I’ve just had the embarrassment of having my Tesco Credit Card refused (in a branch of Tesco’s of all places!) This has happened before at Christmas time. Apparently their sophisticated software interprets our increased spending on presents at this time of year as potentially fraudulent. Presumably they have it set to identify any significant excess expenditure (1.96 standard deviations from the mean isn’t it?) but I can’t help wondering what happens then.
My ‘excess spending’ earlier today has been on parking via iPhone apps that supply the index number of my car (fraudsters often help the police by give clues like that away), a meal with my children in a well known fast food outlet (another popular haunt of fraudsters), a series of spends locally for Christmas presents and, ironically, two transactions with my local Tesco Superstore for provisions and fuel.
So this evening when I wanted to buy an energy drink from an even more local Tesco Express my card was refused. Has a human being looked at today’s transactions? I doubt it. Do Tesco care that I was embarrassed in I one of their stores? I doubt it even more.
I have to confess that my family benefit from Tesco points on this card but I think I may be about to cut mine up!