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Why my big-box store credit card numbers didn’t add up

By Edward A. Forbes The Bulletin

I upgraded my Amazon Store Credit Card to an Amazon Prime Credit Card, or at least I thought I did. I received a letter three weeks after my change requesting that I call the Chase Bank about my application.

I called Chase the next business day and was asked to verify my identity. This is weird, I thought, and we began the following conversation.

“We need you to verify your Social Security number,” I was told.

“It’s on the application,” I replied.

“Yes sir, we need you to verify your Social Security number. It didn’t match up to your name.”

I applied for my Social Security number when I was in the fifth grade. I did it all by myself, and I applied as Eddie (my preferred name), not as Edward.

“Does it match for Eddie Forbes?”

“No sir, we need you to verify your Social Security number.”

I bit my tongue and tried not to be irritated and reiterated my Social Security number.

“Could you verify your address and phone number?”

Exasperated at their incompetence, I complied.

“O.K., Mr. Forbes, that should take care of everything, and you should receive your card in five to seven working days.”

Acting my age, I snottily inquired, “What’s the deal here?”

“Mr. Forbes, you put your phone number in as your Social Security number.”

Well, that was a startling development. I don’t make mistakes like that, I thought, unless - of course - I do. I have noticed that multitasking is becoming less reliable than in the days of yore. I have been humbled. I am slowing down and find I need to double-check my work.

In an effort to combat these mental errors, I began working out and trying to diet. The diet thing is more of an idea than reality. I was so proud of myself the other day that I had cucumber and bell pepper slices with a dill dip for a snack.

I noticed as I was giving myself a pat on the back for my constraint that I had six oatmeal raisin cookies in the other hand.

Baby steps, Eddie, I told myself, baby steps.

(Edward Forbes wants to hear from you. Email him at or send comments by snail mail to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton TX. 77516.)


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