Disputing a charge = cancelled card

Matthew writes:

“On October 6, 2008, I called the WaMu 800 number to speak to a representative about how to dispute a charge which appeared on my account as “Debit without PIN” from an organization in Denver Colorado whom I’ve never done business with in person or online.
After fumbling through their menu system which gives no clear way to speak to a representative for disputing charges (I had to go to the department that handles lost or stolen cards just to get to a live person) and also doesn’t offer a “zero out” ability to just speak to a live person to get to the right department, I finally reached a message that asked if I wanted to take part in a survey after my call was done…of course I selected this option to rate their phone system functionality as substandard.

Finally routed (after 15min and multiple attempts) to the disputed charge claims department (after being told I could have the direct number in case of being disconnected but then being told the number was not releasable) I spoke with Helene and proceeded to tell her that I wanted to dispute a charge on my account for the $50.00 in question. While on the phone with her, the automated survey called me and left a voicemail thereby preventing me from engaging in their survey.

In my conversation with Helene, I explained that I did not do business with this company and wanted to dispute the charge. She then told me that to dispute the charge a new card would have to be sent to me and the existing card would be cancelled. Since I have a business trip in the upcoming week, I asked her if I could postpone the claim until afterwards so that I had the card available for the trip, then then proceeded to tell me that because of my just telling her that I wanted to dispute the charge, she went ahead and cancelled the card because “that’s their policy”. Without any pre-recorded message/warning, nor any verbal warning from her in advance, my card was just cancelled without my indicating I wished to do so. I was told that it was “their policy” when I indicated I had to dispute a charge with Bank of America several years ago and they did not cancel my card as a result of dispute resolution.

This is an unacceptable business practice for banking entity to hold their clients and their client’s money hostage in this manner without warning.


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