Viewpoint: Background check faux pas

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Who Are You?
Referencing background checks on [breakfast] (Pardon The Intrusion, January), you think you are being funny but it's already happening.

For nearly three months, I've been having trouble getting authorization to buy gas at the pump using my debit card. Authorization would fail upon having to enter my zip code. This was happening to my personal debit card and business card. The response was: "Authorization Failure-Please See Cashier." Well none of the cashiers at any of the gas stations (any gas station that authorized based on zip code) couldn't explain why this was happening. So I called my bank several times before I finally found out what was going on.

Apparently, at some point in time my bank sent me a piece of marketing literature in the mail advertising some new service. And for some reason, this piece of mail was sent back undeliverable. The bank made the assumption that I moved without changing my address with them, so they 9'd out my zip code on my account. So my authorization failure at the pumps was due to my bank playing Big Brother and arbitrarily changing my account information, resulting in the debit authorization failure.

Apparently this is a new practice by the banks. It took five phone calls over a course of a month before I reached a customer service rep who was able to figure out what was going on. It was extremely frustrating having to go inside to always pay, or locating stations that did not authorize with zip codes.

Hope you publish this to let your readers know the kinds of things going on.

Gwen Ceylon
Ceylon Security Group, LLC

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This was first published in July 2007

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