| one of the "business processes" is that somebody calls their issuing
| bank and disputes a charge by a specific merchant on such & such a date.
| the issuing bank eventually provides notice to the merchant (giving the
| account number, date, and purchase details). the merchant then looks for
| a transaction (in their transaction log) for that account number on that
| date. In some cases, the merchant bank processor may provide an online
| service for merchants ... where the merchant processor keeps the online
| merchant transaction log on behalf of merchants for things like dispute
| resolution (this may include things like online library of digital
| images of the original reciepts).
I just had that experience.  My bill contained one charge that made no sense
at all, and one for a local store whose name I don't know.  I called the
issuing bank.  They could provide essentially no useful information.  All they
could offer was to send me a copy of the original charge information - whatever
that is - which would take 4-6 weeks.  (How can *anything* take 4-6 weeks?  If
they had to get this from backup tapes out at Iron Mountain, OK - but for
charges made in the last month?)  I could tell that for one transaction, this
wasn't going to help at all:  The company was a computer supplier that works
mainly on-line or by phone.  (They may have a physical store in California.)
What "original records" could they have?

Anyhow ... I called the computer vendor, and they were able to search their
database on the CC account number.  It was, indeed, a fraudulent order -
shipped to a town 30 miles from me.

The other order - on the same day - remains a mystery.  It's at a record and
DVD store, but the only name they have is something like "Record and DVD
Store".  It *could* be a DBA for the local Tower Records; it could be some
unrelated store where the same guy who ordered the computer stopped in for
a couple of DVD's.

It's clear that the CC companies really don't care very much.  They are happy
to issue me a new account and dump the charges back on the vendors.  If I
choose to do the research and find out where the charged merchandise ended
up ... they'll take the data from me, but probably not do anything with it.
It's not costing *them* anything.

It's also clear that they don't expect customers to look closely at, or
question, their bills.  If they did, they'd make sure that meaningful merchant
names appeared on the bills, or at least were available if you called to ask
about a charge.
                                                        -- Jerry

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