Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer Adventure 2011: Adventures in Stress

I wish I could say that today's adventure was as exciting as yesterday's adventure: riding in an authentic stagecoach.  Alas, when I wasn't sitting in a fabulous lecture at Super Fun Adult Literary Nerd Camp, I was on the phone with Chase Bank.

For the fourth time since I signed on at Chase, five years ago, my account was hacked.  I came "home" after lunch today to discover that my account was $96 overdrawn.  This morning someone had drained my account.

Long story short, today was our one afternoon off, so we could go visit the museums and historic sites in Virginia City that usually close before our classes are over.  But, I spent my afternoon off on the phone with Chase trying to get someone to sympathize with how dire my situation is.

I don't own a credit card.  I had $2 in my wallet.  I called five times and probably spoke to 9 or 10 different people.  It took me more than half of those people for someone to understand that there's not a Chase Bank within... well, I never figured it out really, but more than 200 miles.  Definitely not in Nevada. Their go-to response was "go to a Chase and get a temporary card."  I kept telling them that I was in the middle-of-nowhere Nevada, with no means to travel and $2 in my wallet, and they just didn't seem to understand.  Finally I got someone who "got it" and did a really good job of fixing it to the best of her ability.

I'm still in a bad place.  Awful for a traveler, in fact. But with some finessing and the kindness of strangers, I should be okay.  I hope.

I mention this in the blog not for sympathy or because it characterized my day, but because this is the fourth time. And just last month, the same thing happened to Roommate-- maybe for the third time.

Despite the fact that I am attached to the people at my local Chase Bank in the Highlands, I think it's time I changed banks.

Anyway, after spending hours on the phone with Chase, I had to let off some steam before my evening classes began.  So I took a long walk, a grueling walk-- any walk in Virginia City is grueling.

Virginia City is on the side of a mountain, the streets that run perpendicular to the crest of the mountain are so steeply graded that sometimes it feels like you should be climbing on your hands and knees.  We're also at an elevation of 6K feet, and our hotel is at the lowest point in the city.  If you're walking with friends to town, the unspoken rule is that once you reach the main street after an exhausting climb, y'all just shut the heck up and spend a few minutes catching your breath before you move on.

Anyway, afternoon walk...  Walks are free.  Taking pictures of all the historic places is free.  So that's what I did. I needed to cleanse the noggin of all the ugly debit card issues and just BE here in Virginia City.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you why you shouldn't come to Virginia City expecting to see where Samuel Clemens became Mark Twain. And why you should.


Bill said...

Sounds like it might be worthwhile to have a credit card for emergencies like this. Any particular reason you don't keep one?

Carrie said...

I too have Chase and I too was hacked. Chase knew my account had been compromised and sent me a letter with a new card. Before I activated the new card, my account was hacked. After sending an hour on the phone with Chase, my money was still not credited to my account. The manager that I had to insist to talk to told me she would call the company where my account was used and cancel the charges. She never did. I contacted them myself the next day. They immediately cancelled the pending transaction. Chase on the other hand did not. I had to wait 3 BUSINESS days (total of 6 days) to get my money back. I am feeling your pain. I hope your money is credited back ASAP and you have a great rest of your trip!