Capital One not only boasts commercials with various vikings and other barbarians, but also a strong claim of fraud protection. It was with that in mind that i rang them up last night, as i was about to drop some major expense onto my Capital One card, including a purchase from a new website that would be shipping to an alternate address. AKA, recipe for a declined charge.
Calmly and with the air of one resigned to the large amount of money he was about to spend i explained my predicament to the phone rep. She told me never-to-fear, that we would add the alternate address as a note on my file so that any questions about the validity of my purchase from vendors or the fraud department would be headed off at the pass.
Having found a rare phone rep who sounded as if she knew what she was talking about, i let her do her thing. I think i almost offered to send her flowers, but settled for passing my complements along to her supervisor.
Fast forward to today, twelve-hours post buying binge, when i check my email to discover that one of my transactions had declined. Not the special, weird transaction, but a normal one with Amazon.
And, a few minutes later, so did another. And a third. And a fourth.
None of the transactions to the new address declined. Neither did those paid in Pounds or Euros. Just the standard American purchases that probably comprise half of my credit card statements from 2006 – sheet music.
Because, clearly, someone had stolen my card and was using it to buy obscure Madonna sheet music to send to my house. Oh my god, please save me from the fraudulent horror of rare, out-of-print Madonna sheet music. In two of the declined cases we’re talking about a single copy of a piece of sheet music out of the entire internet, verified via approximately six hours of hunting.
On this phone call i was much less calm, and i spoke to a much less confident phone rep. His name had a ‘v’ in the middle of it. He, uh, thought that, um, maybe my card had been flagged for fraud? Possibly. Because, ahhh, because of the amount of online transactions I made on the card over the past week.
“Levine,” i said, “I think every purchase on the card in 2006 was made online. From the same stores that are being declined.”
Devon “ahhed” in agreement.
“So, why is it declining now that I’m relying on it to pay for twenty-year-old, nearly one-of-a-kind sheet music?”
Irvin “ummed” in confusion.
“Howabout we just put a note on my file that says, ‘Book purchases will never be fraudulent?'” I resisted the urge to add, “or any itemized charge including the word Madonna.”
Slevin “uhhed” for a moment before agreeing that this was doable.
The upshot of that story is that fourteen days from now I will have in my possession sheet music for all but a dozen of Madonna songs (not counting Evita tunes), and of the ones I’ll be missing most people have only heard three.
At that time my office will be officially dubbed the International Madonna Sheet Music Library.
(In case you’re interested, the three common tunes are “Burning Up,” which inexplicably doesn’t exist as sheet music, “Beautiful Stranger,” and “American Pie.” Though, if you’re a connoisseur you will probably also know the trio of “Physical Attraction,” “I Know It,” and “Think of Me” from her first LP. However, I’d be surprised if anyone would really miss my ability to play “Gambler,” “Spotlight,” or “Time Stood Still,” and would be outright shocked if many people have heard b-sides “Cyberraga,” “Your Honesty,” or the crazy-obscure “Supernatural.”)