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How to Avoid This CC Snafu?
Old 05-03-2019, 08:57 AM   #1
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How to Avoid This CC Snafu?

Yesterday, I got this email from BofA:



The declined charge was legit. It was payment for my Amazon ads for my books.

I clicked that I recognized the transactions, but the charge still didn't go through. As a result, all my ads have been paused, which causes ripple effects.

This has happened in the past.

Is there any way to get BofA to contact me about suspicious charges, but make those charges pending until I give my approval? That is, any way to avoid this in the future?
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:06 AM   #2
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Besides calling them to know, I doubt it. Fraud protection algorithms are in place to protect the issuer, not the customer - no matter how they market them. They know they are on the hook if you claim fraud.

I have a similar issue with Cap1. I make a monthly charge to an international supplier for my business. Every month they decline it and I have to get them to approve after they text/email me. I've asked them what I can do, and other than calling them in advance of EVERY purchase (more effort...) they ran out of ideas.

Sometimes they will do what you suggest - text/email me and pend but basically let it go through. It probably only does that with a POS charge though, not a card-not-present like your ads charge.

And oi, yes as someone who sells on amazon, I feel your pain, a CC denial can cause ripples for weeks.
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Old 05-03-2019, 09:24 AM   #3
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If this is a recurring charge for a series of ads, can you call the credit card company and discuss the situation? Perhaps B of A can mark it as a legitimate charge for your account.

This would be analogous to telling them you are travelling to specific areas and to allow charges from those areas that might otherwise get denied.

Or, can you get a debt card for these transactions?

Or, open a separate bank account and let Amazon pull from it as the bills come due? I would not give any business access to pull money from my main bank accounts.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:33 AM   #4
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I don't have any input about the specific situation, but a comment about differences in CC issuers. I have a BoA card (Alaska Airlines cobranded) that is
my primary catch-all for charges that aren't bonus category on another card.

BoA is the most sensitive to fraud indicators of the banks I have cards with and they jump the gun fairly regularly as far as locking my account. They also tend to issue new cards with new numbers out of the blue. That makes them too problematic to use as an auto-pay account IMO and I use a card from Chase for those purposes. I like the BoA account and use it for point-of-purchase usage all the time, but the implications for the account being declined are less problematic in that situation.

You might prevent a repeat of your current situation by using a card from a bank that is less fraud sensitive. I've never had an account lock out with Chase or Barclays, I have them at least a couple times a year with BoA.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:39 AM   #5
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Might have to switch CCs...my primary CC (PNC) doesn't automatically decline charges made in the U.S., but emails me to ask "did you authorize these charges, click yes or click no"
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I clicked that I recognized the transactions, but the charge still didn't go through. As a result, all my ads have been paused, which causes ripple effects.

This has happened in the past.

Is there any way to get BofA to contact me about suspicious charges, but make those charges pending until I give my approval?
No.

Quote:
That is, any way to avoid this in the future?
Instead of clicking, call them next time you get a notice of suspicious cc activity. While on the phone, make sure they put the transaction through.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:45 AM   #7
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I don't (and wouldn't) use BofA, but with other cards I've had the fraud verification process, and they always say that I should go ahead and process the declined transaction again, because it will go through now.
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Old 05-03-2019, 10:46 AM   #8
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:06 AM   #9
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Because I have security freezes on the credit bureaus, changing to a different CC is a little more troublesome, but maybe I'll do that.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:21 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Because I have security freezes on the credit bureaus, changing to a different CC is a little more troublesome, but maybe I'll do that.
Don't you already have more than 1 CC ?
If not, then get 2 while you are unfreezing your accounts.

By the way, from my last CC application, I have decided, I will unfreeze all accounts for 2 days, then apply for the CC(s) I want if there is any urgency to getting approved. This way the web application process will be free to approve me instantly, rather than wait a week for a letter telling me to unfreeze some account.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:38 AM   #11
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I had somewhat similar problem years ago that cost me a good bit of cash.

I was looking for airfare for a trip. I came across a very good price with a non USA airline that was about $200 less than others I had found. Sure enough the CC was declined. It took me 1/2 hour to work it out. By that time the good deal was gone.
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Old 05-03-2019, 11:41 AM   #12
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I'm thinking that having more CCs will just mean more opportunities for snafus. For example, with three instead of one, chances of real fraudulent charges will go up 300%, even if I don't use the other cards.

I've been going back and forth today, on hold, getting text security codes, etc. When I finally got to the right BofA department, they told me to call back in twenty minutes because their computers were down.
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ncbill View Post
Might have to switch CCs...my primary CC (PNC) doesn't automatically decline charges made in the U.S., but emails me to ask "did you authorize these charges, click yes or click no"
I had this with HomeTrust Visa. It was unusual A property tax charge for my condo in Mexico paid online. Because I don't monitor emails in real time, they did not get my confirmation until they had already declined it even though I clicked Yes. So I put it through again. (If they had sent it as a text message, I would have confirmed in time.)
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Old 05-03-2019, 12:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'm thinking that having more CCs will just mean more opportunities for snafus. For example, with three instead of one, chances of real fraudulent charges will go up 300%, even if I don't use the other cards.
Maybe, but recall that you won't be held responsible for any fraudulent charges if you notify the card issuer within 60 days of the statement.

Do you travel with only 1 CC in your pocket? If so, you are a braver man than me.

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Old 05-03-2019, 01:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Yesterday, I got this email from BofA:



The declined charge was legit. It was payment for my Amazon ads for my books.

I clicked that I recognized the transactions, but the charge still didn't go through. As a result, all my ads have been paused, which causes ripple effects.

This has happened in the past.

Is there any way to get BofA to contact me about suspicious charges, but make those charges pending until I give my approval? That is, any way to avoid this in the future?
Retired VP from BofA here... Yes, have you called them?
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:20 PM   #16
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Might have to switch CCs...my primary CC (PNC) doesn't automatically decline charges made in the U.S., but emails me to ask "did you authorize these charges, click yes or click no"
BOA is good for that aspect. I get the immediate texts which I can agree to or disagree.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:28 PM   #17
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Retired VP from BofA here... Yes, have you called them?
I did, but their computers are down. I'll call again.

UPDATE: I called them again, and they made a note to accept charges from that entity in the future (they couldn't tell that it was Amazon). I wouldn't be surprised if Amazon changes the merchant name in the future. It won't matter because in the future, the charges will go to my debit card.

It's a problem we've discussed here before: The name on the CC statement often does not match the name of the company the cardholder is familiar with.
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:34 PM   #18
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I don't (and wouldn't) use BofA, ...
This. I could ramble on and on about my past experiences with BoA, but instead, I will just tell you that I refer to them as the "BOA Constrictors" and refuse to do business with them.

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Because I have security freezes on the credit bureaus, changing to a different CC is a little more troublesome, but maybe I'll do that.
If you have an online account w/ the credit bureaus, then a thaw should be pretty easy. Also, if you know what card you might want to get, you can find out what agency they pull your credit from and just thaw that one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
I'm thinking that having more CCs will just mean more opportunities for snafus. For example, with three instead of one, chances of real fraudulent charges will go up 300%, even if I don't use the other cards.

I've been going back and forth today, on hold, getting text security codes, etc. When I finally got to the right BofA department, they told me to call back in twenty minutes because their computers were down.
I haven't looked recently at the total number, but I have in the neighborhood of 20'ish open CC accounts and I haven't had a fraudulent issue in well over a year. And when they happen, they have all been resolved quite easily.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:16 PM   #19
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I haven't looked recently at the total number, but I have in the neighborhood of 20'ish open CC accounts and I haven't had a fraudulent issue in well over a year. And when they happen, they have all been resolved quite easily.
Twenty, wow!

You're not Michael Cohen, are you?

Ha ha. Thanks for the tip. Maybe I'll get another card or two.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:20 PM   #20
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I usually get a text message asking me to approve a suspicious charge. That has worked well so far.
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