Note: The following piece was submitted as part of Cointelegraph’s Tell us your bank horror story article contest presented to you by Shapeshift.io—the fastest way to swap cryptocurrencies. Only the best articles will be published in no particular order in the run up to December 15. On this date, Cointelegraph will conduct a public poll to determine which story resonates most with our audience. Good luck and happy reading!
This story happened back in late 2011. I had my Unionbank VISA card since 2007 at that point and have never had a problem with it, using it for both work and personal purchases. It had a PHP 300,000 limit (about US$6,800) and I used it a lot. Needless to say, I was a dream customer for VISA, paying the predatory 3.5% per month in interest that they charge here in the Philippines, keeping high balances for months and using the card constantly, and paying them without fail.
One day I get my bill, and there were charges for about US$2,000 worth of ferry tickets from Hong Kong to Macau. My card had been compromised! The thieves used it a total of five times, in different amounts, over the course of two days, and I never got a single call, message, or anything from my bank to ask me why I was making such weird purchases abroad.
I didn't sweat it, I knew that the bank would make it right, so I submitted my complaint and waited as they "investigated". I had hoped to cooperate with them fully and show them my passport and other documents proving I never left the PH to go to HK or Macau.
Ten Months later, I get an email saying that their investigation was over and that they have come to the conclusion that no fraud happened and that I had made those purchases myself and that I had to pay for them ASAP, with 10 months interest. Needless to say, I was not amused. I refused to pay them anything, and demanded that they show me how they reached such a conclusion. I demanded receipts, proofs of purchase, signatures, and the like, and nothing was produced.
After about a year passed of mostly being sent bills that were piling up with interest that I refused to pay until my issue was resolved, I find out that the bank had washed their hands off from my dilemma and had passed me off to a collection agency, who to this day three years later still harasses me with threatening phone calls to pay them up.
I have tried to reach out to the bank multiple times, even as late as last year, and although they have been helpful, they have no more record of my incident because the debt had been sold off to a collection agency. How convenient. Now my credit record is tarnished, I have trouble getting a credit card or even a bank loan without getting a clearance from the bank. I am not saying all banks are evil, but this whole fiasco could have been easily avoided and they could have saved someone a lot of future trouble and kept him using their service.
The chance of something like this happening to others is practically zero with Bitcoin. Although I still have one credit card today, I rarely use it anymore for fear of something similar happening. Too bad for the bank, they lost a good customer.
That's my story.
- by Miguel Cuneta
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