Use what approach to call Mom's credit card company?

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Hi all - Mom got into a mess with a health club membership, and it's almost cleared up except she accidentally has two cards with her credit card company now, and the charges and refunds on the statements don't make total sense.


She's talked to the company a lot, but at 85 is a bit confused. I want to review the details with them: should I call 'as myself' and they'll understand why I'm calling for her, or pretend to be her so I don't have to go through lots of rigamarole? During the conversation I need to make sure they close the first card (which she's told them, but it's evidently still open). Thanks in advance.

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Wow, I hadn't heard that kind of story Garden, that is sad. Reading the VA code it occurred to me how much a club has to protect themselves, too. I wouldn't go to one either. AZ, that is really good to know, thanks! Mom is going to hover and speak while I'm speaking to the person, which is why I wanted to do it alone :) but I'll do it there instead. It's a Discover so far as I know there's no location to go.
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I had to discuss my Mom's credit card a couple of times. What we did was have Mom next to me while I made the call, and the card co asked for Mom to get on the line and give the Okay for them to talk with me about her card. I passed the phone to Mom, she authorized me verbally, and then I was able to discuss the card matters just fine, and explain it to Mom when the call was over.
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Shame on that young fellow - that's really predatory sales tactics.

Something else that's a major issue and which most people don't seem to be aware of are the indemnification clauses in health club contracts. They typically absolve the health club of all responsibility and/or liability if the user is injured. I've even seen one that required a user to hold harmless and indemnify the health club if others were injured, such as if a user accidentally hurt someone else.

For that reason, I won't join a health club; I'm really adamant about that.

Some years ago that clause was upheld in either a Michigan Appeals or Supreme Court decision (it's been several years and I don't remember which court level.) A woman was injured on equipment (might have not improperly maintained but I'm not sure), sued, but was denied recourse by the appellate court because the user agreement she signed had the nonrecourse clause.
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Thank you both! The charges are reversed with the health club, which is good. Yeah, she's ok with a CC, she's 99% a cash user. The second card complicated the back end. I'd hoped to make this call on my own, but you're right, I'll make it from her place (conf call not technically possible :). We need to do a POA, Garden, you're right. She went into a health club, unprepared for what I'll call today's world, and walked out with a $400/month personal trainer contract that she's not fit for, sold by a slick young fellow. Lesson learned for her, and I know Virginia 'spa' law pretty well now!
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Don't pretend you're someone else. That's not the way to handle the situation.

Make a conference call with your mother to the credit card customer service line and explain the situation; ask if there's a way (and what forms do they want) for you to be an authorized party only for discussion purposes to resolve the issues.

Or if it's a bank issued card, go with your mother to the bank and ask for copies of the bills as well as authority to discuss the issues with them.

In the meantime, if there are potentially fraudulent charges, provide the credit card company a notice pursuant to the Fair Credit Billing Act challenging the questionable charges. Notice has to be received by the credit card company within 60 days of the date the charge first appears on the statement in order to preserve your mother's rights.

That way you're on record of disputing the charges in the event some are inaccurate.

I'm assuming though that your mother hasn't executed a power of attorney authorizing you to handle legal and financial matters for her? That would greatly help.
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Are you sure someone who is "a bit confused" should have a cc at all?
It might not be legal, but I would just call and pretend to be her, it just saves you a whole lot of hassle. You might have to call from her phone though, as they can track where the call is coming from. While you are cancelling the one card you might want to consider lowering the credit limit on the other one.
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