Posted On: Tuesday - June 29th 2021 11:24AM MST
In Topics:   Economics  Big-Biz Stupidity  Scams
Before I get into this, let me state that the Scams topic key is not attached here to indicate that Visa Account Updater itself is a scam. It CAN be, however, helpful for situations in which one IS being scammed, helpful for the scammer, that is. Therefore, this topic key reflects that the post does involve scamming.
We just learned something new about the American financial world a couple of days ago. My wife had ordered some type of vitamin pills, nutrition supplements, or what-have-you on-line. I'm not sure if I've yet got it straight whether she signed up for recurring monthly shipments with their recurring charges on the credit card or whether that was unexpected.
I'll state right now that I avoid signing up for ANYTHING that involves automatic repeating payments. My wife may be seeing the light on this. However, it's not always possible, or at least easy, to avoid them. One instance is the cell phone bill. For a few of the companies we've been through, they will charge you an extra $5, maybe $10 even, if you just want to send checks each month*. There are so many deadbeats out there that, as they always say, "ruin it for the rest of us". It's true in this case. I still resent being considered a likely deadbeat from the get-go or having to pay more for the small risk the Big Biz operation takes. (They can just cut off service easily enough these days, with the flip of a
My wife didn't think these pills were worth anything after a while, so she had written or called that she didn't want any more. This company apparently wasn't having any of that. When she got another batch of these things** in the mail the next month she cut off the credit card***. They kept on coming, well at least one more month, because that's when she realized they were charging the items on the replacement CC with a new number. WTF! She was on the phone with them using the word "scam" a number of times, and I ended up writing a post on facebook (I'm no member, but my wife has some kind of bogus account), going all out and noting that perhaps these people were •Indian credit card hackers. I kind of regret that latter bit, as only then did we get the story straight from the bank that the CC was issued by.
So that's the back story, and here's what most Americans probably don't have any idea about. (We sure didn't.): There's an operation, I believe a part of the Visa company itself, but, I'm not sure on that, called "Visa Account Updater". It is a middle-
The nice bank lady explained the following to me on the phone: In the recent past, a merchant and its, spit, "acquirer" would have received some sort of electronic bad card notice in the past on a cancelled card number. It was too bad for them if the customer already had already gotten the product or made use of their service. That's good, or that's bad, but that's the subject of Part 2. Now what happens is this middle-computer Visa Account Updater outfit has been fed the new CC number of this card holder. After the charge on the first card is denied, the merchant/etc. will make use of the VAU service - there's very likely a charge! - and have the amount charged to the new card. That merchant doesn't receive the new CC info (number, expiration date, and 3-digit code), but it just gets its money from the customer's account.
This is interesting stuff. I do understand the need for it, as it can actually help the many customers who have to change CCs often due to scammers. I also understand that this can cut the leverage out from a customer who is being scammed. As I wrote just above, Part 2 will cover more about this Visa Account Updater.
PS: We wondered a while ago how my friend was able to get the Uber ride working when he knew it had only his old, cancelled CC in the system. We got the ride, the driver was certain he'd get his 75% cut (I tip in cash), and we figured Uber can just suck it if they don't get paid. Now I get completely what happened.
* For that matter, on some of the bills that I can actually count on not being somehow screwed by Big Biz on anytime in the near future, I'll even pay 6 months ahead. They should be spending time down on their knees in their corporate "worship center" just praising God for customers like me... well, until they piss me off.
** I wonder if they've got that old guarantee I used to see on the TV commercials: "If you are not satisfied, we'll send you another one, for FREE!"
*** Which has also been a recurring thing. The charges from scammers have been coming almost fast enough to where I can "burn my (old) credit cards for fuel". (Old, old, Neil Young reference there. Anyone here know which song, besides me?)
**** Sometimes, the first responder is the patient himself, who becomes responsive, gets up and says "fuck this sheeet, homies. I'm gonna get outta here fore the popo finds out how many shots I done took first!"