OT bank notification of debit card use, continued

OT bank notification of debit card use, continued
First, is there a newsgroup that specializes in banking, or commerce, or business, or anything for which this would be on-topic? And where people might know the answer to what I think is a very strange question?
Some of you may remember that I get notifications from the bank every time my charge card is used a) to charge more than some amount, maybe $100, or b) to buy something outside the 50 states.
And you may remember my complaining about being charged $110 for a car that only holds 10 gallons of gasoline, when every other gas station charged between 50 and 57. Did I mention that the overcharge happened twice, 110.19 and 109.74.
So today I went to the gas station and showed him a copy of the email the bank sent me, and said, What do you think abouty that? We dont' speak each other's language but he knows a little English and he said "You didn't pay that". I assumed he was referring to the foreign exchange commission, and I pointed out that no other gas station had charged more than 57. He also got the guy who works behind the counter, whose English was pretty good, and all he did was say the same thing and give me the gas station chain's phone number.
But by the time I got back, it was after 5, so I called the bank in the US.
(BTW, it used to be very hard to call an 800 number in the US, but with Skype you can call it like any other number. You still pay the 2.3 cents a minute for Skype, but you'd have to do that anyhow and you don't have to convert 800 to 8nn like you used to, (and in years before that, you had to find their non-800 number) .
So the girl at the bank, who seemed a little flighty, told me that on April 3, I hadn't paid $110.19, only $44.76, and on April 10, I hadn't paid $109.74, only $34.36. Plus in each case about 1.30 transaction fee.
I didnt' believe that, but I looked at the online monthly statement, and by golly it was true. What's going on? Why are they sending me emails saying I paid much more money than I did?
And what is the relationship?. The first one is 2.46 times the real charge, but the second is 3.19 times the real charge!!
Now I have to go look at all the other gas station emails and compare them with the monthly statement , and with the receipt fromn the gas station.
For that matter, there are all the non-gas purchases I should compare, restaurants, grocery stores, museums, and outdoor stuff like zoos.
The rentacar company keeps pinging my debit card account. For the 3rd time they pinged it for $2400 but so far I think they've only billed me for $650. I understand why they checked int he first place, and maybe they put a hold on 2400 but the hold only lasts for a month?????
But the rentacar company doesn't know how long I'll keep the car or how much damage I will do to it. The 800 extra is the maximum I have to pay if I damage it (though I was told 550, so there may be a fight.) But the gas station knows what the bill is 5 minutes after I start pumping. Why not check or even put on a hold for the largest tank any car has and then charge the actual amount 5 minutes later.
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Exchange rate where you are at? Charged in dinars then paid dollars?
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wrote:

https://themoneyconverter.com/DKK/USD.aspx
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On Thu, 04 May 2017 18:12:50 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@ccanoemail.ca wrote:

Thanks, but no, I allowed for that. The email transaction alert is in dollars but it's 2.5 to 3 times what was actually charged the account. And it's twice what every other gas station alert was, though I still have to compare those alerts with the actual withdrawals.
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On 05/04/2017 4:24 PM, Micky wrote:

...

...
Well, the clerk at the counter doesn't set policy, so talking to them is fruitless; they can't reprogram the pumps. It could be done by corporate, yes, but it's highly unlikely they're going to change for you. I'd guess the choice here is to use another station if the hold is creating other problems.

Well, the hold _was_ placed for at least a little while; the notification 'bot doesn't wait to see there's a later credit to match up with the merchant ID to send a net or to not bother with notification at all if that net is under the trigger. If this bugs you, I'd expect there's a way to shut off the notification entirely if you want but that may have ramifications on coverage protection in case of actual misuse if they're doing anything above the minimum letter of the law as service.
What's it hurt? Once you're aware of what's happening, it doesn't seem as though there's any real concern other than the potential for a transaction to be turned down elsewhere owing to limit while there's a high level set but seems like that's only avoidable by changing where you trade.
It's been a while since I've been overseas but used AmEx CC almost exclusively; never noticed anything at all untoward with it. I don't use debit cards owing to their limited consumer protection vis a vis credit, but that's my personal paranoia.
--



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I didn't say so but I talked to the manager, who I was told was also the owner. The counter clerk just did translating.
There's no doubt he was the manager. Not sure if the word "owner" was understood, even though the counter guy seemed to speak v.good English. "Owner" is the kind of word that varies in meaning depending on who's using it.

You're right, I'm sure, but if it's only a hold and not a debit, the bank ought to say that. It ought to alert me that way. Instead it says Amount $109.74 Debit/ATM card ending in nnnn Where: at this brand of gas in this town When: Date View details, A link which could go straight to the transaction in the email but instead just goes to Bank of America, where I have to page to find the transaction, and where I can't find it by looking for a matching amount because the amounts don't come close to matching. And where, when I do find the transaction, the added details are more about me than about them. It doesn't give the amount of the charge in the original denomination, It does give the lower amount, $34.36 and it does say: Description: CHECKCARD 0410 gas compny & town and a 23-digit number which I guess is the transaction number Merchant category: Service Stations (with or without Ancillary Services) Merchant category code: 5541 Merchant name: the same as on the email alert. No reference to a prior hold, 5 minutes earlier, that is now released.

That would be worse, because except for the rentacar and this gas station (and maybe the others, havent' checked yet) everyone else sends the right amount.

It took me weeks to figure it out, and I suppose the other 100's of thousands of BOA customers who look at the alerts are also wasting their time trying to figure it out. The gas station manager seemed to know about it when he said "You didn't pay that."
Plus for travelers, someone who had unexpected expenses, or who stayed longer than planned, might be getting near the end of his money in the debit account or credit in the credit account.
And most of all, now that I know and since I wasn't running out of money***, it's just so annoying to see a major institution, bankers who are supposed to know how to bank, who claim to report transactions but don't know how to report them.
It's like NASA had telemetry from the Apollo moon shots and the booster rocket sent back an alert, "About 93,000 gallons of fuel left", and that's not enough to get the ship out of earth's gravitational pull and the ground crew is thinking they should abort, about to abort. Then later Apollo adjusts the amount to say 270,000 gallons of fuel left, but doesn't bother to send that to the ground crew. Would that system be acceptable?
If they want to send a notice that there is a hold, that's a good thing but only if they follow with a notice, "Hold released / Actual charge is $nn.nn." Aren't the actual charges more important to me than the holds? Especially when the actual charge is only 5 minutes after the hold? Especially when the hold is 50 dollars more and I have over 5000 dollars in the account. What I want to know is how much I was charged.
The monthly statement online does have that information (though I'm not sure how soon), but it's much much harder to use than email, which just arrives with no effort. To look at the monthly statement, one has to be willing to do it on the phone, or he has to have access to a computer. Has to go to the webpage, log in, get to the summary page and scroll down looking for the charge. On April 10th somehow I had about 10 charges on that one day (counting the commission charges which are listed separately (a little over 1% for a $100 charges, 3% for 10 dollar charges, and people here use their card for everything. When I failed to ask for a plastic bag in advance at the supermiarket, and I had no change, he took my card and charged me for the bag. $0.03. I havent' checked yet what the commission was on that. ;-)
***Actually I added 4000 dollars to the debit account by writing a check on another account somewhere else and holding it up to the phone, and depositing it over net. Very strange. (I wasnt' running out of money yet, but in case it didnt' work, I wanted time to do other things.)

Oh, and the rentacar place caused the credit-card bank to send me another notice today "A transaction on your Voice Credit Card account nicknamed CC2827 with card ending in 2827 attempted a single transaction that is above the limit of $1.00 set in your alert preferences. " I hadn't noticed the word "attempted" before. Maybe that means they're just checking to see if I have enough credit, but they should be putting a hold on, and the notice should say hold, not attempt. Attempt makes it sound like they got the expiration date or the 3-number code wrong, so the charge failed.
Back to the first bank, Bank of America, when I got charged the same amount twice in 5 minutes, but one was cancelled, the woman at the bank said they didnt' send me a notice because the merchant cancelled it, not the bank. I explained that the merchant made the original charge to and they notified me about that, so they should notify me about cancellations. She seemed to agree and said she'd tell her supervisor or someone. I find it amazing that after all these years, their procedures are so bad. Maybe there is some benefit to the bank in having these mistaken procedures, but I can't imagine what it is.
If I went by the rentacar alerts only I'd think they charged me 5000 dollars by now.
And I don't know if I posted here that BOA doesnt' send alerts for some Ebay purchases claiming the PIN was used, even though it wasn't. Ebay doesn't know my PIN and certainly the various vendors don't know my PIN. I spent 2 hours on the phone with BOA about this, the second hour she had someone from Ebay on the phone with us, and the ebay woman explained things from her pov but the BOA woman just couldn't believe that BOA was doing it wrong. I finally got referred to the Electronic Payment Department, I think it was, but I need to rest up before another phone call of an hour or two. (I also cherish the weak hope that if I wait a month or two, the conversation will get back to someone in charge who will fix this without my having to call again.)
So this is 3 major or substantial mistakes in BOA policy. It's incredible.
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On 05/05/2017 4:16 AM, Micky wrote: ...

Well, even if he were, it's a franchise operation. The net is I am certain he has no say in corporate policy regarding the amount set for coverage on at-pump sales.
...

And so, as said, it's a temporary inconvenience that you get the notification; the actual amount is transitory. _Could_ they reprogram the 'bot? Sure. Are they going to? Most unlikely. It is, after all, BOA, about the most worthless outfit going for consumer banking.
...

...
Doesn't seem that difficult; annoying perhaps, but not difficult. The monthly statement is the final arbiter and you seem to be "whole" in the end which is all that really matters to BOA.
Did I say before BOA sucks?
BTW, if you don't want the excessive hold, at least most stations will set an upper limit on the pump if you ask instead of just the "free-pump fillup". If you aren't insistent on topping-off, just go for what you're certain can take and that's all the charge will be; the pump will shut off automagically when gets there.
When gas prices skyrocketed there were so many driveoffs and card limits exceeded before the limits were enacted the industry reacted and often over-reacted as this particular one you've encountered. Here, at least, with the stabilization in prices and the backing off from the most extreme, the problem has abated and most, if not all, stations are pretty reasonable.
BTW, if I haven't mentioned it before, BOA is terrible...find a "real" bank.
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On 5/5/2017 10:06 AM, dpb wrote:

In case you missed it, dpb mention how much he thinks of BOA. I think he is wrong calling them terrible. They are not that good to be called terrible.
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On 05/05/2017 4:03 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote: ...

Chuckles...
When they closed the branch here the college Foundation had a couple of large CDs on file (BOA had bought out the preceding which had bought the one prior to that and in turn, but initially was a locally-owned bank so we had kept the CDs there in respect to the "local" presence) that they held the certificates.
Instead of letting us know/offer the opportunity to choose to hold them ourselves or redeem them or whatever, they packed them up with the office furniture and everything else and moved it to storage some 200 mi away.
When they were coming up for renewal, we started making inquiries at least two months in advance...it took every bit of that and more before they were able to find them and then we ended up having to drive almost 100 mi to the last remaining branch left open west of Wichita to cash them out...
--


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Incredible.

Ugh. Someone told me they were a bad bank. Is that what you think?
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On 05/06/2017 5:11 PM, Micky wrote: ...

Need you ask?
--


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It was sarcasm. Or understatement, or something like that.
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I'm going to go to another of their stations to see if it's the same.
But tomorrow I'm going to call them.

They're like a bunch of children.

I don't speak the language. I'm lucky to have learned how to say "fill 'er up".

I still don't speak the language!

Actually, the other chains all cause emails to be sent to me that are always between 50 and 57 dollars, and I think the level of gas left in my tank when I fill up has varied more than that. So since this started I've been suspicious that they're putting that amount on hold also, so I need to compare those emails with the actual charges.
But my reaction when I saw $110 for gas was that gas would be a major expense like the airplane ticket and renting the room. (The phone has only been iirc $40 a month, but I bought the wrong phone. It only has one of the 2 frequencies used for 3G, so I only get 2G I think. Phone calls work fine, and I figured I wouldn't really need much data, since I preloaded maps while still in the US, but I forgot or didn't know about 3 things. They have an app when you park on the street or in some lots in a busy area. You have to register (and my landlady put me on her account) and when you park, you start the app and say you're parking. It knows where you are and what the rate is for that location at that time. Then when you leave you tell it you're leaving. Meter maids go by and somehow they can quickly check if the car parked in the spot has signed in to the parking app, and if not they give a ticket. I got one once because Icouldnt' get the app to work and I think it is about $25. The app didn't work, I think, because I only have 2G. When it does work, it takes minutes to go from one screen to the next. When I sign out and leave the parking place, I can be two blocks away before it comes back with how much I owe. Google translate has an app that you can point at a sign, or piece of paper I suppose, and it will copy it, sent it back to Google Central, and come back with a translation, but that's only worked for me one time out of about 7. It usually says it can't do it, and I think that's because it's 2G. And once in the car, one of the map program, which I thought I had dl'd the data for, said "Downloading map, 0%" and zero never got bigger. Again, I think I was 2G.
So next trip I'll get a phone that corresponds to the cell phone company's requirements, wherever I'm going. My phone was cheap. LIsted at 120, on sale for 100, and I found it online for 50, but I've checked and the 3 features it's lacking aren't necessarily on a 300 dollar phone.
1) a magnetometer, so that compass apps will work, though the roads wind so much that I haven't used the one compass app I have that works. Also when the sun is shining and it's not too close to noon, I go by the sun. Plus the phone maps will tell me where I am, and I've definitely used that. And they will tell me where someplace I enter into the phone is and I've used that, but i"m not going to let it tell me when to turn. I hate that. (For one thing with the radio on it's hard to hear.) Plus my goal is to learn the roads so I know where I am without external help.
2) FM radio, though when I'm not in the car, I haven't wanted radio. Beause I'm not home, there are no programss I know in advance I want to listen to.
3) I guess the third is the right frequencies, but I fear when I get all 3 of these, there will be something I have now that I won't get.

Wells Fargo was a possibility until I learned they'd been stealing from customers, literally stealling and a couple people should have gone to jail, IMO, by reordering checks to pay the largest ones first to make the greatest number of checks bounce, so they could collecting bounced check fees. Just like BOA did and was caught a year ealier, but did WFargo stop then. Noooo. Not until it was caught.
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On 5/7/2017 3:27 AM, Micky wrote:

Every bank did that. It was common practice so they could nab you on a $5 check after a big one wiped out the balance.
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On 05/07/2017 2:27 AM, Micky wrote:
...

...
I think you're worrying about the wrong thing entirely.
The vendor is going to make the transaction by whatever rule they have for covering driveoffs/lack of funds/whatever; arguing with them will get you nowhere.
As noted elsewhere, the large charge, while real on a debit card, will clear in seconds/minutes resulting in the final net charge on the monthly bill.
When you get the text and you know you just made a transaction, you can pretty-much ignore it as you are in possession of the card and using it at the time. What the service does is alert you if something else happens on that account and you've _not_ made that transaction; then "Houston, we have a problem!"
That it would be nice if BOA would reprogram their 'bot to be a little smarter and cut down on the noise would be _a_good_thing_(tm), but again, while there's just a tiny bit larger probability than zero that might happen, making the customer satisfaction complaint/suggestion can't hurt. Perhaps enough others will as well will get some attention but BOA is, if anything, not into retail customer services much so wouldn't hold out much hope in that regards.
There are some other monitoring services that purport to be more intelligent in their notifications; not sure if they suffer the same issues regarding debit card charges such as this or not; as said elsewhere, I don't have any DCs owing to what I see as high(er) risk not needed to be taken vis a vis CCs so have no data.
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On 05/05/2017 4:16 AM, Micky wrote: ...

...
The ones that tick me off are the ones where the limit is so low can only half-fill the truck before it cuts off the pump... :)
At least for that $$ amount can get there with current (US) prices...what's petrol in UK these days; still roughly same face number except in liters instead of gallons (iwo, roughly 4X US price)?
That, actually, now that think of it, pretty-much explains the high limit -- it's a station that must cater to larger vehicles as well as the tiny little toys most drive over there...with their high prices, 20 gallon or so would add up to quite a tidy sum. (Not what filling up one of the tractors does, but...)
--


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On Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 4:24:27 PM UTC-5, Micky wrote:

(LOTS of snippage.) I'm not sure what we can do for you in this situation.
Doesn't your bank have a local office that you can speak to someone face-to-face?
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On Thu, 4 May 2017 16:44:23 -0700 (PDT), ItsJoanNotJoann

Not in this country.

I pays to post here. The reply I just made to dpb will function well either as notes when I talk to someone in person or on the phone when I get back home, or as the basis for a letter.
Much as I hate webforums, maybe I'll find a banking website with a forum and post there, but when I get home. Too much interesting and fun stuff to do here.
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Thu, 04 May 2017 21:24:22 GMT in alt.home.repair, wrote:

I answered your original question awhile ago...

Yep. So, how long did you have to wait to get a new card? Since you had the pin changed...Or, did you go in a local branch and fix it?

I feel for the person who took that call. I really do.

Your monthly statement is the only one you need to be concerned with. And, it's not your actual transaction history, but, I already covered this.

I suspect i'd be wasting my time explaining what happened. based on prior post to you. that, as far as I can tell, you didn't respond to.

Why? You have your monthly statement, right? That's what you *should* be going by.
--
I would like to apologize for not having offended you yet.
Please be patient. I will get to you shortly.
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wrote:

I don't remember and I looked and coudn't find it. Could you tell me again of a newsgroup like that, or someplace people really know about these things.

I didn't lose the card, and the PIN wasn't involved in these charges. At none of the gas stations do they ask for the pin or have me enter it, and at only one of the stations did they ask for my signature.
When you pump it yourself, they do ask for you ID number, which I'm told is mostly for cases when the gas is a deductible business expense (and therefore if you enter a number that's no good, it doesn't hurt them, only possibly you yourself, but not me since my gas is not a deduction), and your license plate number, which I think has to do with if you reverse the credit card charge, or maybe the card is stolen so they can't use its info to find you, but at least they can find the car.

That's sweet of you.

I looked in the thread about gas and so forth and didn't find any posts by you that tried to explain this.

Why send me alerts if they are just going to be misleading? Why send alerts about holds if they don't send an alert for the actual charge? Why send alerts about holds but not call them holds, and why not send one when the hold is lifted?. One would think email notification just started 6 months ago and they havent' figured anything out yet.
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