Today, my wife got a call from the Target Red Card people, demanding to speak to me because of suspicious charges on the card.
She told them that if they were just noticing that charges had been made across several states in recent days, that it was fine; we had driven to Memphis and back in a short period of time.
She was informed in no uncertain terms that they did not care about her opinion regarding the validity of the purchases; they wished to speak to the primary card holder.
I am the primary cardholder for the simple fact that I made the mistake of filling out a form at the checkout at Target several years back. The young girl at the register asked me to fill out an application for a Target card. I said I might sometime, but I was in a hurry. She begged me to please apply for a card, because unless I did, she could not go on a break. So I filled out the application, and she went on her break.
I thought I was going to get one of those preferred-customer things that people keep on their keychains, which would entitle me to an occasional discount or something. I didn’t realize it would be a Visa card. I would never, ever have applied on my own for a credit card, because we had more than enough of them. And if we had set out to get another card, we’d likely have put it in my wife’s name, because she pays the bills. But this one came in handy. You do get discounts at Target for using it, so we kept it, because we all like Target at my house. My wife and one of my daughters (who was living out of state, and whom we wanted to have a backup for emergencies) each got one later.
At the time, I had two cellphones — one for work, one for personal. The personal one got on the Red Card account. At some point, we shuffled things around, and my wife ditched her old number, took my personal one, and I kept the work one. Hence the call today,
Anyway, I called the Red Card people a few minutes ago to see what they wanted. This took awhile, because I had to punch in the card number, followed by the last four digits of my Social Security number, which the recording claimed was NOT my SS number, but then when I entered all the very same numbers again, I was allowed to speak to a person. After several minutes of explanation, I was told in heavily accented English that everything appeared to be in order.
But please, the lady implored me — in the future, let them know if I leave town. You know, the way you do with a parole officer.
Then, she questioned me about my landline, which I explained that I got rid of a couple of years back. She expressed satisfaction that I was forthcoming with that information, so that they could fix that in their files, too.
Nothing like living in a world in which only the mean ol’ gummint pokes its nose into your comings, goings and communications…