The Credit Card Caper
you read my column on a regular basis, you will recall that I was
shopping for a pair of navy pants a few weeks ago and ended up buying
everything else in the store, but no pants. Not easily discouraged, I
decided to check out a different store.
I decided I would give SteinMart a try, name brands,
low prices. This time I was determined to have tunnel vision and look
only for what I came for, namely navy pants. Like at most stores, I
found black pants, all styles all sizes, but no navy.
But wait! What is that? Can it be? Yes, a pair of navy
pants, just the kind I am looking for!
Still in shoppers' shock, I went to the ladies
dressing room to try them. They fit perfectly and were exactly the
right price as well. It was a good day for shopping.
I went to the cash register looking neither left nor
right to avoid being side-tracked. Out of the corner of my eye I could
see all sorts of fashionable temptations, but I don't need any more
Excited to find something at exactly the right price,
exactly the right size, and exactly the right color, I handed the item
over to the cashier ready to pay and get out of this den of fashion
before I weakened.
"Would you like to open a charge account and get
a 10% discount?" she asked.
Now, I really didn't need a charge card. I only came
here today because I couldn't find what I wanted elsewhere. But a
discount is a discount.
"Okay,” I replied, "What do I need to
"I just need your driver's license," she
said, "And your social security number." In a flash I had
applied for a credit card and got the discount, paying even less than
I expected. It was a very good day.
"Your card will come in the mail"” she
"Yes, and I will cut it up and throw it
away"” I thought silently to myself. I only wanted the
A few days later the letter came from SteinMart.
"Your request was reviewed and denied for the following reason:
Credit Bureau reports applicant is deceased."
I'm deceased? I don't think so. I feel just fine –
or did until I got this letter.
"If you feel there is an error in your credit
report, please contact the consumer reporting agency."
If it isn't one thing, it's another. But I suppose I
need to call and see if I can get this mess straightened out. Wonder
how you prove you are alive?
I called the credit agency and tried to talk to
someone. All I got was the usual maze of "push this number, push
that number" until I was hopelessly lost. None of the choices
said anything about a number to push if you are dead. Finally, I gave
up. At least one of the recordings gave me the address to write to
them and report an error.
I suppose they thought an identity thief was trying to
open a card in my name. "How can I steal my own identity?" I
wondered. I don't care about the credit card, but sometime down the
road I might need to verify I'm credit worthy.
I hate being dead.
Maybe I'm a ghost? If I am, I plan to haunt SteinMart.
What am I supposed to do? I've never been dead before.
If I had known I was deceased, I would not have
worried so much about navy pants.
I'm sure I will get this straightened out sooner or
later. Maybe if I write them often enough, they will figure out that
dead people don't write letters.
I've heard of shopping till you drop, but I didn't
know they meant till you drop dead.