Nov 302009
 

I forgot to pay my Barclaycard bill this month. The amount I forgot to pay was massive. Absolutely huge.

Yes, the balance from my statement last month was a staggering £21.28.

Okay, that small amount of sarcasm aside (almost as small as the amount in question), at the end of the day the payment was due and I forgot to make it. It was my mistake, so let’s just get on to the point of this:

I received a telephone call from them yesterday to remind me the payment was overdue. The guy only asked me one security question – one of only a very few, in fact, that I’d be willing to answer given that they called me and, therefore, could actually have been just about anyone claiming to be from Barclaycard, phishing for information. I can’t even remember now which it was – postcode, date of birth, something like that. I don’t mind answering those security questions because they provide no real security whatsoever, since they are so easy to find out by other means. If he’d asked me for my password or ID number, or anything like that, on the other hand, his request would have been met with a flat refusal.

It’s what followed, though, that left my flabber absolutely gasted.

He actually offered to take my debit card details in order to make the payment.

That’s right, someone from Barclaycard – who could actually have been anyone and who, frankly, should therefore know better – rang me, a customer, and suggested I give him my debit card details.

We should all know by now that we must be careful of phishing emails, those that purport to come from our banks etc, with dubious looking links to dubious websites designed to look like the real thing, and steal our access details (and with them our money) – don’t click on such a link, instead type your bank’s website address into the URL bar of your browser (though, strangely, many people seem to think that means the Google search box!) – and the same should be true of telephone calls. Don’t give sensitive information to anyone who rings you – they could be just about anyone.

Yet Barclaycard clearly expects people to do just that.

For the record, I told him I would log onto the Barclaycard website there and then and make the payment, which is what I did – paying it in full, including the new transactions that have occurred since that statement, such as the £12 fee for not paying on time. A whole £54.27.

VinceH