Cancel The Cancellation

, , , , , | Right | September 7, 2018

(It’s the week before Christmas and also the day before payday for most workers who are paid monthly. I’m handling lost and stolen card calls, but I am also trained in fraud prevention. We cancel lost or stolen cards for anyone who rings, as long as we can find the account, but the account holder is the only one who can request a new card. We also don’t share any account details with non-account holders.)

Me: “Hello, lost and stolen cards. [My Name] speaking. How can I help?”

Caller: “Hi. My wife lost her credit and debit cards, and I need to get them cancelled and reissued, please.”

Me: “Can you confirm your name, your wife’s name, her address, and her date of birth so I can find the account?”

Caller: “My name is [Caller] and…” *supplies details I asked for*

Me: “So, I cancel the cards straight away, but your wife will need to call directly to get new cards issued.”

Caller: “But both cards will be cancelled and won’t work anymore?”

Me: “Yes, correct.”

Caller: “And when she calls, how long will it take for the new cards to arrive?”

Me: “Usually it’s only a few days, but as we are so close to Christmas, it will more than likely be the new year. The sooner she calls, the better, though.”

Caller: “Okay. She has a chequebook on her account, too. That was also lost; can you cancel that, too?”

Me: “Certainly, but I would need the cheque numbers to be cancelled.”

Caller: “I don’t have those, but you have to cancel the chequebook immediately.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, but the system won’t allow me to cancel anything without the cheque numbers. When your wife calls to order her new cards we can get the cheque details from her then.”

Caller: “Well, she won’t be able to ring, because, uh… someone broke into her flat and beat her up, and now she’s in a coma.”

Me: “I’m very sorry to hear that, and I hope she recovers quickly. Would she have bank statements at home? That will show the last cheque cashed, and we can cancel all subsequent cheques from there.”

Caller: “Well, she might do, but, uh… I don’t actually live with her. We’re divorced, but I’m her next-of-kin. I just need you to cancel everything.”

Me: *alarm bells going off* “I’ll have to check with my team leader in the morning. Can I take a contact number and call you back?”

Caller: “Sure, it’s [number]. And her cards are already cancelled, yes?”

Me: “Yes. Thank you.”

(I hang up and check the history on the account, but it only goes back six months. I decide to take a risk and call the number we have on file for the account holder before I actually cancel anything on the account.)

Me: “Hello. Can I speak to [Customer]?”

Customer: “Speaking.”

Me: “[Customer], my name is [My Name] and I’m calling from [Bank]. Do you have a minute to speak?

Customer: “Yes. Is everything okay?”

Me: “Well, I just spoke to your ex-husband, [Caller], who called to cancel your credit and debit cards, as well as your chequebook. He said you were assaulted in your home and were in a coma, but since I’m speaking to you now ,I’m guessing that’s not true?”

Customer: “That f***er! We’ve been divorced for years, but every Christmas he rings the bank right before payday and gets everything cancelled so I can’t do any Christmas shopping. I’ve even changed banks, but he knows that you can find my information with my address and date of birth. I can’t believe he’s done it again. How am I going to do my Christmas shopping?”

Me: “I’m so sorry to hear that, Ms. [Customer]. I was suspicious of the call, so I’m happy to inform you that I didn’t cancel anything until I spoke to you, so all your cards are active. I’m also going to put a flag on your account advising that we must speak to you before anything is cancelled on the account. Will that be okay?”

Customer: “Oh, my God, yes. Thank you so much!”

Me: “You’re most welcome. I also took his details and will be flagging this to my superiors. You’re welcome to pursue it from your side with the authorities if they can help.”

(My team leader made a change to the customer’s account so any time someone accessed her account, an alert would direct them to the fraud prevention team. They also implemented a rule that someone has to call the number on file before any changes are made to her account. The customer also sent me a huge gift basket for stopping her ex-husband!)

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