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Join the dots!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012
I recently had an interesting exchange with various sections of a large credit card issuer which serve to illustrate a problem that they are probably not alone in suffering from – different parts of the organisation don’t talk to each other.
It started when I received a replacement credit card.  This was something of a surprise as I am not and never have been a customer of this issuer.  I did the decent thing and rang the call centre to explain this.  Despite my explanation that I was not a customer of course the first thing they do is try to identify me.  Having given them the card PAN number I was asked to provide my date of birth only to be told that this did not agree with their records.  I repeated that as I was not a customer this was probably not surprising.  I was then asked if I could answer security questions.  I pointed out that this was unlikely as (and I said this very slowly) I was not a customer.  The message finally seemed to get through after being put on hold several times and I was told that the card would be blocked and I would not receive any further communications on this matter.
The following week I received a statement for the card showing the existing balance, a payment made and one transaction indicating that this was probably an ongoing account – just not mine.  I rang again and after going through much the same conversation as the first call I was transferred to Application Fraud (probably because the call centre didn’t know what else to do) and after going through the same story for the third time I was told that yet again the card would be blocked and I would receive no further communications.  The following week I received a letter from the Fraud department asking me to ring them immediately due to suspicious activity on my account!  I rang again and went through the same story again and tried to point out that although they had sent the card to me at my correct address it was clearly a transposition problem on their systems as presumably I was on a database of addresses they had bought to market to and somehow my details had been wrongly applied to an existing account.  I suggested that this might indicate a problem worth investigating on their systems only to be told that I needn’t worry as the card was blocked and I would not receive any further communication. 
So having been contacted by the Card Management system, the Statementing system and the Fraud system - although I will apparently not be contacted again – I’m waiting for the next system to send me something about this card.  My money’s on Marketing telling me how to make the most of my new card.
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