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Stories from our customers
Customers regularly tell us about their experiences of having their possessions lost or stolen.
Click on the headings below to expand and read each story.
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A few years ago on a tour in Jordan I had my wallet stolen with credit cards and licence therein. It was afternoon there when I was able to access a phone in the hotel where we were staying. Phone calls to and from Jordan are notoriously expensive, more so from the hotel which was very uncooperative about making a call to Secure Sentinel. Eventually I was able to make a call to my brother-in-law at a cost of $US100. With my 'Sentinel' number he was then able to call Secure Sentinel on my behalf and have all the institutions notified of my loss. Thankfully no accounts had been accessed.
Imagine the cost, the time and the stress, if I had had to phone all the institutions separately. Within 48 hours I had an essential card replaced. I recommend Secure Sentinel for peace of mind, to anyone who travels, particularly overseas.
On our last day in Paris, hours before boarding the overnight train to Barcelona, we decided to hop on the underground to visit a street market. While standing in the very crowded metro my husband was distracted and a pickpocket stole his wallet from his front trouser pocket. We raced off to the nearest police station, where nobody spoke English! With my limited French I understood the directions to another police station and we ran off again...
Then we were seated with a nice young constable with reasonable English. The first thing I requested was a phone call to Australia to notify Secure Sentinel of the theft, assuring the policeman that it was a free call. A very friendly lady reassured us that everything would be taken care of and all cards stopped immediately. We were offered emergency funds and other assistance. Fortunately I was carrying the train and plane tickets and our passports!
It was such a relief to get through so quickly and without needing money or telephone cards for the call and then have a friendly person at home calm our nerves!
It was all done within the hour and we were able to get on our overnight train and have a reasonable rest.
Every traveller's nightmare is to lose a wallet with credit cards, cash, health and insurance particulars enclosed. Overseas this trauma is magnified by not speaking the language, not having any friends nearby and not a policeman in sight.
This happened to my wife and I in Rapallo on the Ligurian Riviera in North West Italy. We were shopping in the central arcade area of the town and after visiting several shops my wife realised she did not have her wallet. After retracing our steps and communicating as best we could with the shopkeepers, we concluded that nobody had seen it and that we would have to somehow cancel all our credit cards, even though we did not have all the numbers at hand.
Tales of illegal use of credit cards are always at the forefront a tourist's mind and prompt action is essential. We had the Australian Secure Sentinel phone number and with one call:
had all our credit cards cancelled
were assured replacements would be organised
received advice to immediately report the loss to the nearest police station in case it was handed in
were advised that reporting stolen items to the police was also vital for insurance purposes
had a comforting person assure us not to worry,
our concerns about credit fraud were allayed
This was a traveler's dream come true, that help was only a phone call away.
Thank goodness for Secure Sentinel.
S & C Robin
We have been Secure Sentinel subscribers since it was Credit Card Sentinel, and have fortunately never needed to use its services. Our regular renewal came due in August 2004, and whilst I was pondering whether to renew, my wife insisted on the security of the cover.
We were driving through Valencia in Spain last year when, while stopped at traffic lights and unbeknown to us, a fellow stabbed our tyre with a knife. When we stopped to change the tyre the fellow distracted us while his accomplice stole my wife's handbag from the front compartment. We had to go to the police station (after one officer kindly changed the tyre for me) and make a statement. I used the public phone in the foyer to phone your Sydney office free of charge using the toll free number on the back of your card.
This was 1pm Sunday Spanish time, and about midnight Sunday in Sydney. Your employee was extremely helpful, re-assuring me that he would cancel my wife's cards immediately and arrange for replacements to be issued for our return. As we were only in the first week of a 7-week trip, and I had other cards we could use, we were not in any need of further help. I hate to think what trouble I may have had trying to ring three banks from a public telephone in Spain, not even knowing the phone numbers to ring as these are printed on the back of the cards!
On our return we found that the cards had been cancelled, and replacements were waiting for us at our banks. Thank goodness for Secure Sentinel.
R Brawn (QLD)
I recently toured Europe for 6 months in a campervan. On arriving at a campground in Bath (UK) I found that my American Express Charge Card was missing from my wallet. I had used it earlier in the day to purchase diesel and I had either left it at the service station or lost it since.
I immediately telephoned Secure Sentinel's freephone number and the card was instantly cancelled.
The operator then transferred my call to American Express where I organised a replacement card.
All done efficiently and safely within two or three minutes.
This one simple mobile call to Secure Sentinel from the campervan saved me what could have been hours of searching for a public phone, telephone directory, cash or a phone card then finding the appropriate number to call. A fantastic service to have at all times but particularly whilst travelling. I would recommend Secure Sentinel to anybody and will never be without their fantastic service.
The day before I was due to fly to Canada my son suggested we go for coffee at a cafe in my local suburb. After ordering coffee we relaxed for a chat.
At that point a hand hit the centre of our outside table (yes, I had for the first and last time in my life put my handbag on the table) as a thief grabbed my handbag and took of at a fast run. Using my arm as leverage my son leaped up and chased him. Thankfully, he was not able to catch him as the thief had two other male accomplices in a nearby car and was able to jump in the moving vehicle and make a rude hand gesture as the car sped away.
The police did a check of the number plate and the make of car but apparently the number plate did not match the car and had probably been stolen. The thief was not apprehended.
Fortunately, my passport and travel documents were not in my handbag. However, I had lost my credit cards and $US. On reaching home I telephoned Secure Sentinel and the staff arranged for all the cards that I had registered with them to be cancelled. They then gave me telephone contact numbers and other assistance to arrange for new cards to be issued.
Secure Sentinel impressed me with the efficiency and kindness of its staff. I was also fortunate in the credit card providers for one provider issued a new card to me by special delivery the next day and the other provider delivered a card to my hotel in Honolulu the day after.
It is important to keep Secure Sentinel up-to-date with card changes and other document registration.
P Bodegraven (ACT)
Late last year I had to make a rush trip to London to visit my dear Mum who had suffered a heart attack. Not long after her discharge from hospital she suffered a second attack, which required me to accompany her in an ambulance for readmission to the Royal London Hospital. After returning from the hospital I discovered that my wallet was missing and after checking with the hospital and taxi company it was evident the wallet (which contained a number of credit cards) was lost.
How easy it was to contact my wife in Australia who merely rang Secure Sentinel to request cancellation of the appropriate cards. They were on the job immediately and also arranged for Visa to contact me by phone to set in train the necessary arrangements for supplying me with an emergency replacement credit card. Handling this through Secure Sentinel saved us much heartache, worry and stress, at a very trying time.
To those who have not bothered to register their credit card, mobile phone, passport and driver's licence details with Secure Sentinel (for a very reasonable outlay), I have a clear and simple message. Do so immediately and save yourself many hassles, as they will efficiently handle everything for you should any of these items go missing.
P.S. My Mum came out of hospital in mid January and is now doing very well.
C Bell (ACT)
Checked luggage in at Virgin counter at the Gold Coast airport.
On arrival in Canberra for a stopover, no luggage.
One week later a baggage handler at Qantas in Hobart rang Secure Sentinel because of the disc on my luggage.
It was promptly returned, to my relief.
My car keys were also handed in from Bendigo and returned to my Launceston address.
I would not be without it.
J Humphreys (TAS)
Recently I was on a business trip flying Qantas Melbourne to Sydney. Unbeknown to me my car keys fell out of my bag in flight and by the time I picked up my baggage in Sydney Qantas staff had obviously phoned you, you had phoned my husband in Melbourne and he in turn phoned me on my mobile to advise that the keys would be at Qantas when I departed Sydney. All this before I realised I had lost them. I was most grateful as my car was parked at Melbourne airport and imagine landing late at night and realising I had lost my car keys.
Thanks for your service.
Most of the testimonials are about the great service away from home. Mine is a little bit more day to day and closer to home.
I parked my bike as I do every day. I went through the routine of removing helmet, gloves and jacket to put into the bikes secure top box before heading off to the office. In my rush to get to the office I picked up my bags and left the bike keys in top box lock. Three Business men on their way to a meeting that morning noticed the keys and thought that it was odd they were still in the lock. They removed the keys from the bike and using the key tag reported the keys via the Sentinel help desk. By 9am I had been contacted by Sentinel with a mobile for the person who reported them and was able to collect my keys before 10am.
Had the keys not been returned it would be a 1hr and 20 min bus ride home to pick up the spare keys. I would then have to bribe my husband to drive back into the city or face leaving the bike over night and catch the bus in the morning. Key replacement for this type of bike is about $30 per key (there are 2 to replace) and 3-4 week wait for the blanks to arrive in Australia.
We had been driving all day from Newcastle to Goulburn. We finally arrived and were extremely tired. I went to get some sandwiches and left my bulky handbag in the park with my husband and three children, and on my return had completely forgotten it, and we promptly drove off without it.
We discovered that I'd left it an hour later, we went back to the park (an hour trip) and it was gone. After checking the police station, I sat on the lawn and called Secure Sentinel. All of the cards were immediately cancelled, and although I was upset about losing my bag, I was relieved that I wasn't going to lose a whole lot more through credit card fraud.
The bag and unused cards were later returned to me, and I suspect that the Secure Sentinel stickers went a long way towards deterring any additional thievery.
M Ball (NSW)