Ridiculous Regulations on Shipping/Credit Card Orders

mom_2_4April 28, 2003

I am so upset I could just scream! This is not a money saving tip -- because it's costing me more money.

I placed an order online for a birthday gift to be shipped directly to the recipient in another state. I get a call from the vendor telling me that the order is held up because the "bill to" on my credit/debit card does not match the "ship to" address and that I needed to call my bank to have an "alternate shipping" address added to my account.

Well, my bank tells me that an alternate shipping address can't be added to a credit/debit card. They told me that this policy was to prevent credit card fraud. Excuse me ... I could be wrong ... but I identified myself in every which way but the number of TP sheets I use -- and it is MY CARD! But I can't order the gift unless I have it shipped to my "bill to" address. WHAT????

I understand the philosophy behind it, but it sure makes it difficult for those of us who are honest. I am just furious! So, I have to have this stuff shipped to me, then reship it. Crazy. Just crazy.

Oh -- here's the kicker! My bank told me that I can have the address on my account temporarily changed to the recipient of the gift's address, then change it back. WHAT? I don't think so!

Has anyone else experienced this craziness? Thanks for letting me vent!

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Sorry for your trouble.

As you said, you can see the reason for it.

The credit card carriers lose millions to fraud.

Also - your "credit" card (i.e. "debt" card) isn't *yours*.

It belongs to the credit card company.

They can reclaim it whenever it suits them.

If I may add - it seems to me that you have an unusually accomodating bank official- to show you a way that you could make an end run around the rules.

A method that everyone agrees to be rather devious.

When did you last have that happen?

Good wishes for a subsiding of the blood pressure before any serious damage is done.

Good wishes to you and yours.

joyful guy

P.S. Should you run out of T P, let us know - we make a lot of it in Canada.

Might be able to find some to send to you.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 2:09AM
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I order online very often. I have never heard of this. I have seen some poorly designed checkout pages, and maybe whoever you initially talked to was confused.

There is no policy that the ship-to has to match what's on the credit card. Only the bill-to. Could it possibly be that when you entered the bill-to, it didn't match due to a typo or something, and then to compound things, you got a service rep who didn't really understand the process?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 7:23AM
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I'm with TREKaren on this one. That sounds to me exactly what happened.

The company in question may actually use "ship-to" when they mean "bill-to" which may be confusing things. I'd call back and try to speak with someone different.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 1:35PM
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Joyful, thanks for the giggle. If we ever run out of TP in the US, I'll be calling! hee hee! And yes, I guess my bank was rather accommodating, even though I wouldn't dream of doing as they suggested.

TreKaren and Tribolite -- I was told by both my bank and the vendor that the SHIP TO and BILL TO addresses MUST be the same, because it's so easy for someone to steal your card and take you for thousands by having things shipped to an address other than yours. In this case I was having something shipped to another state.

I've heard of this policy before but had have never run into this problem myself until now. It seems that some vendors abide by it and some don't. Oh well. The good pay for the bad, I suppose.

Thanks for the chance to vent. I'm still ticked at the major inconvenience (not to mention a late birthday gift!) but I do understand and it's way beyond anything I can control, right?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 7:07PM
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I work in the credit card industry and I have never heard of such a regulation on any of the networks I do business with.

If someone did steal your credit card and do some online ordering, there are a few key points to protect both you and the merchant:
1) by steal card, I'm assuming steal your number, but not the actual card, since if someone stole your card, you'd have had it turned off.
2) if someone stole your number and used it, you can do a chargeback for any fraudulent charges. so you have no risk, as long as you check your statements each month.
3) the merchants are now required to ask for a card id code, which is embossed on the back of your credit card. If they had only stolen your account number, they would not be in possession of your card id code. The merchant can certainly waive doing this, but if they do, they lose protection against chargebacks.
4) another chargeback level of protection is bill-to address verification. Again, the theory of the credit card networks is that if someone stole your number, they would most likely not know your address. Again, if the address and zip don't match, when the merchant authorizes, it is up to them to accept the order. If they accept a mismatched order, and a chargeback comes back on them, there is no protection for the merchant.

So based on (4), many merchants will decline your card, if address verify doesn't match. But again, this is strictly bill-to, per credit card network regulations.

I did a google, and I do see that one bank (who oddly enough, gives me a lot of trouble at work), Wells Fargo, has an odd rule that your credit card must be configured with the bill-to address, and a set of possible ship-to addresses. If you enter a ship-to that is not on the list, they will decline the order.

This is apparently something unique to them and maybe a few other banks, but the credit-card networks behind the scenes do not require this.

In fact, one odd thing I see on a site is this comment: "We hear time and again that "other companies didn't require this" but those other companies are not following security regulations that are required by all credit card issuers."

But that is just not true. I work with the issuers, and the most critical requirement to them is the card id code, closely followed by address verification of bill-to.

Visa is probably the strictest, and they have issued '12 commandments' of best practices in credit card processing. And this bill-to ship-to nonsense isn't there.

Beyond your control? I just would not shop with that online merchant again.

(by the way, during the order entry process, were you asked for your card id code?)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 7:59AM
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Mom, that's absolutely NOT the case. I shop online all the time and at places like Amazon.com, Avon.com, QVC.com, and so on. I always use a different address for my ship-to address, and that address is not recorded anywhere by the bank issuing my card.

I also own a business and have a merchant account so I take orders all day with ship-to addresses different than the bill-to address (which is the only addy that must match the billing address on the card). The store you're ordering from is clueless or confused, and your bank sounds confused too.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2003 at 7:45PM
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TreKaren -- wouldn't you know that I bank with Wells Fargo???

But they still insist they are industry-wide regulations ...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2003 at 12:37PM
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Hi mom 2 24,

How be you ask Wells Fargo for their email address, then forward TREKaren's message.

Suggest that they may be still back in the last century, when they got started. "horse and buggy days" Weren't they related to the Pony Express?

I hope that you're all enjoying your weekend.

ole joyful

P.S. Ask:

1. what interest rate is being charged on your account now,

2. whether they charge a fee to transfer your account out

3. whether their company offers new subscribers a lower interest rate for a number of months in the beginning and

4. if they say that they do, ask what it is, and comment that you've heard of some that charge less (even 0%) and are asking on a skinflint website where you can find one.

That should shake things up a bit.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 12:51AM
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I do quite a bit of shopping on-line. Some merchants DO say on their checkout page that the billing and shipping address must be the same for security purposes, others do not. It apparently depends on the individual merchant and their experiences with fraud.

I've had a couple cases in which the order was held pending confirmation of the (different) shipping address, and in one case of a rather large order, the card bank called me to confirm it.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 1:35AM
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I must say, I order online all the time and have different ship to and bill to addresses. In fact, I own a home in another state and often have home items shipped there for that house and have them bill me here...

Order it from someone else who knows what the He** is going on...

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 1:38AM
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I've ordered from a lot of places that didn't require the addresses to match. I did order from one place that did. My BIL has also encountered this - the company wouldn't ship to anywhere except the billing address.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2003 at 9:35AM
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I do bookkeeping for several individuals. They have their credit card bills sent directly to my address to save them time. They have items shipped to their home all the time. However, last week, one company did ship an item to me that was meant for them.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2003 at 11:42AM
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As a computer analyst, I find it ridiculous that they have a place for you to enter the same address twice when they require it to be the same. If they require that the shipping address and the billing address be the same, why don't they have ONE form called "Shipping and Billing Address" This way, you only enter the address once and prevent people from entering two addresses, which is against their policy anyway.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2003 at 3:51PM
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