Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cluetrain Time, Wells Fargo

My wife, Beth, is traveling home to upstate NY. She does that every year so. She used her ATM card a couple of days ago, and took out the maximum $200. Taking out the max was probably a mistake. When she tried to use her card again today, it was denied by Well Fargo (with no clear explanation, of course).

Now I just got an automated fraud-prevention call from Wells Fargo. I thought, okay, that's cool, I'll accept the call, they will put on a fraud-prevention CSR, I'll confirm my wife is traveling in the Albany area, and all will be well. An ounce of prevention, etc. Silly me.

No human agent, just a series of prompts. They wanted me to confirm, IVR-style, each of 5 real or attempted transactions. I would have been on the phone for at least 5 minutes. No thanks, click.

To me, this is another case of "more security is actually less security" (like mis-guided strict password requirements). A much better approach would have been one question:
Have you or an authorized party been traveling in the Albany area, and used or tried to use your ATM card? If not, please press 2 and you will be connected to a fraud prevention specialist. Otherwise, press 1 for yes, to conclude this call.

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