Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Visa card I never applied for

I wrote before about why it's still important to open snail mail, even though it's an antiquated way of communicating. Last week I got a lesson in why that's important.

I got an envelope from my bank, National City, a few weeks ago. I let it lay around because I figured it was just a bank statement, which I check online anyway. But before I shredded it, something told me to read it first. Turns out, it was a letter telling me that the National City Visa card I'd applied for was denied.

There were several problems : 1) I never applied for a National City Visa, or any other credit cards for that matter. In fact, I have only one credit card and that's the only one I plan on having. 2) I've never been turned down for credit for any reason. This part was tertiary to the fact that it appears someone stole my identity, but it bruised my ego nonetheless: not only did somebody get me for my credentials but now I wasn't even worth their time in victimizing me. WTF?

So I called the bank. A guy in customer service told me to call their credit department. The credit department told me my application came from a branch, which turned out to be the branch on the same block as my office. When I called, the woman who processed the application said it was a "referral" from a teller -- in other words I'd been asked if I wanted a card one day when I was in the bank and the teller sent my application over. Except that I'd never been asked. And that I wasn't present when the application was done. And that there was no signature from me on anything stating that I wanted the card.


So now I'm looking for a new bank (I'd switch back to my old one except they just bought National City), and fighting to get a negative inquiry off of my credit report. Do yourself a favor: open your mail!!!


Mia6998 said...

I'm shocked that you even go in to the bank. I can count on one hands how many times I have gone to a teller in the last 5 years...cause that's how rare it is for me. Online banking and the ATM machine.

Keith T. Reed said...

I wouldn't normally walk into a bank, but at this particular branch the ATM machine has been out on at least two to three occasions in the past few months when I had no other choice but to get some cash. My only other option was to walk about 12 blocks to the next ATM, but why do that when your branch is right next to your office?