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And the Saga Continues...

Back in August, I mentioned how Protection One keeps taking money out of my checking account even though I 1) canceled my account through them in around February or March, 2) deleted the automated, recurring payment I had set up on their web site, and 3) deleted my bank account information from Protection One's web site in the express hope that they would not be able to bill me if they didn't have that.

I recommend that no one who reads this ever do business with Protection One, which is now owned by BellSouth and calls themselves "BellSouth Security."

They took yet another $80.85 out of my checking account. I went to their site. No bank account information, no recurring payment is set up. So I called them. They swear up and down that it's coming from me; i.e., Wachovia. That I'm initiating the payments every three months. I had them transfer me to a manager, and I left him an Irate but Calm™ voice mail demanding that he call me back today and that I want this resolved today. 1

Then I checked Wachovia's web site. Sure enough, there is no recurring payment set up through them. There never was. I have checked and re-checked and re-re-re-re-re-checked. It's just not there, nor was it ever there. I am 100% certain Wachovia is not to blame. I called Wachovia anyway and they did some research and told me that SunTrust CheckFree is actually the one who is siphoning the money out of my account, and that I should call them to put a stop on it and find out what's going on. CheckFree is the service Protection One/BellSouth Security is using to siphon money out of people's checking accounts. Wachovia gave me the CheckFree transaction ID and trace number.

I called SunTrust's CheckFree ACH department, left a voice mail, and they called me back within a minute. They swear up and down that Protection One is still requesting the draft every three months like clockwork. It absolutely is coming from Protection One, because CheckFree doesn't initiate payment requests. I informed them that I have deleted the automated, recurrent payment from Protection One and that it shouldn't be possible. She did some research and gave me another number to call at Protection One and a subscriber ID if they gave me any problems.

I called Protection One back and spoke to a third person, who informed me that it absolutely is not them, and that my bank is lying to me (his exact words) if they say it's not them doing it.

So, to recap:
Protection One says it absolutely is Wachovia.
Wachovia says it absolutely is SunTrust CheckFree.
SunTrust says it absolutely is Protection One.
Do you see my dilemma? It's like a lovely game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, only it's being played with my money.

Back in August, at least one person told me that I should deal with it through the bank, by putting a stop payment on it. I did not because they did call me back and they did refund the money they owed me. Again. And I was Assured™ that It Would Not Happen Again™.

What a laugh.

I am waiting to see whether the ass-face at Protection One calls me back. Which he better do ASAP, because the longer he makes me wait, the more "fun" it's going to be to talk to me on the phone about this issue, which has been on-going for more than eight months.

I'm so very, very tempted to do a four-way call and get someone from SunTrust CheckFree and Wachovia on the line while I call Protection One and let them all battle it out. I'm satisfied that it is neither Wachovia nor CheckFree that is doing it, but the trick is going to be convincing someone at Protection One to dig into the database—not the website—to see that it is, indeed, them. I'm convinced this is a bug in their system, somewhere. I deleted the recurring, automated payment and the account information for my bank, but there's a table in a database somewhere on a machine deep in the bowels of Protection One's co-location that has an orphaned child record that is still causing them to generate transactions every three months. It is not the fault of the customer service people, nor their managers, but those are the people I have to deal with and convince. And those are the people at whom I'm becoming more and more frustrated (yet calm).

[Update 17:12 - Assface just called me back. Just after 5:00, you'll notice. He asked me the same questions, gave me the same empty reassurances, and is now off contacting the same people that I've already talked two at least twice today already, and said he'd call me back. I'm so unbelievably sick of this. Why is it so damned hard to just admit that there's a problem and deal with it rather than insisting that there's an ID-10-T or PEBCAK issue?]

  1. How many people want to take bets on whether he'll call the number I left on his voice mail (which is my work number) or the number on my account, which is the land line I canceled back in February?


I had this whole thing in my head about the 2000th post being "postworthy" (see the Seinfeld "Spongeworthy" episode) and I wanted to make sure it wasn't some piddly little nonsense. I should have known something would crop up that I needed to make a record of (yes, my journal is actually being used to keep track of how often I have to deal with this crap). Such is life. :) The other alternative, of course, was to make post #2000 a metapost about post #2000 and how I wanted it to be "postworthy." Which...I guess I sort of did, anyway. :)

Atheists Are People, Too  Antispam  


( 2 hisses — Hiss at me! )
Nov. 28th, 2007 03:44 am (UTC)
I suppose it would be overkill to cancel the bank account.
Nov. 28th, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
Don't think I haven't thought it.

*sigh* I suppose what I'll have to end up doing is contacting the bank and getting a permanent block on Protection One so that they can never take another penny out. I'm just enough of a masochist to let it ride until February just to see if they're stupid enough to try it again, but I'm also just fed up enough with it that I want it to go away. Permanently. I'm certainly never going to use Protection One again if I do decide to have someone start monitoring my alarm system again.

Edited at 2007-11-28 04:09 am (UTC)
( 2 hisses — Hiss at me! )

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