Earlier this week we received a fraud alert letter from Citibank. The letter explained that the company's fraud detection system found a strange pattern of activity on our card and that we should contact them urgently.
I found it a bit strange that an urgent fraud alert would come to us via the U.S. postal service which, while very reliable, is not known as the most expedient method of communication in the 21st century.
Regardless, I picked up the phone and called the number that was given. As you pretty much expect when calling any corporate service center in America these days, I was greeted by an automatic system that asked me to say my account number aloud. The system recognized my spoken words without any trouble and connected me to an agent without any delay. Of course, the first question the agent asked me was to repeat my account number. There's gotta be a law against that.
Generally speaking, the agent was polite and professional, she even waited while I took a business call on my cell phone. I thought that keeping a customer service representative on hold for once was a deliciously ironic turn of events. She took it in good spirits though.
At the end of the day, the "fraud alert" was easily cleared up. It turns out that the automated system spotted what it thought was a double payment to my son's day care center, and wanted to clear that transaction with us. Unfortunately, this was not a double payment, it's called parents paying for summer camp.
All in all, this was a very good experience. Kudos to Citibank for being both vigilant and courteous in their service.