It was just an average Sunday afternoon of errands with my wife: fish market, pet store, pharmacy, wine shop, and groceries. Everything was going along swimmingly until it came time to check out at the supermarket. I swiped my credit card to pay for our groceries…
…and my card was declined. I did an almost comical double-take, and swiped the card again. Declined again.
I sighed, used a different card to pay for my groceries, and went home to call Chase Card Services to ask what was going on. Giving them the benefit of the doubt (since I always pay on time, have never exceeded my limit, and pay off my balance each month), I was afraid that maybe they had detected someone trying to make fraudulent charges on my account, as happened last year.
I called the toll-free number and got an automated recording that told me, cryptically, that as a routine security procedure, Chase sometimes freezes activity on an account until its recent transactions can be verified. There was only transaction they wanted to know about: the one at my supermarket.
There was nothing unusual about this transaction, mind you. It’s in the same dollar range as nearly every other weekend trip I have made to this grocery store. My wife and I have been buying groceries there every week for nearly seven years. So why flag this transaction? I could understand if I was buying something unusual for me, such as a hot tub or a motorcycle, but this was my routine grocery run.
WTF, Chase Card Services?