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PenFed credit card woes
Old 10-06-2010, 01:40 PM   #1
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PenFed credit card woes

I've had a PenFed Visa CC for several years and have often recommended the card on this forum. I've been happy with the cash back programs and PenFed's service - at least until my recent experience.

In November of 2009 I got a call from the fraud folks at PenFed asking me about some charges to the CC. No, I didn't charge a contribution to the Australian Red Cross, but someone did - they removed the charge, closed that account and issued a new account number and new cards.

Fast forward to last week. While checking my charges online I noticed a $300 charge at a Walmart in VA. I haven't been to VA for several years and had no knowledge of that charge. I called PenFed and, after a couple of dropped calls, a botched internal transfer and two callbacks, I managed to get the account closed and new cards on the way.

I haven't had problems with fraudulent CC charges for more than 30 years and now two 'hits' in 11 months? I'm not sure what is going on but I did see information on the PenFed website recently (gone now) about a 'security breach' by a third party processor.

To add to my frustration, PenFed would not remove the $300 charge without documentation. I had to print their form, fill it out and mail it to them and I am awaiting their action. At this point I was an unhappy CU member, but not an angry one. That didn't happen until today.

When PenFed closed my old account I noticed my online statements disappeared. (I converted from paper to online statements in January at their request.) Since I charge all our medical bills and prescription drugs to this account, I need the statements when filing taxes. I emailed PenFed asking how to get access to my online statements for the closed account and this is the response:

Quote:
If you would like to obtain older credit card statement copies, they can be
mailed to the address of record. Please note that PenFed will assess a $1.50 fee
per statement copy provided.
How's that for customer friendly, eh?

I'm immediately switching back to paper statements.

Hope this info is helpful to any of you who have a PenFed CC. Not sure how much longer I'm gong to have one.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:36 PM   #2
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Thanks for the info. This is the first month I changed from a paperless statement, but I thought I was suppose to receive one via email. I still have not received one. Did I misunderstand how the paperless would work?

I'll keep an eye on my account. Thanks for the heads up. And I'm changing back to a paper statement too.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
Thanks for the info. This is the first month I changed from a paperless statement, but I thought I was suppose to receive one via email. I still have not received one. Did I misunderstand how the paperless would work?
PenFed will send you an email saying your e-statement is available on their website. You have to log in to see it.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:41 PM   #4
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REWahoo, sorry to hear about the travails but I can offer some similar anecdotal evidence that something is going on with Credit Cards in general. My Chase issued United Mileage Plus CC has been fraudulently charged 3 times in the last 2 years after never having been a problem in the past, ever.

AND, each time I requested a new number, changed pin numbers and have pretty much stopped using it. But irrespective of those actions, the card was fraudulently used and each time in VA, two of them were WalMart, the 3rd was at Victoria Secret.

My address on the card is Los Angeles, my first name is Andrew, I am 6'5" and about 220lbs and would never me mistaken for a woman. I doubt anything in VS would fit me even if I did have a desire to wear it.

Go figure. And VISA would not even discuss with me the issue of how my card is getting hacked. All three times, the person had a physical card.

In order for a card to be printed, someone at VISA had to have supplied my name, number, expiry and code to the crooks.

Likely a big news story being covered up here.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
PenFed will send you an email saying your e-statement is available on their website. You have to log in to see it.
I just went online and it was out there. Just never got the notification. I switched back to paper.

Sorry for your troubles.
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Old 10-06-2010, 02:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Zero View Post
My address on the card is Los Angeles, my first name is Andrew, I am 6'5" and about 220lbs and would never me mistaken for a woman. I doubt anything in VS would fit me even if I did have a desire to wear it.
I bet the plus size stuff would fit you. Make sure to post a pic if you check.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
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Even though I'm retired, I hate having to deal with stuff like that...

...but 'they' hate it even more since I have time to be a royal PITA.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:26 PM   #8
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That does suck--I go over our online statement pretty carefully but yours is a good reminder to keep that practice up.
I think if you rattled enough cages or perhaps hired BBB to harass them for you, you'd get those statements for free.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
I think if you rattled enough cages or perhaps hired BBB to harass them for you, you'd get those statements for free.
Who me?

PenFed sent me an email asking me to reconsider my decision to opt out of e-statements, listing all the advantages of using online services. I responded to point out they'd left out one "advantage": The possibility they would kidnap remove your statements from view without notice and demand a ransom charge you $1.50 each to see them again.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Thanks for the info. This is the first month I changed from a paperless statement, but I thought I was suppose to receive one via email. I still have not received one. Did I misunderstand how the paperless would work?

I'll keep an eye on my account. Thanks for the heads up. And I'm changing back to a paper statement too.
Paper is slow. I look at every account I have (2 credit cards, Vanguard, bank) at least once a week to check for fraudulent transactions. Takes all of 2 minutes to do all the accounts. Paper statements come out once a month and by the time they are out, a bad transaction could be 5+ weeks old.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jebmke View Post
Paper is slow. I look at every account I have (2 credit cards, Vanguard, bank) at least once a week to check for fraudulent transactions. Takes all of 2 minutes to do all the accounts. Paper statements come out once a month and by the time they are out, a bad transaction could be 5+ weeks old.
Even though we're opting for paper statements at PenFed, each card transaction is still available online for review prior to the statement closing date. So switching to paper statements will have no impact on our ability to watch for fraudulent charges.

Like you, I check activity online at least once a week and noticed the bogus charge a couple of days after it took place.
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Old 10-06-2010, 04:59 PM   #12
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Sorry to hear about your experiences REW. I had PenFed call me a couple of years back when someone tried a couple of times to buy electronics over the internet and they cancelled the card and issued a new one. I don't remember having issues trying to get access to old statements, but what I have done for some time now is keep electronic copies of the statements. (I dislike paper).

When I get an on-line statement from any of my financial accounts I do a print to pdf of the statement and retain those. You can download a free utility like cutepdf to enable you to print anything to a pdf file.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:01 PM   #13
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My card number was used in England today. I got a call from my CC fraud dept asking if I or anyone in may family made purchases at T K MAXX in England (perhaps a T J MAXX version in UK). There were a total of four transactions, all were manually keyed in (CC number). My card is now cancelled and a new card should be on the way, it is inconvenient but not much I can do about it.

The Glendale Newspress has a story about ID Theft on the front page today.

Trio accused of stealing account numbers - Glendale News Press

On the same front page, another article about the arrest of two men in possession of approximately a thousand fraudulent credit cards that they have just made and ready to be used.

Low priority for law enforcment and light penalty when they are caught have made this crime a worldwide problem.

mP
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:03 PM   #14
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Thanks Alan, looks like a great solution - once I get access to those dang statements...
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:06 PM   #15
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Thanks Alan, looks like a great solution - once I get access to those dang statements...
Hindsight is always 20-20. Good luck with them - I find it hard to believe they would charge for this service.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:15 PM   #16
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U.S. magnetic stripe credit cards on brink of extinction?

Chip and Pin - not in USA any time soon

I think in Europe people from the USA with the USA strip cc might have to use their ATM card and use cash instead of cc.

Except for the issue of carrying cash, it would limit the exposure of the cc #.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:27 PM   #17
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I would call them and express my surprise and disappointment to a human being. It worked for me with my mother's credit union -- they sent the statements waiving the fees.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:29 PM   #18
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I would call them and express my surprise and disappointment to a human being. It worked for me with my mother's credit union -- they sent the statements waiving the fees.
If the two emails I sent earlier today don't get favorable results, that will be my next step.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:37 PM   #19
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Please do, and let us know how it goes. I have gotten good results with my PenFed concerns by calling - for the most part. The exception is that PenFed has been singularly unhelpful about disputing merchant charges. They routed me to a Department where the personnel clearly insinuated that I was just trying to get out of paying a bill.

Sorry you are having this problem.

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If the two emails I sent earlier today don't get favorable results, that will be my next step.
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Old 10-06-2010, 05:52 PM   #20
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After reading all the customer feedback I'm beginning to understand why PenFed can offer such great CD rates...
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