Banks don’t keep their promise of zero fraud liability on debit cards.
Here’s my personal experience which will get me to rely on sole credit cards (and the Federal consumer protection laws they have).
May 21, 2011
PO Box 6995
Portland, OR 97228-9995
REGARDING: FAILURE TO CREDIT FRAUDULENT DEBIT CARD CHARGES IN A TIMELY MANNER
Dear Wells Fargo,
Someone recently charged $100 at an Exxon station in Connecticut to my debit card while I was at sea on a cruise
ship. My first clue that something was wrong was when I was at a port call, tried to get cash from an
ATM, and my request was declined. Apparently, your security system correctly suspected that my
card had been compromised and blocked my card. Of course, I didn’t know about the reason for the
card problem until I returned home and looked at my online banking statement and saw the fraud.
I saw the charge on May 19th and immediately called your bank. I received a FAX of a claim form,
filled out the statement, and FAXed the completed form to your fraud department within an hour.
Friday, May 20th, I received in the mail a new debit card with a letter that said, “… your debit card
number and/or Personal Identification Number were identified as being at risk for unauthorized
transactions. As a precaution measure, we will be closing your current card and issuing you a new
debit card…” Your fraud department sent this on their own initiative, and it reinforces my statement
Today, I called to see why my account had not been credited for the fraudulent $100 charge.
Pauline at 800-548-9554 first said that my FAX was unreadable, even though I had not been
contacted about problems with its clarity. Then she put me on hold, confirmed with me that I never
lost my card, and said that she would have a temporary credit issued which will post to my account
Tuesday? She said that the bank has given itself two business days to scan in FAXed forms and
another two business days to issue credits. So, Tuesday is within the standards the bank set for itself.
This is an unacceptable retention of my money. Your own fraud department believes my card was
misused. I provided you with the requested statements immediately. You should respond and make
my account whole the same day you receive the statement you need from me.
Your debit card promotional material says that I will enjoy “Zero Liability and full reimbursement for
promptly reported unauthorized purchases…” The clear implication is that you’ll credit my account
when I tell you of a problem. You don’t say you’ll credit accounts on your own leisurely schedule.
You are not keeping the promise you are making to consumers.
Galen B. Workman
[…] one of our team members had with a fraudulent charge on a debit card in a May newsletter (and see the gory details in his blog). We also linked to news stories outlining how risky debit cards […]