Now It’s Personal!

When my credit card number was stolen during the holiday shopping season it was more of an annoyance than anything. I had to cancel the card and it took me countless hours of filling out paperwork, talking to investigators, and putting my life back in order.

Having your credit card stolen is one of those things that you hear happens to other people but you never quite think it is going to happen to you. It was especially frustrating since I take great pains to make sure my data is protected which just goes to show it can happen to anyone.

Looking over my credit card statements I do have to admit I was just a little jealous of the thieves. They seem to lead a much more exciting life than I do. There is no way I would drop several hundred dollars buying electronics followed by a trip to Lowes and concluding with what I would consider a substantial purchase from Victoria Secrets.

I would love to say it was me who found the credit card fraud but in reality it was my wife who was looking over the accounts and found the discrepancy. The crooks might have gotten away with it had they made the purchases be a shopping trip to Diamondbacks on-line store or bought a plane ticket to Cooperstown New York. But come on, seriously did they think a baseball fan would really buy electronics, home improvement supplies and women’s underwear? Who has time for that?

The aftermath of credit card theft is a pain. You spend a tremendous amount of time on the phone talking to police, bank personnel, and other assorted characters who seem way too serious about their jobs and from what I can tell don’t care a lot about baseball or what the Diamondbacks roster may look like for the 2010 season.

Besides the countless phone calls, you suddenly realize just how many purchases you make and which accounts are important to your everyday life. Like many, I pay a lot of my bills online and most of those are on some kind of automated payment plan (mostly because I always forget to pay stuff otherwise).

When you cancel an account you suddenly get a lot of calls as transactions begin to fail. Most of these require you to set up payment plans again and explain to vendors why after months or years of working your account suddenly stops working.

By most accounts these calls are tedious and happen with enough frequency to just be annoying. There was one though that really freaked me out.

I was sitting around pondering the number of hours before Spring Training began and silently wondering whether it was possible for a fan to see every venue in the Cactus League and see every team just one time when the phone rang.

I absently answered the phone as I normally do. The voice on the other end sounded almost angelic especially when she said she was from the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was my account manager Mandi Howard who was calling to find out why my credit card had declined on my season ticket renewal.

I shot out of the chair like a Randy Johnson fastball. I had completely forgot that my season tickets were tied to the stolen credit card number. I apologized profusely to Mandi and explained the situation. I told her how my account was frozen like a batter looking at a Dan Haren breaking ball and that I was waiting for a new card and account.

Mandi was very gracious and completely understood. In fact something similar happened to her husband. I secretly wondered if perhaps she was suggesting that all men are idiots with their credit card number as my wife had concluded. I decided to let it go.

I promised to call the Diamondbacks as soon as my new card arrived. As I hung up the phone a new wave of frustration and rage boiled up. It was one thing to have my credit card number stolen but to have it potentially affect my Diamondbacks tickets? That’s too much. If I ever find the guy that stole my credit card I’m going to smack him upside the head with my Matt Williams autographed Louisville Slugger.



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