Friday, November 21, 2014

Dealing with fraudulent charges on Merrick Bank credit card.

Having someone steal your credit card information sucks. How your bank or credit card company handles the aftermath of this should not have to be as painful or upsetting of an experience.

Here is the complaint that I just recently filed with consumerfinance.gov regarding the lack of support, or information from Merrick Bank regarding the fraudulent charges placed on my account.

Describe what happened so we can understand the issue...

Apparently someone cloned my credit card and charged several fraudulent charges to my account in a single day, November 12, 2014. The fraud department from Merrick Bank called me with a robo-dialer system to inquire if the charges were valid or fraudulent. The IVR system that they used was not responsive to my DTMF tones that the charges were unauthorized. Upon calling their number back they were "experiencing a high volume of calls" and eventually my call was disconnected without being able to speak with any representative of their company.

I had to make about 2 additional calls before I was able to navigate thru their IVR system and speak with someone from Merrick Bank fraud department to confirm with them that the charges were in fact fraudulent. They advised me that they would send out an affidavit and a new card.

 Allegedly no further action was taken on Merrick Banks end until the affidavit was "mailed" November 14, 2014. I can not confirm that this was ever mailed since a week later I still have not received this in the mail, and First Class mail should not take a week to reach its destination, so I do not believe that this has ever been mailed.

 November 20, 2014 I called back into the fraud department around 8:40pm to inquire about where the affidavit and replacement card was, and they assured me it was sent out on November 14, 2014. I advised them that it was taking too long to arrive to me and that they should fax it to me. They said they would fax it, but I never got a fax from them so around 10:50pm, I called them back requesting that they resend the fax. They advised me it would take 24-48 hours to send a fax, at which time I demanded to speak with a supervisor. After a brief hold I was advised that "THERE WAS NO SUPERVISORS AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME!" I find it very difficult to believe that there was no supervisors, or senior personal available to handle customer issues that have not been able to be resolved by the first level agents.

 On November 21, 2014 I called back the Merrick Bank fraud department, at which time the initial agent constantly tripped over his words and kept claiming that they were doing their "due diligence" and that in doing so it kept my interest rates low, and kept their company from being fined "millions of dollars" from the "government" Both of which are complete and utter bullshit. Having me fill out an affidavit ASAP would be due diligence, and I doubt that anyone would fine a company for providing a provisional credit while a fraud investigation is ongoing, not to mention this is a HIGH INTEREST RATE credit card, so none of this is keeping my rates "low" as that representative claimed. I was finally transferred to a supervisor who could not provide answers as to why there was no supervisor on call the previous night, and could only say that an "email had been submitted to the department that will fax me the affidavit" she could not give me a time frame as to when they would fax me. When pressed why I was speaking with her if a different department handles the affidavits she claims that department is a "clerical department" and does not handle phone calls.

Issue Identity theft / Fraud / Embezzlement

If you lost money, how much money did you lose? $ 269.09

Date of incident 11/12/2014

Have you done any of these things to try to resolve this issue?

Contacted the company directly


What do you think would be a fair resolution to your issue?

That the fraudulent charges be removed from my account, including any possible or potential intrest, penalty or other fees that may be associated with these charges.

 That a replacement card is expeditiously sent to me bearing a new card number.

 That I am provided with information to where the breach of my credit information was obtained from, and if any additional personal information was compromised, since the physical card is in my possession someone had to either make a copy, or they ordered a replacement card without my knowledge or consent.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Installing 24 port PoE switch and patching everything in

So recently I went out to a customer location to install a PoE switch and set up just over a dozen VoIP phones. They already had all of the wiring in place, and a rack installed.

They also already had one switch connected to some of the ports at the location, but I had to install a seperate PoE switch and patch everything together, so that they could take down the phone network without effecting any of the other devices connected to the network.

BEFORE wide angle
The existing network was not the biggest mess that I have ever seen, but for the amount of stuff that was actually connected, and the fact that the rack had wire management rails installed it was not very neat either.

Used 3 ft. patch cords to connect everything up.

Regardless I did my best to mount my new switch and route the patch cords as neatly as possible.

AFTER wide angle
Only blue patch cords are what I installed,
everything else was already existing.
That's about it. My responsibility lied in installing and maintaining the patch cords and switch for the VoIP phones, as well as installing the VoIP phones. I hold no responsibility of the overall network, they have their own IT person that handles that, which is why I did not want to touch any of the messy network wiring. 

Close up of PoE switch.