Originally Posted by Tom Swift
I generally like the checks the banks perform on suspicious actions but sometimes it can go too far. I live in China, so I have to use a VPN constantly in order to get through the Chinese firewall to get things done. I discovered last year that my debit card had been frozen so I contacted the bank. They explained that they had suspended my account since my online banking had one day been accessed in China, then on the next day, San Francisco (the VPN server location). Once I explained to them that I needed to use a VPN, they agreed and told to come in to reset the account. I told them that I was in rural China and would not be back for another seven months so I was unable to reset the account. I could not make them understand that I was unable to come in to reset the account, as they kept on teling me how simple it was to reset. "Just come in to your local branch!" I told them that I would have my sister go in to reset the account, since it was a joint account that I set up for just this reason. If anything happened to it, my sister could deal with it in Canada. I then discovered that my sister can do everything on the account except for this.
After many phone calls, it was decided that every time I wanted to online bank, I would have to phone the bank and they would give me 10 minutes to complete my transactions. This went on for seven months.
When I finally got to Canada, I reset the account and told them to put my situation into their system so this kind of thing would not happen again. They said that cannot do this, that it was an automatic lock.
Like I said, I generally admire the efforts of checking on your accounts, but I would like some common sense involved as well, and not having things lock down automatically, especially if you explain to them the situation.
You have to understand that it's a computer, the monitoring system that locks down the account, and it doesn't have common sense. And any human that may read notes on your file pertaining to the situation would have no way of knowing that it's you that's accessing your account or someone who has taken over your account.
How happy would you be when you have no money in your accounts because they *thought* it was you based on the notes on your account and unlocked it without speaking to you?
It's an unusual situation. It is not fun for you certainly but for security purposes it has to be that way. It's for your protection.
Has anyone ever proposed to you to do telephone banking instead of the computer? You'll be able to do the same things but over the phone and without your account being locked down. Call the number on the back of your card and ask about it. To me, that sounds like the better option for you. Unless of course you're wanting to print out documents but to pay bills and transfer funds, use telephone banking.