Tuesday, January 10, 2023

No, I didn't send $1,200 to Thao in Colorado

I woke up this morning to an alert from my bank. I had "suspicious activity" to review. Apparently a Zelle transfer for $1,200 to a new cell number had appeared.

I'm very grateful the bank caught it and put a hold on it until they heard from me. Not only do I not know anyone named Thao in Colorado, I currently only have $820.95 in my account.

As Chase's fraud department and I went through recent account activity, it seems someone tried to set up an Apple Pay account and abandoned the effort. No, it was not me.

I had to change my username and password, as well as the password on the email account connected to my bank account. 

Upon reading my travails of yesterday (post below), Country Dew wondered if I wouldn't rather pay "with a chicken and a loaf of bread." That does seem attractive, doesn't it? I also now long for landline phones with rotary dials and checks with a cashier checking the signature. For while all this progress makes my life easier, it also leaves me more vulnerable.

Monday Monday

I didn't think Mondays would suck now that I'm retired. I was wrong. 

It started with the drugstore. I'm having extensive dental work Thursday and expect to be prescribed pain killers. I called the pharmacy to let them know I have a new drug plan. After waiting on hold for quite a while, I finally got an actual pharmacist. I explained what I wanted to do.

"Did you know you can update this information online?" he asked. No, I didn't know that. I don't have an online account. It's my corner drugstore. My doctors call in prescriptions, I pick them up. Why do I need an online account?

"OK. But we're talking now. Can't you just update my information over the phone?"

"You may find it easier to do through your online account," he said.

"But I don't have an online account. Can't we just do this now?"

"It's easy to set up an online account."

Dawn came slowly to this old Gal. "Are you saying I can only do this online?"


So, between waiting on hold, discussing this with the mealy-mouthed pharmacist, setting up my online account and inputting my information, switching to my new drug plan took a half hour.

It gets better. Or worse. 

I'd been rather obsessively checking to see if the automatic withdrawal for my vision/dental went through. It was processed on the third of last month, but I thought (hoped) maybe because of the New Year's holiday it was late for January. When Sunday, the 8th, it still hadn't gone through and the website showed it as late, I walked a check over to the post office and dropped it in the mail.

Then Monday they sent me a message, saying they "couldn't find" my bank for the automatic withdrawal. This confused me. First of all, my bank is JP Morgan Chase. It's the largest financial institution in the country. If they didn't have the data from my account, surely someone else in their system had Chase and the same BIN. Second, it went through in December. So what happened?

This phone call took more than an hour. Everyone is sorry. They couldn't explain to me exactly what happened, but they were pointing at my former employer.* Like the pharmacy, they can't correct the mistake over the phone. I asked them to direct me to the portion of the website where I can do it myself.

Um ... that window won't appear until my check clears. That could be a week.

I have a big dental procedure planned for Thursday. Do I have coverage?

Um ... as soon as the check clears, it will be retroactive to January 1. That could be a week.

I have a big dental procedure planned for Thursday.Will my dentist get paid?

Um ... On Thursday the dentist will likely be told I don't have insurance.

What am I supposed to do?

"I'm sorry, ma'am."

After more than an hour on the phone, getting this result left me dispirited. I called my dentist's office and explained what happened, expecting to be rescheduled. The woman who handles billing was achingly patient. She said, "We'll just wait to put the claim through until your check clears."

"Are you OK with this?" I didn't want their small, independent business to be screwed because of the snafu.

"It's insurance," she sighed. "It happens all the time."

I wonder if she, like me, fantasizes ending a marathon call with the insurance company by drop kicking her phone through the window.

*This doesn't make sense to me, but I'm willing to blame my former employer for everything, including when the bakery doesn't have the little muffins I like.