Thursday, January 02, 2014

Credit Card Mistake…This Could Happen To You

As you might imagine, I know a few really smart Cyber Security professionals.  Because I get to learn about information security from many brilliant minds who work in the profession, I like to think that I’m pretty careful when it comes to having a strategy connected to the use of my credit cards.  I'm not as careful as I thought I was apparently.

My story won’t reach the magnitude of a Sony or Target breach but what did happen to me could have been avoided.  I share this simple story to suggest that you might be vulnerable just like I was.

This time last year, I did business with a company on the East Coast.  They charged my credit card $195.00 for a year of service.  With the busyness of the holidays, neither I nor my wife remembered this $195.00 charge from either late November or early December one year ago. 
We no longer do business with this company but that didn’t stop the company from charging our credit card for $195.00 again this year.  This is not credit card fraud yet.  This is a simple mistake.

I tried to call this company’s customer service department to get this issue addressed by a real person.  The phone rang and rang and rang.  At least 4 times while I was waiting for a real person to answer the phone, a recording came on suggesting that I send my issue to a customer service email address.

After never getting to talk to a real person, I resorted to sending the email against my better judgment.  It took a solid week for someone in customer service to respond to my email.  My request for a refund for service that we no longer need or receive was denied. The signature on the email from customer service had no name.

Now we have a problem that I have to invest my valuable time to sort out because someone on the customer service end of this situation has their brain in auto pilot mode and can’t apparently think about what needs to be done to make this situation right.

You’ve likely done business with companies that are now sitting on your credit card data.  In this case, this was a company that we’ve long since put in the rear view mirror.  That is until they took the liberty to drain our bank account of $195.00. 

Now we’re thinking about what other companies are sitting on our credit card data.  I hope my mistake is somehow helpful to you so you don’t repeat my mistake.'s Security Recruiter Blog