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Fido Visa/ Elan CC question
Old 10-14-2018, 11:33 AM   #1
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Fido Visa/ Elan CC question

Recently I reserved a hotel abroad for an upcoming trip. I had been monitoring rates at different hotels, saw an unexpected 10% drop, so I jumped on it. The reservation required a one night deposit, and when I made it Fido sent usual text "card was charged $xx at XX and the card was not present. To opt out press STOP ".

A couple of days later I tried unsuccessfully to use the card, was denied, tried to access my online account, could not, so I called, and was immediately transferred to the fraud dept. After an unusually rigorous security challenge the agent confirmed that the charge overseas set off their security protocol, so they denied it - but said nothing. When I asked about the text confirming the charge, the response was "that was Fidelity, this is Elan, and we rejected the transaction". I asked why they didn't alert or contact me, and the response was "we don't have your authorization to contact you".

The security concern is reasonable, but the part about "we can't contact you" sounds very fishy. I don't recall any financial institution requiring specific authorization or opt-in to contact me, especially when fraud is suspected. My account info includes email and physical address along with home and cell phone, so they had plenty of ways to contact me.

Just wondering if my expectations are unreasonable about being made aware that they were freezing my card and rejecting the transaction, or this was something they should do.
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Old 10-14-2018, 11:39 AM   #2
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No, your expectation was quite sensible and they were unreasonable.

Who is Elan... the credit card provider?

Can you still get the favorable hotel rate? If not you may want to make noise about them covering the difference since they screwed up.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Recently I reserved a hotel abroad for an upcoming trip. I had been monitoring rates at different hotels, saw an unexpected 10% drop, so I jumped on it. The reservation required a one night deposit, and when I made it Fido sent usual text "card was charged $xx at XX and the card was not present. To opt out press STOP ".

A couple of days later I tried unsuccessfully to use the card, was denied, tried to access my online account, could not, so I called, and was immediately transferred to the fraud dept. After an unusually rigorous security challenge the agent confirmed that the charge overseas set off their security protocol, so they denied it - but said nothing. When I asked about the text confirming the charge, the response was "that was Fidelity, this is Elan, and we rejected the transaction". I asked why they didn't alert or contact me, and the response was "we don't have your authorization to contact you".

The security concern is reasonable, but the part about "we can't contact you" sounds very fishy. I don't recall any financial institution requiring specific authorization or opt-in to contact me, especially when fraud is suspected. My account info includes email and physical address along with home and cell phone, so they had plenty of ways to contact me.

Just wondering if my expectations are unreasonable about being made aware that they were freezing my card and rejecting the transaction, or this was something they should do.
That is odd that they can't contact you about any freeze on your card or a rejected transaction. Gosh - I get emails that my statement is ready, I think. It seems like they could at least email.

Quote:
I asked why they didn't alert or contact me, and the response was "we don't have your authorization to contact you".
I guess the question is - can I give you my authorization to contact me in the future?

I may need to do that.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:24 PM   #4
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You have to register foreign use of the card even if the charge originates while you are in the states. It is an automated function you can do in a minute under account services. Had the same thing happen to me when booking train tickets in France.
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Old 10-14-2018, 12:33 PM   #5
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This is sometimes a source of frustration for me - as I bookstuff overseas before I actually travel there, and the notification they give you is for travel dates.

BTW - why would you use your Fidelity Elan VISA overseas? - it charges a 1% foreign transaction fee. I guess you still net 1% rewards after the FTF.

Costco VISA has been good for overseas hotels. I don’t remember if they charged for first night booking - I think at least one hotel placed a hold and I had no difficulties.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:01 PM   #6
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I never had any problem with booking anything overseas under booking.com, but for Airbnb, for large amount, I believe they left a voice mail in my answering machine.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:07 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Can you still get the favorable hotel rate? If not you may want to make noise about them covering the difference since they screwed up.
I checked the website, the rate was gone, so I called the hotel, explained the situation, and they let me keep the reservation and just update the card. Very nice people.

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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
BTW - why would you use your Fidelity Elan VISA overseas? - it charges a 1% foreign transaction fee. I guess you still net 1% rewards after the FTF.
I was sure you'd notice that. It was a thoughtless move on my part, as I wan't expecting to make the reservation right then. When I rebooked with the hotel I used a card with no foreign transaction fee.

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Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
You have to register foreign use of the card even if the charge originates while you are in the states. It is an automated function you can do in a minute under account services. Had the same thing happen to me when booking train tickets in France.
My last trip abroad I did register the card on their website but they still declined it when I got to Germany and had to call the int'l number on the back and talk with an agent before they let me use it.

I took out a new Cap One Venture last year. None of these issues so far, and no foreign transaction fee. I may keep it despite the $95 annual fee.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:12 PM   #8
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I saw the alerts, etc when I got the FIDO 2% card and went to the website to allow contact via cell phone. I think if you do that you shouldn't have a problem going forward? I do think it was crappy not to inform you somehow of the cancellation/denial of the charge.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:24 PM   #9
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I have found it helps if I notify Chase in advance if I am getting ready to book airfare online with an offshore carrier like British Air or Cathy. If I forget, the online booking sometimes fails and/or gets suspended. It has cost me a great fare once when booking failed.
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Old 10-14-2018, 01:28 PM   #10
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I use British Airways credit card to book on British Airways Executive club, never had any problem.
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
..."we don't have your authorization to contact you"...
When you set up your contact information at Elan, in the phone number section, there is this tidbit:

Quote:
By allowing us to contact you via text messages, you are also consenting to receive Fraud Alerts regarding suspicious activity on your account. If you revoke your consent to receive text messages, you will no longer receive these alerts.
Therefore, my guess is you either did not provide a mobile number, or you checked the box to disallow text messages.

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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
...I guess the question is - can I give you my authorization to contact me in the future?

I may need to do that.
Yes, make sure you provide a mobile number and don't opt out of text messages.
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:26 PM   #12
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Yes, make sure you provide a mobile number and don't opt out of text messages.
I didn't opt out of alerts. On the contrary, as I described in the OP, when I made the reservation I received the text that the charge had been made. Elan later rejected it. That's what makes this unusual.


Edit to add - my account access is via Fidelity. I established access directly with Elan, to see if that made any difference. All the account info has been mirrored, so the same alerts are already set up. It seems teh automated process worked as intended, but when people got involved, they dropped the call.
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:12 PM   #13
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I didn't opt out of alerts. On the contrary, as I described in the OP, when I made the reservation I received the text that the charge had been made. Elan later rejected it. That's what makes this unusual.

Edit to add - my account access is via Fidelity. I established access directly with Elan, to see if that made any difference. All the account info has been mirrored, so the same alerts are already set up. It seems teh automated process worked as intended, but when people got involved, they dropped the call.
There are 3 different types of alerts at Elan: Account Alerts, Security Alerts, and Fraud Alerts. You can see these by clicking on the "Alerts" tab after logging in to the Elan website (fidelityrewards.com). What you described in the OP is a standard Account Alert. Each Account Alert can be individually configured to go to your email or text. Sounds like you have it set up to go to your text. Security Alerts and Fraud Alerts each have to be separately authorized. Security Alerts are set-up same as Account Alerts by specifying an email or text. But Fraud Alerts have to be set-up by updating your Contact Information. Here are the instructions you see when clicking on the Fraud Alerts tab:

Quote:
To enable two way text messages which allows us to contact you via text message regarding Fraud Alerts you must have valid Mobile contact information which can be updated through the Update Contact Information button. Within the Contact Information page you must provide a mobile number and leave the text message box unchecked to receive this type of communication.
So again, I think you need to update your Contact Information under Profile. Make sure you have a mobile number listed and do not opt-out of text messages.
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:17 PM   #14
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Chase has notified me for suspected fraud issues. Not sure why Elan wouldn’t do the same.

I took a quick look and found emails from Chase Fraud Services with “Action Needed: Please confirm you made this purchase.”

The email asks if you recognize the transaction. If you don’t, they say “We'll block your card and call you.”

Seems like a reasonable response for suspicious behavior, without any issue of contacting you. That seems reasonable on their part. Sorry that Elan doesn’t provide the same!
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:34 PM   #15
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This was news to me too. I have been using the Elan visa card since Fidelity introduced it but was not aware that I had to set up the security and fraud alerts to receive notifications on fraudulent activities. All other cards I use will notify me via their secured email.
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Old 10-14-2018, 04:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Tiger8693 View Post
I saw the alerts, etc when I got the FIDO 2% card and went to the website to allow contact via cell phone. I think if you do that you shouldn't have a problem going forward? I do think it was crappy not to inform you somehow of the cancellation/denial of the charge.
Didn’t know about this option. Will check it out.

Actually, I must already be set up. I can think of two different instances in the past year when I got a robot call requiring me to confirm a purchase on this card.

But when a fraudulent charge was made (I received a text immediately), I was the one who called in to the Elan Fraud dept notifying them that it wasn’t me.
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Old 10-16-2018, 10:25 PM   #17
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I checked the website, the rate was gone, so I called the hotel, explained the situation, and they let me keep the reservation and just update the card. Very nice people.


I was sure you'd notice that. It was a thoughtless move on my part, as I wan't expecting to make the reservation right then. When I rebooked with the hotel I used a card with no foreign transaction fee.

My last trip abroad I did register the card on their website but they still declined it when I got to Germany and had to call the int'l number on the back and talk with an agent before they let me use it.

I took out a new Cap One Venture last year. None of these issues so far, and no foreign transaction fee. I may keep it despite the $95 annual fee.


We have a Capital One Venture card. We use the Elan 2% card in the US, but used the Cap One card in Greece. Worked flawlessly. DH’s wallet was stolen, we got a text a half hour late about a charge, we responded that it wasn’t valid and realized the wallet was gone, and they took care of everything. Luckily I had my card with me and it is a unique number so we could just use it.
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Old 11-17-2018, 10:26 AM   #18
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Another episode with Fidelity / Elan. Some fraudulent transactions were attempted, so Elan cancelled the card and issued a new one, I got the new card, activated it, went to use it and was declined.

I called Elan. Their explanation was the account was blocked with the first fraudulent transaction and never unblocked. When I asked why it wasn’t unblocked when the replacement card was activated, they said “the activation was Fidelity, the blocking was Elan”.

Strange was to manage a credit card.
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Old 11-17-2018, 10:35 AM   #19
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I usually deal with Elan Fraud department directly.

Agreed - bizarre that the new card was blocked even though it had been activated. Shouldn't have had any bearing on the old card.

Activation was Fidelity - hmmmm, that is indeed bizarre.

I didn't have any trouble activating and using our replacement card July 2017.

AFAIK all brokerages and stores go through a third party issuing bank to provide credit cards. It does mean having to deal with the issuer at times.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:17 PM   #20
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I've had annual credit credit card fraud with my Fido/Elan cc. Never any issue with delays or reissuance of a new card. The new card arrived two days later as promised. My most recent new card was in October. Likewise I was the one that contacted them to report the charge. A direct result of their text alerts which can easily be set online.

The biggest pain is resetting the auto charges for my monthly bills. But on the other hand they handled some oddball credits which transferred to the new number flawlessly.
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