Notification with specifics

The reader’s letter “Unusual Transactions” (Feb. ’04, pg. 41) brought to mind some of our experiences with credit card companies and our prevacation routine.

We have always notified our credit card companies of when and where we will be going. It is becoming more unnerving, though, as we find we have to fill in the blanks rather than count on the companies’ representatives to ask the questions.

For example, in response to “Where will you be going?” we tell them each country we will be visiting, not just an area of the world, and include the time frame. It has been up to us to inform the companies of who can be contacted on our behalf while we are away.

And still we have come home to find a message on our answering machine asking us to “. . . immediately call 1-800. . . as it seems someone has been using your card in Morocco.” Recently I called and asked why they did not check the information I had provided before we left. “Oh, you did?” was the only response.

In these days of identity theft when we all must be more vigilant, it is a shame that credit card companies’ training (or hiring) procedures don’t seem to be what they used to be.

Our credit card use has never been stopped while we were gone. Thank goodness this has worked well on our behalf and not that of a thief.

We will continue to contact our credit card companies prior to our vacations.

Anaheim, CA