GE Money Bank Banana Republic Card / Inadequate Fraud Protection

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GE Money Bank Banana Republic Card / Inadequate Fraud Protection

Postby palladium » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:53 am

I want to share my experience with a GE Money Bank / Banana Republic store card I have had since 2009 and have now closed. I originally applied for it to take advantage of some insane offers at the time - 60% off in store in some cases. The discounts remain decent and I still regularly shop there. The problem was the fraud protection is frankly a joke.

Here's what happened... I took a business trip abroad. When I came back I went to use my card and noticed a $10K charge from Apple Itunes for 80 something purchases made in the span of 4 days. None of which was authorized, and in fact Apple had some sense to on their own initiative reverse $7K of it.

I actually had not used the card for 2 billing cycles and never once used it aside from Banana Republic purchases. I always leave the card home when not at BR, do not share the card, do not live with anyone who would use it so irresponsibly, and have a dedicated secure computer to do online transactions. I do not even have a Apple Itunes account!

Luckily despite being enrolled for paperless statements I noticed it before the amount was due. My credit history is immaculate and I certainly was not going to let some scam artist ruin it. I called up GE Money Bank immediately and they said their fraud department look at it. Here is the catch though... I needed to physically mail them a form, which would take two weeks to arrive and only then could they consider it after 90 DAYS! The disputed amount would be suspended, but they could not promise anything. What a joke! Not only I had to discover this highly irregular charge myself, but also the merchant even reversed some of it, and yet their fraud department has no direct number and needs up to 90 days to decide? Utter nonsense.

As it turned out Apple Itunes did not have a number to call directly either. Nevertheless after several sternly worded email exchanges I convinced them to reverse all of the charges. They even inadvertently divulged information on the rogue account. This all makes me question Apple's security mechanism. How can someone with a completely different name in a completely different state use my card and successfully charge $10K to it? I digress

It's a good thing Apple Itunes had at least the sense to clear all the crap away, because GE Money Bank was going to take their sweet time. And I thought Paypal was obnoxiously incompetent.

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