 18 years later, I swiped my little debit card, and was . . . DECLINED.

As the Miserable Teen informed me of the situation, I shot her the You Have Got to be Kidding Me Face. She returned a You Are SUCH a Loser When You Get Declined Trying to Buy $20 Worth of Food face. Touché, Miserable Teen. Touché.

So, I went home and called the bank. Again. And AGAIN I was told that the hold was removed.


Finally, a week after this whole hot mess started, I walked into our local PNC branch. Doing so is sort of like voluntarily entering a room full of Miserable Teens. Lots of staring, almost no doing. I waited. And waited. And waited. In the interest of full disclosure, I would have ran out of there after the first And waited, but my allowance was long gone. Today was Day #3 of the unintentional fasting because I didn't have any money for lunch. I was too weak from all the hunger to actually walk out.

When, at last, I finished playing Duck Duck Goose and got to talk to someone who could actually help me, I didn't learn much. The card had been closed (WTF?) due to a potential "compromise" (read = I once, long ago, used my card at TJMaxx and some hackers maybe hacked into the file that contained my card number--MAYBE). Nobody thought to send me a new card. Nobody thought to TELL ME WHAT THE FARK WAS GOING ON. Nobody thought to even apologize that at that point I had spent a total of six hours trying to get my lousy $15 out of our account so I could have a Mocha Frappuccino and maybe stop biting people's heads off because OMG I need Mocha Frappuccinos like normal people need oxygen.


I'm getting a new card next week. Allegedly. In the meantime, the *cough*not*cough* helpful person at the branch suggested I just ask my husband to get me some money since his card is still all dandy.

Um, The Bank of Mr. Husband asks more questions than a mortgage lender.

Me: "I need $15, please."

Him: "Why?"

Me: "I need to buy lunch."

Him: "Why don't you just take your lunch to work?"

Me: "I need $15, please."

Him: "Why?"

Me: "I need to go to the grocery store and buy food to take to work for lunch."

Him: "Isn't there something at home you could eat?"

Me: "I need $15, please."

Him: "Why?"

Me: "I need to buy gas so I can run home and see if there is anything at home that I can take to work with me for lunch."

Him: "Why?"

And so on.

I hate you, PNC. You make me dizzy, mad, and sporky.

It's not an attractive look for me. I guess not all of us are lucky enough to be cute when we're mad.


  1. OMG, I feel for you.

    Two words: New. Bank.

  2. @Trinity--One word: YES.

  3. I absolutely detest PNC. I had a horrible horrible experience with them last year and went to National City...who were then bought by PNC within a few months.

  4. PNC is the devil. I hate them. I was forced to have an account with them while in college cause that was the only bank on campus and like, 3 years after I closed the account they were sending me letters saying I was overdrawn and owed them money when I HAD NO ACCOUNT with them.


  5. I HATE ALL BANKS. The End.

  6. I'm not sure how you didn't kill someone. I would have at least maimed somsbody. I have been through similar stuff myself and it sucks. And I have changed banks. But it turns out they're all douchebags.

  7. @Gina--You are SO right. Customer service sucks at all banks. In fact, I have a life-long hatred from National City because in college they erroneously withdrew some service fees, causing me to go overdrawn. Their $3 service fee (which they did refund) ended up costing me over $50 in NSF fees, which was fun since I was in college and BROKE. It took months to get the whole mess straightened out, and it all started because of a lousy $.16 overdraw they caused.

  8. This post makes me thrilled that PNC bought National City.

    But not really.

  9. Aww. All I can say is UGH! for you. Banks are sucky. I love Credit Unions, because they are more personal. I am sorry you had to go through that.
    It leaves you frustrated even after everything is right and rainbow happy again. Leaves a cloud over the whole experience.
    Did hubby stop interrogating you and give you your Deserverd Mulah? I hope so.

  10. I also hate all banks. I hate Dollar Bank less than the rest - but only if you deal with the branch - their 800# peeps are as evil as the rest.

    That said, trying to figure out how to get money from our acct in Pgh to 5 miles down the road in Pgh for the closing fees when we sold our house (while we were in N'ville) was a Laurel and Hardy routine come to life.

  11. It's especially nice when the bank is doing something for your convienence, as in for your convienence we are cancelling your card - this always happens the day before you are leaving for vacation.

  12. Seriously...New Bank.

    We find out about potential compromises because we find an unexpected new card for each of us in the mail.

    And a blood red postcard (seperate, in case the cards were lost/stolen in the mail)of notification.

    My only beef with our bank is they won't let me do anything with my husband's card (even though he's a secondary on MY account). Not even check into why it was declined at Lowes' (it's always declined at Lowes'. I discovered eventually it's because Lowes employees don't know how to swipe a card).

  13. I've been down roads like that SO many times with insurance and Micah-related issues that just reading your account makes ME sporky. GAH!

  14. Holy crap! What a nightmare! People are stupid, man!!! And you found all of them at the same bank!

  15. I feel your pain. I once lost my debit card and it took practically years to replace. I was ready to explode by the time I got it. and recently we had a new bank we were trying suddenly take money from us, for some type of fees. They claimed it was fees for the account we had opened. Um no, we had signed up for FREE checking, had painstakenly read all of the fine print - no minumum balance, nothing. There were to be NO FEES. They refuse to give us our $10 back. So, yes, we were robbed by a bank!

  16. You should have found someone you know who works at PNC and had them look into it for you.
    When I had problems at PNC (which seemed like all the time!) I just found a friend who worked there and they cut the run around time. Even if they work for Advisors, they can call on your behalf.
    Miraculously, problems disappear when an employee calls.

    Just like anything else in life, it's all in who you know.

  17. Blah, blah, blah something about banks and your debit card not working... But oh the dress on Miss Alexis is SO cute!!! I know I've seen it before but the cuteness just overwhelmed me. And I'm ALL into girl clothes now... :D

  18. I am deeply sorry for your loss and hope this tragedy does not result in you having to get a new card number and informing millions of online and offline companies. Happened to me when I swapped to a different sort of Credit Card and they changed the number.

  19. Oh good LORD. What a ridiculous situation.

    I wish I could be that cute when I get angry. I just get all red and jittery.

  20. And that's why I will never, EVER leave my credit union. Even when I moved to Ohio, I still kept it (and it's here in PA). Heck, Justin has National City, and just to alk to a teller it costs him SIX DOLLARS. stupid bank.

  21. That's why I keep all my money in a shoe box under my...


    Gotta go move...something....heh.

  22. Love when that happens! I'm pretty sure I've had 2 or 3 cards that the same thing happened to except they sent me new ones before cancelling the compromised cards! Screws up all of my online bill paying and automatic payments! Grrr.

    On to something much more important though...

    I want to thank you. Thank you soooo much for not having some obnoxious music start blaring at me when I come to your blog. I really appreciate a blog that opens in seconds and not minutes because it's waiting to load someone elses favorite songs. Thank you sooo much for that! We/I appreciate that more than you might ever know! Ahem, sorry I had to get that off my chest!

    Carry on...

  23. And that's why I'm with Bank of America. I've yet to have a single issue with them in the almost six years I've been their customer. The small bank I had shut down my account twice for 'fraud'. Because I used my card in Canada.

    And I had CALLED them, both times, to tell them, hey, I'm going to Canada and I'm going to be using my card there. Mooching from Canadian friends for four days is not the way to make sure you're invited back.

    Bank of America doesn't give a rat's ass where I use my card. And I like that about them.

    Because I too have Bank of Hubby who's all "why did you get a bagel at work five times this week?" And I'm all like "because when I have conversations like this with you, bagels are my only reason for living."

    Bank of Hubby had no issues spending $6,000 on the boat that took my spot in the garage though. But the used Cadillac Escalade that I saw the other day, that I would TOTALLY look bitching in and was the price of a Jeep Liberty, Bank of Hubby won't approve that expense. Stupid Bank of Hubby.

  24. I am glad we don't have a PNC here. That I know of. When our cards were "compromised" the bank sent us new cards -- only three months after we had received new cards. Well, whatever. So far, so good.

    Should I admit I laughed my butt off at this (if only I could laugh a little more I'd be a size 4 again.)

  25. I have Compass and had something similar happen, EXCEPT that they actually did send me a card because mine *might* have been compromised. I watch my balance very carefully and knew nothing fishy was going on (and also I am lazy) and so I ignored the card and the letter. Several months later, my card started being declined. Not all the time, just some times. Like when I needed gas. Or books. Or something else vital to living. Cash withdrawals still worked. Finally I gave in, called the bank, and found out that the credit function of my DEBIT (hello!) card was disabled because of the alleged fraud that had happened eons ago. I begrudgingly activated the new card. And all is well.

    But DUDE. No wonder Alexis' why's make you all sporky - your bank and your husband already have worked you into a frothy lather with all of their non-sensical interrogations!