Sunday, May 28, 2006

Give Us Your Phone Numbers People!

Here is what I love about blogging – I can say something like – give me your phone number!

In the newsletter, I have to use marketing-speak – something to the affect of “in order to help protect yourself against fraud, please ensure we have your most updated phone number”. In a blog, I can say, ‘ok, I know when you move, changing your address and phone number is a huge pain in the rump, but you need to do it. Put it on your list. Make it your mid-year resolutions; whatever you need to do, but do it.”

I can also tell stories. For example, last month I went to a conference in Florida. It was hosted by Fidelity, the company that processes our credit cards. I took a tour of their facility. It is huge. It has this X-files like call center that stretches out as far as the eye can see. Fidelity handles over a million calls each month.

One of the things we pay Fidelity to do is use a high tech behavioral software that monitors all of your credit card transactions. As soon as it spots something that is contrary to your normal behavior, it calls you. For example, in 2002, I had back to back conferences – a direct lending conference in Las Vegas and then the World Council of Credit Unions in Poland. Since the system had never seen me go from Seattle to Vegas to Warsaw in a 48 hour time span, it called my home. My husband verified that my card had not been stolen and all was good.

Back to this monolithic call center at Fidelity. They call tens of thousands of people each month to make sure their credit cards are not in the hands of thieves and one out of every three calls they make reaches a number that is old. ONE IN THREE! How are we supposed to protect you against fraud if we can’t get ahold of you when we suspect you are being a victim?

It’s us against the bad guys. And when you think about it – when are you most vulnerable? When you first move. That is the time when some things go to your new address and some to your old. You probably fall behind on your mail because you have so much to take care of. You are getting new bills that you hadn’t gotten before. You probably are not paying as much attention to your finances because there is so much other stuff going on. That is the time when thieves can strike and strike hard. It is exactly the time when we need your phone number so we can help do our part to keep you safe from fraud.

So, give us your phone number. Oh, and one other thing, if you are ever going to travel to someplace you haven’t traveled before, better let us know. It could save everyone time.

Our current phone number is 800-444-4589.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the fraud part of the credit cards! My husband fills the gas tanks on both cars at the same time in the mornings. It always makes me feel better when we get that occasional call from the credit card company making sure that it really is us charging $100 on our card.

Mon May 29, 04:52:00 PM PDT  

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