Debit Card Debacle: Charged Over $300 on My Neighbor’s Plastic!

My long-time neighbor and friend Jane and I had just finished a golf lesson and headed to the nearby 19th hole for a pint. We paid our respective bills each sliding the waitress our same-bank debit cards. The next day, I handed the debit card to our garage guy to pay a $300 repair bill on our truck. Card slides, I sign, I stick in wallet. Next I met a niece and paid plastic for my $3.29 frozen coffee. Card slides, no pin/no sign, I stick in wallet.
Later that afternoon on a top secret beer run for my husband (he had just been alerted in an exclusive email that a select brand that had just come in at a local beer cave), I pulled out the card to make that purchase. Card slides, I put in pin—DENIED! The familiar lady behind the counter politely said, “Oops, it says the pin number doesn’t match.”
“Huh?” I went over four digits in my head. “It’s my card…” Then I looked at the slightly scratched name on the rejected card. Jane ______! Not Tanja!
“@#$!” Then out loud, “OMG! It’s my friend’s card!” Then, I when it dawned on me that I had just paid the $300 truck repair bill on HER CARD, I really let out an exasperated OMG!
The counter woman sort of laughed. I gained enough of my senses to write a check for the coveted, designer beer (good wifey), but I lost it in the car! What if my running Jane’s card to the tune of $300 plus dollars set off a chain of bounced withdrawals on her end? I knew there’d be a $29 penalty on each botched transaction! Ca-ching! Ca-ching! Ca-ching!
Stressed and more than a little embarrassed, I dialed Jane. She took the news with an initial “OMG!” Then her usual calm self, “It should be alright, I have enough in there.”
“Oh, Jane, I am so sorry! I will go straight to the bank and pull out the $310 and drive it right over to you!”
“Or you can just write me a check and I will cash it tomorrow,” she said.
I called my husband who was working an overtime shift. He just laughed at first, but then,”Did you get the beer?” Man!
I drove down the street to the now-closed bank and actually walked half way up the sidewalk to the ATM before I realized, I can’t pull the money out! I don’t have MY ATM card, Jane has it!
By the end of the day, we were able to reimburse Jane the truck repair and coffee in cold, hard cash. She and her husband were very good natured about it. Lesson learned. Check to make sure YOUR name is on YOUR card before running it all over the place! Do you have a similar story?
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