No gasoline for me: MasterCard cancels my card

Stopped at my local Shell station recently to fill up my van. I have used my Shell MasterCard for almost six years due to the discount that it offers for Shell purchases.

Much to my surprise, the pump refused to authorize my card and said, "See Attendant."

Well, I HATE going into the stations, that is part of the reason I like to pay at the pump. I talked with the attendant who informed me that my card was declined.

What? I have never missed a payment, never been late, and always paid my balance in full. I quickly got on the phone to the credit card company who informed me that a "recent full review of my credit resulted in the cancellation of my card." When I tried to press them as to what was the issue, they suggested I review my credit information. I informed them that it would have been nice to know I was canceled BEFORE I went to the gas station to get the gas. She said, "A letter will be coming shortly."

Since both of my college kids are on my gas card, I quickly got calls from them wondering if we were going into bankruptcy. I dodged their questions while I looked up my credit information on the internet. Yes, there was a very old bill that I had refused to pay because I didn't owe it from 2006, but also a recent entry from Boston Store. Now, I have no idea why Boston Store reported me to the credit agencies. I don't owe them money, paid them on time, and have never missed a payment.

I quickly filed a dispute and contacted the billing for Boston Store to ask, "What gives?" I was informed by customer service that there does appear to be an error on their part. He told me to print out the credit report and fax it back with a signature for them to re-evaluate.

I was irate. As I explained to them, it was their mistake, not mine. Why can't they fix it? Why does it mean additional time, hassle, and problems for me? I can see why people get in trouble with their credit through no fault of theirs!

I will be faxing the report tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens.

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For her FREE e-mail newsletter, please sign up at The People Pro.

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