For the first time in my life, I lost my purse. I know exactly how it happened too since I’m actually someone that has always been paranoid about losing it. It fell out of my unzipped bag as I commuted home. I remember hearing the “thud” and looked around to see if I saw what fell, but alas, I didn’t look well enough, because my entire life is in a purse in someone else’s hand. Worse yet, it was a cute Coach one that I had gotten for a gift from my old boss during one of her moments of guilt and lucidity.
I don’t carry cash in my purse (primarily because I have no money), so I wasn’t worried about that. My credit cards have great personal liability limits (maximum of $50 on one card and none on the others) in case someone charged up the world, so I wasn’t worried about that one either. In fact, under federal law, $50 is the maximum that any bank can charge you for the unauthorized use of your credit card. What worried me was my host of debit cards – 3 in all and where they were on a Friday night in New York.
Have you ever looked at what you would be responsible for if your debit card ended up in someone else’s hands? According to the Federal government, your liability for the unauthorized use of your ATM or debit card depends on how quickly you report the loss. Typically, if you report that the card is lost before it has been used, your bank can not hold you liable for any charges that follow your report. If you report your card lost or stolen within two business days after you realize that your card is missing, you will not be responsible for more than $50 for unauthorized use. If you don’t report the loss within two business days after you discover the loss, you could lose up to $500. I lost my card on Friday night on the way home and within 2 hours of being home, I noticed that it was gone and popped online and the phone to cancel all of my cards.
My first call was to Chase which promptly informed me that one of my cards had already been canceled about an hour before. Great, I thought! Someone is already out there spending my meager cash. Nope. It turns out that someone called Chase to report that they had found my purse. Nice! I just knew that I was going to get my stuff back. Know what Chase had done? Promptly thanked the caller, canceled my card and didn’t take any contact information from the person. Now, I’ve found a purse or two and I distinctly remember calling Chase once when someone walked out of the bank ATM area and left their card and purse sitting there. I remember Chase not caring about the purse or anything and canceling the card while I was on the phone. They were finished with the call as soon as they canceled the card. I would have thought that they would take my information since I told them that I had someone’s purse and perhaps contacted the person to let them know that I wanted to return their property. Nope! I had to insist that they take my number and make a note on the account in case the person called in. In the end I just wound up dropping the bag of at the person’s house since I found their information in the bag.
To the good Samaritan that found my purse and tried to do the right thing, thanks! It would be great if you could swing by my home (address on driver’s license in the front) and drop that bad boy off or drop it in a Priority Mail envelope C.O.D. addressed to me. To Chase, I’d love to help you change how you handle those types of phone calls. Customer service doesn’t end with you canceling your card; it begins with you trying to connect the lost item back to your client. Now, I just have to worry about my medical insurance cards, replace my store cards, BJ card, driver’s license, etc. etc. Thankfully I never, ever carry my social security card or anything with those numbers on it.
What To Do If You Lose Your Purse or Wallet
1. File a police report. Not necessary in all cases, but just in case.
2. Contact your credit card companies and have the accounts closed.
3. Check your local DMV. Report ID lost and order replacement.
4. Contact your health provider for new cards.
5. If necessary contact credit bureaus to have a fraud alert activated.
6. Buy new purse or wallet.
7. Pop 2 Tylenol for the massive headache that you’ll have.
8. Book a massage. You’ll need it.