My Invalid Identity


Oh shit, remember when I signed up for an Am Ex card a year ago? I moved four months later, complete with a change-of-address card, but I never heard anything from them. Identity theft, you are mine.

Credit report? Credit report. I get online and find a free credit report. You have to sign up and will be charged $80 a year if you don't unsubscribe in 30 days. No problem. I can sign up, get the report and unsubscribe. Easy. Seems worth it to make sure my lily-white name is untainted by the Express that is American.

I sign up. I put in my social security, address, mother's maiden name, shoe size, 6th grade gym locker combination, pet's name, etc. I click Get My Report! and Voila, I receive an identity verification error message and phone number. Oh, jolly. I dial.

Them: Okay, we need some information to verify your identity.
Beta: social security number...address... old address... older address... phone number...old phone number... mother's maiden name... cat's name...
Them: [clickity clackety keyboard sounds while undoubtedly thinking "Jesus are these people dumb. FIRST we get them to give us all their vitals online for nothing in return, THEN we get them to give it to us on the phone! Mwah ha ha ha.]
Them: Okay we need to get some information from you on your credit to finish validating. What credit cards do you have?
Beta: I don't have any credit cards.
Them: Did you every apply for a mortgage?
Beta: No.
Them: Did you every apply for a car loan?
Beta: No.
Them: And what credit cards do you have?
Beta: Debit cards.
Them: Miss, we need some credit information here.
Beta: Um, it's not like I'm joking. I think I had a BonTon card in '91.
Them: What was the limit?
Beta: I don't know. I spent $30 on it, got the free gift, and cut it up.
Them: Look, we can't help you unless you tell us what's on the report.
Beta: But that's why I need the report. To find out what's on it.
Them: I'm sorry, we have to invalidate your identity.
Beta: [terrified at the prospect of being an identity invalid] But I just gave you all the numerical information of my entire existence.
Them: I'm sorry, we need more.
Beta: Okay, I want to cancel my membership.
Them: You can't do that through this number. Go to the web site and send them an email.

* breathe * I find one suspicious, buried email address on the site which I choose not to send all my vitals to. I find a customer service number that is different from the identity verification number. I dial.

Beta: Hi, I want to cancel my membership.
Them: Okay, we need some information to verify your identity.
Beta: social security number... address... old address...older address number...old phone number... mother's maiden's name... [at this point I begin to marvel at what a strong internet presence my cat has.]
Them: When did you sign up?
Beta: Twenty minutes ago.
Them: You didn't get your credit report.
Beta: No, I want to cancel.
Them: You get a free credit report. You should really do that.
Beta: They won't give it to me without information about my credit which doesn't exist because I don't have any.
Them: It's free.
Beta: I want to cancel.
Them: You can fax us your driver's license and phone or gas bill. Then we'll send you the report.
Beta: I don't have a fax machine. I want to cancel.
Them: Did you know there are thousands of cases of identity thefts every year?
Beta: Yes, I do know. Can I please cancel my membership?
Them: Do you know how destructive that can be? In some cases people spend extensive hours over six months just to get it off their record.
Beta: That's too bad. Listen to me. Cancel my membership. Now.
Them: Okay, it's cancelled. You will not be charged.

Finally. Is that not unfuckingbelievable? And I still don't know if there's an Am Ex card in my name being passed around the schoolyard. Hmph.

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