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Dumbass of The Week: USBank

Posted on Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Dave!Uhhhh... yeah... I don't even know where to begin.

This morning I started organizing all my T-shirt boxes so I could put them up in racks and reclaim my living room floor. Except I found out one of the boxes was NOT filed with T-shirts, it was filled with 28 boxed orders... all needing postage so they could be shipped out. Unfortunately, I had overlooked them yesterday. So I grab the box and head downstairs to my car. But somehow I miss the last step, and end up wrenching my back in an attempt to not fall on my face. The pain is so great that I can barely breath. In agony, I limp back upstairs so I can take a Special Pill to get through the day.

Ten of the orders I manage to get processed on my lunch hour. The remainder I saved for after work so they could be processed and be shipped out first thing in the morning.

So there I am tonight, four orders into my remaining 18, when the USPS web site comes up and says that my credit card has been declined. "Well that's freaky!" I say to myself. "This puppy has a limit of like $10,000 and there's no reason for it to be declined." So I call up USBank to see what's going on.

The ensuing asshattery resulted in my awarding a DUMBASS OF THE WEEK trophy, and it's only Tuesday!

USBank Dumbass Award

DAVE: Hey. My card was declined as I was trying to buy postage from the online post office.
USBANK: Yes I see that. You've processed a lot of payments from USPS Online, and so your account was flagged as a possible fraud risk.
DAVE: Ah! Well, it's not fraud. It's really me! So if you'll fix that, I'll get back to work.
USBANK: I can't fix it. You have to get the post office to call in and get an authorization code.
DAVE: Er. I can't do that. It's a computer program. There's only tech support, and they can't process charges.
USBANK: Sorry. There's nothing I can do.
DAVE: Uhhhh... really? Well can you transfer me to your fraud department so I can tell them to stop declining charges?
USBANK: No. You have to get the post office to call.
DAVE: What?!? Why does the post office have to call? YOU'RE the one that is wrongly declining charges! Transfer me to the fraud department!
USBANK: They won't even talk to you because there's no actual fraud involved. There's nothing we can do.
DAVE: Are you kidding me? Transfer me to a supervisor before my brain explodes.

The supervisor goes through the exact same spiel about not being able to turn off the fraud flag, so I change gears...

DAVE: What if I was trapped in a foreign country and needed to charge a plane ticket back home on my credit card? Or what if I was deathly ill and the hospital wouldn't treat me until the charges went through on my card? Would you just let me die then?
USBANK SUPERVISOR: We do have the ability to authorize charges for an emergency.
DAVE: Great! I am using USPS online to send life-saving medication to sick children in Africa. So if you'll just fix this and approve my charges, I'll get back to work...

Of course, nothing I said made any difference. USBank simply refused to assist me at every turn.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think fraud detection is wonderful thing. It's really great that they have a system to monitor risky behavior so they can prevent fraud. But how utterly stupid is it that you can't call and get it turned off when the charges are, in fact, valid? How could anybody think this kind of moronic shit is good customer service? Does this make any sense what-so-ever? What good is a credit card that can be declined because of possible fraud, yet cannot be fixed when fraud is disproved?

Thus USBank has rightfully earned my DUMBASS OF THE WEEK award for being really stupid in their fraud control department.

And we'll see what tomorrow brings. I guess if my credit card is still being declined I'll have to go stand in line at the post office and buy postage the old-fashioned way.

"USBank Five Star Service Guarantee" my ass. I don't even give them one star tonight.

Categories: DaveLife 2007Click To It: Permalink


  1. Hilly says:

    Oh my God….how frustrating! I totally know how you feel. Every time I use the Discover card, they decline the charges the first time around then immediately call my cell phone to make sure there is no fraud. You would think I would stop using the card BUT…I’ve called them a gajillion times to tell them to stop the overly-attentive fraud protection and dial it back down to maybe 3.

    Ahem, anyway….how is your back now? I hope it feels better!

  2. Brandon says:

    So what you’re saying is, my t-shirt didn’t ship today? Dang!

    That’s total bullshit, they should have the ability to fix that kind of thing. It shouldn’t have anything to do with the vendor. Trust me, as a vendor, I wouldn’t even know where to begin if somebody called with that problem.

  3. whit says:

    I had trouble with Bank of America one time. I was calling about whatever and they ran through the checklist of safety words, the same damn questions they always ask, and I answered them the way I always do- correctly.

    The lady said I wasn’t me. She wouldn’t tell me what information was incorrect, but I know I didn’t say anything wrong, she must have written it down wrong or pushed the wrong button. She wouldn’t let me answer again. I talked to a supervisor, no go. I lost my cool.

    Then I called the big guy, got his voicemail and ripped him a new one.

    Then I called the bank again, was asked the same exact questions, answered them the same exact way, and all was fine. Pissed me off.

  4. Jacki says:

    You should have told them to transfer you to the department that closes accounts as you will be banking elsewhere in the future.

  5. andre2day says:

    Guess you ended up in one of those call centres, where the supervisor has one week more work experience then the normal agent and is still following the same one page manual;-)

  6. Suzy says:

    I do like the Dumb Ass of the Week cup award. Your graphics are always so good that they make your complaints seem not so bad.

    That’s bad, right?

  7. Wayne says:

    I dread the day when my card gets declined and when I call in, they say “sir, we noticed you getting your gas at Texaco instead of Exxon the last couple of stops. Since you typically shop at Exxon, we alerted ourselves to potential fraud.”

  8. My husband’s had the same problem with Capital One. When we were in Belgium, we wanted to put a deposit down on my naked lady sculpture. The bank declined the card because he was in Europe. Now, he travels extensively, mostly to Europe. I, on the other hand, not so much. I got MY Capital One card out and the transaction went through. Same thing two weeks ago when we were trying to buy airline tickets to Malaysia. His card was declined, but mine wasn’t. It doesn’t make a bit of sense! He’s put that card away and will be using a different card from now on.

    BTW, I did get an email from USPS that my order has shipped. Thanks, Dave, I’m really looking forward to getting my Bad Monkey t-shirt and prints.

  9. kapgar says:

    So who wants to forward this post right to U.S. Bank?

    ME! ME! ME!

  10. RW says:

    I’m brutal when companies act like this. I finish my business and then they never see me again.

    I probably should watch it though, there’s only one liquor store left around here!

  11. Avitable says:

    That is obnoxious. You should have said to the supervisor “Then, I’d like to cancel my card immediately.” They would authorize any charges instantly. You should actually also write a letter to them through, too.

    We’ve had several credit cards that have done that, but whenever we’ve called them and given them all of our special numbers and passwords, they released the card. I’ll make sure never to use US Bank.

  12. Lisa says:

    I think they manke the rules up as they go along. Why the hell would a few postage charges at the USPS website make them think there was fraudulent activity? Morons.

    Hope your back is better today!

  13. Lewis says:

    So, if I happened to be there, could I have had a special pill too? You know, like, sharing the goods with an old friend (heavy on the OLD part here). that’s a real pisser. I can’t stand when the face of everyday, normal, humanity runs smack into the nameless, faceless, brick of dark corporate worlds. The collision of the computer interfaces! Smacks of Sigourney Weaver and that Alien deal. Can’t you just screw the bank and keep all of your $$$$ (the millions that come in each week) underneath your couch cushion just like grandma always did? It was either there or in her bra.

  14. Fogspinner says:

    Total bullshit. I know because we just had something similar happen with one of our cards. The flagged it for fraud and wouldn’t even let me make a payment on it, which is how I found out. I called in, they said, Oh ok, so you have the card. I say yes, and instantly my card was accessible again.
    UsBank sucks donkey balls anyway. We left them years ago after years of them screwing up our accounts.

  15. Jeff says:

    I’ll be happy to *be* the post office and call for you. Just send me the number!

  16. Kyra says:

    Hmmmm…. I wonder what happens when it’s real fraud, maybe those guys can get them to clear it. You just need to be a crook to get them to treat you right.

    Sorry about your back. You are only supposed to hurt it doing more… productive things than hauling boxes. Makes the injury worth it. Something you need to work on there, Dave. 😉

  17. Walt says:


    I assume one of those boxes is coming to me. No need to kill yourself over a bunch of t-shirts and buttons. Take it slow, don’t waste your lunchtime, I’ll get them when you send them. Life’s too short to worry about this kind of shit.

    Short and sweet our society is cranking out idiots! Since the bar is being set so low these days, I’ve come to realize that I should not expect greatness from one person and then applaud for the tard that figures out how to get to work on time. For my own sanity, I’ve got to start treating everyone like a tard ’cause too many already exist for my once socially common expectations to continue. Maybe you should try lowering your expectations as well. Tard’s are sucking the life from the world and there’s no Jedi force to combat them. They are force suckers able to idiotically ignore, discount, and discredit, any and all facts in a blind barrage of stupidity. No amount of greatness can conquer them. They are the greatest beasts Satan has ever created. They are the living brain dead! They feed on your bright mind like fly larvae on a bloated deer carcass. Pretend to be one of them before it is too late!


  18. sizzle says:

    ugh! how irritating!

    i do, however, like the part where you said, “Are you kidding me? Transfer me to a supervisor before my brain explodes.”

  19. ajooja says:

    I had a stolen identity case that took months and months to get settled. If my local branch didn’t hate the national fraud department as much as me, I would have had a lot of extra charges for something I didn’t do.

  20. Bre says:

    a) I hope your back feels better soon – there’s nothing worse than throwing it out!

    b) I’m also extremely frustrated with the post office who, even though I submitted my change of address online and accpeted the $1 fee to my credit card (for authorization purposes, of course) STILL doesn’t forward my mail. Idiots.

  21. Baak says:

    Based on that experience alone I would move my account(s) elsewhere. They sound incompetent.

  22. Tracie says:

    UGH! This reminds me of my own Bank Horror Story.

    Did the people you spoke with at least speak decent English?

  23. diane says:

    I know a lot of people haven’t been happy since Bank One became Chase, but I give them a lot of credit. Once or twice I’ve gotten a call because there was suspicious activity (usually out of state, or a bunch of transactions in a small period of time) and it was settled with a brief “Oh yeah, that was me. But thanks!”.
    They did call me when my wallet was stolen to tell me there were two large transactions at KMart in the far suburbs. That definitely was not me, and since I had not yet even discovered my wallet was gone, I appreciated the call.
    Hope your back is feeling a little better. Back pain/injury is the worst. 🙁

  24. Shame about all those sick African children.

    “They won’t even talk to you because there’s no actual fraud involved.” I like that. You’re obviously not worthy of speaking with the fraud department.

  25. Jennifer says:

    I see I am not alone in dealing with really stupid customer service reps, although in your case it sounds like a stupid policy. I’m convinced the bank guy I talked to today was either being intentional obtuse or he really was a freakin’ idiot.

  26. Good lord. Our Shell Gasoline card company did that to us once because–get this–we were charging gasoline to it. OMG! THE HORROR!

  27. Rob says:

    Dude! Don’t even get me started with USBank! They have so pissed me off for the last time. I am now in the process of changing banks and cards and all money transactions to a different bank for stuff very similar to your encounter with the “Customer Disservice” line.

  28. So…you want me to call the librarians together, visit these folks, and “make them an offer they can’t refuse?”

    No? I’m sure we’d be quite intimidating. You’re sure? *sigh* Fine.

    Sorry you’ve had a crap day, dude. Take care of yourself first, however – the shirts can wait.

  29. minimimi says:

    You know dumbass is a very versatile word… you can have a dumbass, or (god forbid) several dumbasses. Said people usually have a mission to dumbassify the world with their dumbassery. They are easily identifiable by their unusual level of dumbassticity. There is only one solution… liquify them with one’s *laser*.

  30. Mike says:

    When we moved to our actual place from a place 350km away, we came to visit appartments. My card was declined when I tried to refuel the car to get back home.

    On one hand, I was sorta happy they did, on the other hand , I always questioned why the hotel and restaurants were not declined during the first two days of the trip… Let’s deny 30$ worth of gas on the 3rd day, but 300$ of hotel charges and 250$ in restaurant charges, no problem.

    Hope your back’s better.

  31. ChillyWilly says:

    “A Little Geeky” made it to my mailbox yesterday. It looks great and I’ll wear it with pride.

  32. Miss Britt says:

    Let me get this straight.

    The company who is CHARGING potentially fraudulent charges can say “no, everything’s fine”.

    But the cardholder responsible for PAYING the bill cannot?

    This is retarded.

    When we have this problem with our company it has alwys been, in my experience, the cardholder who has to call the bank.

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