Having a CCV of 000 seems nice and easy to remember, but actually was a bit of a curse. To start with, companies would sometimes not believe that 000 is your real CCV when you tell them by phone. But usually after a few attempts you can convince them to at least try it, and then all is well.
The real problems came when using the card online as several merchants refused to accept the card. Any programmer reading this will have guessed the ways this could fail already. Rather than web applications checking for a CCV of three digits, I imagine some of them stored the field as an integer and had "0" overloaded as "didn't enter a CCV".
Scan Computers was the first casualty; my first order with them using the card appeared to get accepted, but then got stuck and the order stalled. That took a phone call to sort out, but at least the guy I spoke to by phone recognised and understood the problem and I only ended up getting my stuff a day late. It's worked okay with them since, I guess they fixed it.
Some other merchants I've been less lucky with. Some refused to accept the CCV at the time I entered it, but at least with those you know immediately and can use a different card. Other merchants accepted the CCV at the order time but then later rejected the order usually without giving a reason; probably when they did some batch processing with the stored CCV.
So you'd think there would be a lot of people with this problem: if the CCV is generated by the issuer using some hash then it ought to be 1/1000th of the card holding population. Perhaps some issuers deliberately avoid giving out a 000 security code, or perhaps I was just unlucky in my choice of merchants.
The experiment has sadly come to an end now as the card expired and was been replaced by one with a different CCV. I'm hoping one day to get 999.
Created: 19 Apr 2009
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