Hi all me again, back with another story from my time with an Australian bank.
The back story is all Australian banks and I presume most banks in the Visa/MasterCard/Amex networks use a fraud detection system called “Falcon”. In short, it detects transactions that are either outside of the individual customer’s purchasing history profile and/or the purchasing profiles of a generic customer like them. It can be extremely accurate/attuned, for example, I once dealt with a fraud block because a customer attempted to purchase size 8 stilettos because she had in the past she had only purchased size 7 shoes. In that case the customer was purchasing the shoes as a gift. The customer laughed at how “on it” the bank was in protecting her, but this story isn’t about her, it’s about a customer I’m going to call “Richard”, because he was an absolute one.
Richard was a pain in ass from the start. He huffed and sighed at everything I said. I ask for a customer number? Huff. I ask to confirm his access code? Sigh. I thank him for the information and ask for the reason for his call? Huff and sigh. You get the picture.
Richard was out at a fancy restaurant with friends and “I’m graciously trying to pay for the bill but my card keeps getting declined”. The transaction was close to $1000, I looked in to the system notes and Falcon had flagged the transaction as potential fraud because it was outside the customer’s purchase history profile. He had never a transaction from this restaurant before, it was in a different state then his state of residence and it was the largest single purchase he had made in months. I confirm with Richard the amount that he was attempting to process to doubt check we were talking about the same transaction, after some more huffing he looked at the receipt from the restaurant and confirmed the amount.
I have the block lifted from his card and marked the transaction as legitimate. I told Richard that he could go ahead and reprocess the transaction and it will clear. He asked what caused the problem, I explained Falcon thought the transaction was outside of his usual spending history and decided to decline instead of risking clearing a fraudulent transaction. This is when the whiny, whinging, toddler tantrum erupted. “You. Just. Didn’t. Do. That. To. Me! You and your stupid system just embarrassed me in front of all of my friends. OMG! you cant do this to me!” (he literally said ‘OMG’ not ‘Oh My God’)
I swear hand on heart, he kept repeating himself getting more and more hysterical for the next 5 minutes, no matter how much I attempted to calm him down or ‘apologise’ for trying to save him from fraud. I could hear his friends in the background laughing, so I guess they were clearly getting more enjoyment from the show he was putting on than the dinner he was going to pay for.
Richard ended the call by saying he was going to close his accounts first thing Monday. I think if he kept his cool and understood the fraud detection system is for his benefit, his friends would’ve been none the wiser about his card being declined or he could’ve got off the phone and had a laugh with his friends about how the bank thinking a dinner purchase was fraud. Oh well.