Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sorry, Starbucks -- Visa Bought Us a TallNonfatDoubleshot VanillaLatteWithWhip Machine!

About a month ago, we got an e-mail from the people who bring us our Alaska Airlines Visa card, asking us if we wanted to upgrade to a hoity-toity "Signature" Visa card. We knew that such an upgrade would probably mean extra fees and an increased spending cap (which is never good), so we chose not to take Visa up on the offer and we deliberately didn't respond to the e-mail.

Two weeks later we got two Alaska Airlines Signature Visa cards in the mail -- and they even had a different account number on them! The accompanying letter congratulated us on the upgrade, insisting that we'll love the great perks of our new card. The letter ended with the "suggestion" that we notify all our creditors of our new credit card with the different number, and that failure to do so might (might?!) cause unintentional charging of a closed account.

Hello?! I thought we were given a choice about this so-called upgrade! And now we're being told that these are our new credit cards? What the...?!

I immediately logged onto my online bank account and there it was -- a strange new Visa number attached to our account, with activity we'd assumed was under our old card transferred to the new card that we never asked for or approved! We were livid!

I called Visa and asked them for an explanation and the first thing they did was let me know that I'm about millionth on the list -- it seems that quite a few of us Visa customers felt screwed. It wasn't that we were upgraded without our permission (although that was definitely disconcerting); it was more that we were forced into cards with different numbers and then told to notify our creditors of our new account numbers -- which can be a hell of a lot of work, especially if merchants auto-deduct payments! The whole idea of this happening with no input or permission from us just felt violating and not at all consumer friendly!

So you're wondering what this has to do with coffee and Starbucks, eh? Well, it seems that Visa has angered so many people that they're trying to appease their customers with gift cards from various businesses. And I'm not talking $5 gift certificates, either. Apparently they feel really, really bad about screwing their customers because I bought this coffee/espresso/cappuccino maker with the Target gift card they sent me:
I'm still not a happy camper and I still feel screwed by Visa... or Bank of America or Alaska Airlines, or whoever I should feel screwed by. But I guess now, with all this caffeine in my system, I can get really riled up on my choice of caffeinated beverage rather than just being mildly peeved.

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Anonymous said...

Wow. I'd be really pissed, too. However the mitigation is pretty darned cool (or hot)...I covet that machine! I'm a nonfatdoubleshotvanillalatte person, too. Although, grande, and without whip. Please.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you're making me wish Visa, Alaska Air or BofA had messed up OUR account and apologized with a nice gift card!

This snow is just so bizarre. At one point on Friday evening we had about 4" on the ground. It snowed all day yesterday, this morning had melted, then around 8am started snowing for another 2 hours until we had about 1" on the yard and street. Now it's mostly melted, but they're calling for more snow tomorrow morning. This is just... wrong!


Anonymous said...

So did they cancel the new card with the higher limit? The same thing happened to me with Macy's, who decided that I needed a Citicorp card. It took a 1/2 hour call to the credit bureau to figure out who had authorized this card, since Macy's didn't appear on the credit report. I was livid, called Macy's and they assured me that they would close my account, per my request. Two weeks later, I received two new credit cards. I cut them up and sent them right back to them,with a note stating that I would never, ever do business with their stores again. A--holes!

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