The Card Saga

After moving to Beer Sheva I went with my daughter to the local supermarket, Supersol (for unknown reasons pronounced Shufersal by Israelis).  We bought a lot of groceries, and I gave them my Shufersal credit card that I had been using for years.  But, they said “Oh, you can’t use that card, we have changed to another credit card company, would you like to switch,” so I of course agreed.  Whereupon they filled out an application for me on their computer and in the meantime I paid with another credit card.  In filling out the form I gave them the bank details that I had used for the previous Shufersal card.  This was a big mistake.

When I went in next time they had the new card waiting for me and I used it to pay for my purchases.  It worked in their system without any problem.  A few days later I received a call from my bank saying that they did not support credit for this new card and so they would reject the charge.  I went back to the supermarket and told them this, but they checked and insisted the card worked, so I used it to pay for some more groceries.  Then I got a written notice from that bank saying that they did not support that card and rejecting the payment.

I returned to the supermarket, and they said no the card is good, it has credit.  But I showed them the note from the bank, and so they filled out another application for me to get another credit card, this time using my other bank in Beer Sheva.  Then I received an SMS message that I took to my daughter for translation, telling me that I owed the new card company money (the total was NIS 660 or less than $200).   Then a few days later I received a letter demanding payment and including a form that I could take to a bank and transfer the card to another bank account.  This seemed like a simple solution, so I took it to my bank in Beer Sheva and the clerk there filled out the form and put it in for processing and gave me part of it back as a receipt.

But, as you no doubt guessed, I kept receiving the SMS messages saying that I owed them money.  My daughter called them and explained that I had processed their form thru my other bank and that the credit for the card was good and they could charge the card. That seemed to settle it.  But, then a few days later, while still receiving SMS messages on a daily basis and further letters, I received a call.  The person told me that they had checked and they had not received anything from my bank.  She asked me to check with my bank.

So I returned to my bank, and the clerk checked and said no, the form went thru and there should be no problem, and to be sure she faxed them my receipt from the form.  But, I kept receiving SMS messages (probably automatic) and further letters with the same form attached.   I went back to the supermarket and there was no credit card from my second application.  So then my daughter called them again and told them that I checked with the new bank and the form had definitely been processed.   I also sent them a copy of my receipt with an SMS message.

Finally, I got a confirmation that all was Ok.  But, if you have been paying attention, here’s the catch, when I went to the supermarket to buy groceries they told me that the credit card now didn’t work, it had no credit.  So here’s the puzzle, when the credit for the card was not good, and was not supported by the first bank, their system said the credit for the card was good.  Now that I was told it was good, being supported by credit from my second bank, the card did not work!  I had to pay for the groceries with another card, and at this point I was ready to give up.  But, the good folk at the supermarket insisted that I fill out another application for a card, they said that previously, although they had changed the bank, they did not fill out all the other personal details since they were the same, but the system rejected it.

Then I received another call from the credit card company telling me I owed them money.  I lost my temper. I shouted at her and told her that I had filled out their form and it had been processed by my bank weeks ago and that the credit on the card was good and to stop sending me these messages every day demanding payment.  She apologized and checked and called me back to say, yes, sorry, it is now resolved.  What incredible incompetence.  Then I received a letter telling me that my card was indeed ok, it was supported by credit from my a/c at the second bank, and the SMS messages finally stopped.  And by the way, my third application for a credit card was rejected!