Sony Playstation Security Breach & How My Credit Card Companies Reacted

When the email from Sony arrived in my inbox my first reaction was  WHAT?

My personal information and that of 77 million other users was compromised.  Specifically, the email said, name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birth date, password and login, and handle/PSN online ID were taken.  The hacker may also have taken billing address and password security answers.

That’s enough information for ANYONE, even an over the hill writer like me, to be able to steal identity and start opening up credit card accounts.  But that’s not the worst news Sony delivered.  The email also said, “…while there is no evidence at this time that credit card data was taken, we cannot rule out the possibility.”

So, in a nutshell, me and 77 million other people were in the position of having our identities stolen, our credit cards used and our credit scores seriously damaged.  I hit the phone and called the companies of the only two credit cards I have.  The reactions of these companies could not have been more different.

Barclay’s MasterCard

ME – Explain, explain, explain that Sony had been hacked and I needed to change my password and I couldn’t get into the account.

Customer Service – Gee, I can’t help you with that.  And technical support  doesn’t open until 8AM.  Can you call back?

ME – I need help now.  I can’t get into my account.  I’m worried.  Is someone from Security available to help me?

Customer Service – I’m sorry the Security team doesn’t start until 8AM.  Can you call back?

ME – Oh, sure, fine.  I’ll call back in a few hours, after the hacker has opened a couple hundred accounts and charged a couple of thousand dollars to each.  REALLY?

Customer Service – Really…sorry.

American Express

ME – I am calling because my Sony account may have been hacked….

Customer Service –  We know all about this issue and we have set up a system to help our customers with it.

ME – Really?

Customer Service – Yes Ma’am.  We are offering to issue new credit cards with entirely different account numbers on them to any customer who is concerned.  We will pay to ship the new card via UPS and yours will arrive in 3 days.

ME – Really?

Customer Service – Yes Ma’am.  And we’ve stepped up account monitoring and will let you know if there is unusual activity.

ME – Really?

Personal Note

I have had an American Express card for more than 20 years and I willingly pay the annual fee because I know that the person on the other end of the phone is ALWAYS going to be ready, willing, able and available to help me whether I am asking about a charge, disputing a claim, or worried that my identity may have been stolen.  Always.

So which card would you want to own?

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