No, let me take *you* through security

Declaration: I support all means necessary to reduce credit card fraud and identity theft.
Rider: I get really cheesed off when companies launch ill thought out systems which waste my time and money.

A couple of hours ago I received a call to my mobile – ‘number withheld’. Having chosen to answer it, I was at the mercy of a computerised voice system informing me checks were being made on one of my credit cards to improve security and reduce the risk of fraud. There was no further explanation or hint that the call was genuine except for the option to confirm my name (which was spoken to me in typically robotic form) by pressing the number ‘1’. Of course I could have taken the other option to state ‘it is not I’ or hung up. The only information I was given by Mrs Robot was an issuing bank and the fact that said digital assistant had my name.

At the next step when I was asked to key in details including my date of birth (and I forget the other one now) I put the phone down as ‘she-machine’ began her labours, explaining how she would like me to enter the details.

Once I’d retrieved a set of statements from the filing cabinet and worked out which number I should call (complicated by the fact that I have several similar accounts and cards), I was asked to be taken through security, but I politely interrupted the chap at the call centre and explained that I didn’t want to talk about my card, but merely wanted to know if the bank he worked for had recently introduced a new ‘robot calling’ scheme. He was fairly insistent on going through securty procedures but I countered by demanding that I wanted to take his system through my security, that his company had no right calling my mobile, witholding the caller ID, offering no phone number which I could call back to validate the service, and furthermore, I wasn’t going to give him my details.

I explained what I felt was wrong with the implementation not the principle of the system. He agreed to pass on my comments (yeah, yeah …).

Anyway, once that was out of the way, I enquired what had triggered the automated security check. In order to answer that question he would need to take me through security …

‘Can you confirm that you tried to make a payment this afternoon to company ‘XYZ’?, he asked.
“Yes I did and I have no idea why it was declined. I just used another card instead.”
‘Well it was that transaction which caused the security alert of a potential fraud and your card may have been stopped’, he told me.

I won’t bother you with the rest of the conversation, but take a punt at what I was trying to buy that might have been a dodgy transaction?

… a $30 Secure Cetrificate (SSL) renewal for a website from a major US internet domains company.

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2 Responses to No, let me take *you* through security

  1. Linda Mellor says:

    Good rant!

    I wish these companies would wise up to the value of proper human customer service and stop cutting costs by implementing these Robot security and fraud checks

    Sounds like a very dodgy transaction!



  2. I’ve had calls from my bank – number withheld, of course – and the first thing they ask after introducing themselves is digits X and Y of my security code. I’ve written to my bank pointing out how stupid this is, and how they are contributing to the general public’s lack of awareness of security. Three phone calls to another customer of the same bank, purporting to be from their security staff investigating some odd transactions, and I have that person’s full six-digit security code.

    The bank don’t think this is a problem.

    Words fail me.

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