Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Another Grievance

Seriously, people. I'm not kidding. Anger me and I will publicly "grievance" you.

Dear Best Buy-
You are the scene of the crime. Whoever stole my credit card number used it fraudulently at no less than two of your stores in the Pasadena, CA area. Yet, you do not seem to care that your store was used to commit at least two crimes.

I've filed a number of reports, spent quite a bit of time on the phone - all to piece together what happened to my poor credit card number and to fix the damage caused by thieves.

I do appreciate your prompt response to the email I sent you last night, inquiring about your store policy about asking for ID when a credit card is used, specifically in relation to two purchases in two of your stores using my card, neither of which I authorized.

You called today, and you almost had me at "hello." You seemed interested in my concern, probably because I may or may not have mentioned that I will no longer be shopping at Best Buy if you can't be trusted to recognize and fight fraudulent purchases.

You asked what you could do for me today. I asked for as much info as possible on the two transactions that took place on 9/27, using my card number, each in the amount of about $865.

You said, "Yes, I can help you with that today." You gave the impression that you heard me, that you understood my need, that you wanted to be helpful. You offered to send me copies of the receipts to help me dispute the charges with my credit card company.

But then, you failed. You bombed. You tanked.

You found the two transactions. You had all of the information in front of you. You had me on the phone, seeking answers. You offered more than I actually asked. My privacy was violated and exploited in your store, and I turned to you for help.

But then, suddenly, all you would tell me is that they were two transactions of ipod Nanos.

You had the transactions right in front of you. You could see that my card number had been used, twice, at two store locations, on the same day . . . and that the names on the card transactions weren't mine. And suddenly, you can offer no more information. You decide you can't send me the receipts after all, since my name was not on the transactions. Only my card number.

Suddenly, you decide that you can't legally give me any more information. You tell me that Best Buy's policy is to protect the private information OF YOUR CUSTOMERS.

So, you're now telling me that your "customers" can steal someone else's credit card number, make their own cards using their name with the fraudulent number so that it matches their ID, stock up on a couple thousand dollars worth of ipod Nanos with the card number that isn't theirs, and Best Buy reserves the right to protect those "customers"?!?!?!

You know that it's a fraudulent purchase. I am the victim and I am asking for your help. And you choose to protect the criminals instead? It may be a legal store policy issue. But it's a crappy store policy.

Then you tell me you can't even tell me if it's one name on both transactions, or two different names on each transaction. So, I still don't know if I'm dealing with one thief, or two. Even though you are looking at the info while you are talking to me on the phone.

You insist that Best Buy checks IDs for credit card purchases. Fantastic. So, two large purchases of a bunch of ipod Nanos on the same day at two different stores using the same credit card number doesn't raise a red flag to anyone, regardless of if the ID matches the card?

No one needs that many ipod Nanos in one day.

And you insist that without a police report, you can't give me any further information. Your "Fraud" department works only with police.

So, this tells me only one thing. Since fraud of this nature doesn't cost you anything (in fact, you sold a lot of ipod Nanos that day), you don't care. And you do nothing to protect your actual customers. I'm sorry, but fraud thieves are not customers. Doesn't your "Fraud" department also want to cut down on fraudulent purchases in your store?

Now having been a victim of credit card fraud, I will be very careful where I spend my money using my credit card. Only at places that I feel are truly "fraud conscious" and actively fighting fraud.

Best Buy, since it's clearly not safe to make purchases in your stores, you no longer have my business. I've given you a lot of business over the years (far more than the couple thousand dollars you made recently selling a bunch of ipod Nanos to one or more thieves using my card). But, I will be taking my business elsewhere from now on.

It's worth it to me to potentially spend more at a place that is probably paying more attention to fraud than it is to find better deals at a company that doesn't care about it's true customers.

I know this only puts a potential minor dent in your company profits. But, it's the principle of the matter. I am the voice of the people.

I will be filing that police report. If all that stands between me and the names of the people who used my card that day is a police report, then you will get your police report. And I will get those names. And I will pursue tracking them down. Credit card fraud may be a common occurrence these days, but it's a big deal to me and I won't put up with it.

Also, I might be buying a bunch of ipod Nanos later on eBay for a fraction of the cost that I could get them in your store.



Michelle said...

Ouch! That royally bites.

If it makes you feel any better, it is in BBY's interest to fight fraud. When it's proven that the card is used fraudulently, the credit card companies charge back the purchase to BBY, so BBY will be forced to pay the issuers the cost of those Nanos. But still disappointing that you weren't able to get further with them.

Oh, and I've NEVER been asked for a photo ID when shopping at BBY (as rarely as I do).

H said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now. I came across this article and thought you'd be interested in it.

Philly said...

This is obviously a situation where someone stole your credit card number but nothing else. They make their own card with whatever name on it that they choose and they use a fake id that matches that name. They will use it once, maybe twice, then they will discard it. It happened to me. the credit card company did all the investigation. I just signed a paper saying that I did not make the purchases. It was taken off my bill. Good luck.

jamesesdechicho said...

All these companies don't seem to be willing to protect the customer. I had a similar situation with Wal-mart of all stores a place which up until the moment I had to go try to straighten things up I had never set foot in.
They always give you the runaround( I guess they figure it's your problem and you will be the one getting a ream job).
You would think they are trying to protect the thief.
It'll take you a good headache or two but you should be able to fix it.
I'll keep reading.