Security is a pain...

by Cthulhu 6 Replies latest jw friends

  • Cthulhu
    Cthulhu the ass. I like the fact that I have a debit card company that is up on keeping my money safe. I really really do. But have any of you had the experience of buying lunch...or should I say trying to.

    I do a lot of business on ebay, selling mostly. I accept paypal as it is quick and easy. Because of how much I sell, I have a pretty nice balance on my card, and I use it most of the time, which eliminates the need to carry cash. You all know how it is. So, I walked next door to the party store where I intended to buy a soda and a couple of hot dogs. You know, kind of a low income and penny pincher sort of lunch for the Tuesday before I get my next biweekly paycheck. The gentlemen, who has a rather odd shaped head, turns to me and says "it's declined."


    "It says 'declined.'"

    "That's impossible. Try it again.



    *Sigh* "Shit. How bout one more time, please?"

    I walked out leaving the dogs and soda on the counter, feeling like an ass for not even being able to pay for food I'd handled. They'd have to throw it away. Next time they'll probably make me run the card before picking out my items.

    So I drive to a nearby gas station when my manager told me he'd had the same trouble a week or two ago, but that it was only that store that it seemed to happen at. Was denied at the gas station too, so the first thing this paranoid mind of mine kept thinking, as I'm waiting to get ahold of paypal's customer service, was "what if this is like in one of those movies where the guy 'they' are after isn't really who they think he is, and they freeze his accounts and run him through several high speed car get aways, rape his family, burn down his house, and throws him in prison until he is lying on his death bed and then rush in at the last minute to declare him innocent?"

    So I'm on hold for more than the remainder of my break. I go through all nine levels of hell. I speak to an Indian and then a very nice (and understandable) American who was much more sympathetic of my frustrated laments. She sent me to debit card tech support (who knew?)

    "Hi, my name is Karen. Can I get your phone number?"

    "I have an account number, why can't I just give you that?"

    "We need your phone number for security reasons."

    I give it to her.

    "Thank you sir. What's your email address?"

    I give it to her.

    "Well, sir, it looks like your account has been suspended for security reasons. Let me go over a couple of recent purchases."

    And then it hit me. I had been to Walmart the night before and made three one hundred dollar cash withdrawls, which, because they don't let you take out more than one hundred at a time, required three small purchases in rapid succession. I explained this to her before she even mentioned any of them in detail, which confirmed that it was me.

    "Well, I have reset your account. You should be able to make purchases now."

    I go over to the first store I'd tried for lunch. I was going to offer to pay for the food they had thrown away, but saw that it was still sitting right where I'd left it, collecting parasites and peoples sneezes for well over a half an hour. So I offered to pay for them, if the damn card would finally work. He ran the card, the machine took its precious time, kept us all in suspense, and finally gave its almighty approval. I thanked the men for their patience and understanding, bought a celebratory soda for my boss, and enjoyed eating my cold, parasite infested, and, surely, snot caked hot dogs as I recounted the experience to you all.

    I like the fact that they are looking out for me and my money, but it's just kind of a pain. I could have been stranded in the middle of nowhere. I could have needed a tow. I might have been buying gas. I could have been paying a hooker. What if it wasn't just lunch? It really all helps to make the point I've been working up toward. You see, this illustrates just how imperfect this wicked system is. Would you like the chance to be part of a world that not only has security failures, but no need for security systems at all? Allow me to share a scripture with you that will show you how sure a promise that is...

    Just kidding about that last part. Thanks for reading.

  • snowbird

    Been there.


  • Finally-Free

    That's why I almost always use cash. I recall 2 incidents where I was SOL. Once when I was out of town on business and the entire Ottawa valley was suffering from a power outage. I was lucky I gassed up the night before, because I had to drive for an hour before I could get some money and breakfast.

    Another time the banks here experienced an outage. It was a long weekend and many people couldn't get any cash out of the bank or use their ATM cards. I spent my long weekend watching TV. Ok, I could have used a credit card, but I have a policy where I don't eat, drink, or go on vacation on credit. The credit card is only for things that still exist when the bill arrives.


  • drwtsn32

    Security conflicts with convenience. That's the whole point.

    But I hate it when credit card companies try to spot unusual activity and put a hold on your account. So I can sympathize! I usually carry a couple credit cards, so I can fall back on another if one fails. Hardly ever happens though. And I rarely carry cash.

  • AGuest

    And may you all have peace!

    Wait, how about this: I recently received a letter from my bank stating that my credit card interest rate was going to be hiked to APR + 15.99% because I had recently been "late." (What the... late? When was I late? My payment is due on the 28th of each month... and I pay it by then (sometimes a day or two earlier). OR... I could "opt out" and they would close my account.

    Uh-uh. They aren't getting off that easy. I saw the YouTube lady on Suzie Orman (no, I don't watch her; was on the phone and couldn't get to the remote to change the channel. I digress.) So, I call the bank and get a very nice "black" man (yes, you CAN tell!).

    Him: "Oh, looks like you were late on your September payment."

    Me: "No, I paid it on the 28th. As I always do. As I have for, what, close to four years now?"

    Him: "Well, sometimes the payment fluctuates depending on the cycle. It was due on the 26th in September."

    Me: "Ummmm... no, that can't be the case. I have an agreement with [the bank] that my payments are due on the 28th. They're automatically taken out and I have a year's worth of statements here and they're all due on the 28th."

    Him: "Well, yes, ma'am, but that was the former bank, before [the new bank] took over."

    Me: "I don't care. That was the agreement I had. If the new bank took over my account, it also took over the terms. I want you to reverse that so-called 'late payment' and put my due date back to the 28th."

    Him: "Well, ma'am, I can see that all of your payments were due (and made on or before) the 28th, but we don't have anything in writing as to your agreement with [old bank] and we reserve the right to change your cycle or due date."

    Now, get this... my current rate... is... 0.0% (yeah, you can get that for up to, like 18 months, if you know how to negotiate. I negotiated it when I saw the stock plunge on my [old] bank. They were desperate and hoping people wouldn't bail and do balance transfers. I still have about 6 months on that rate.

    Me: "So, what it looks like to ME... is that you all just changed my due date by a day or two so that my payment WOULD be late... so that you can chuck my 0.0% "introductory" rate... for your 15.99% rate. Is that right?

    Him: [Silence. For close to 30 seconds. I could almost hear the sweat rolling down his temple] Well, ummm, ma'am, I can't tell you that.

    Me: "Yes, of course. But 'we' know what's up, don't we? Tell you what: you leave my account alone... and I won't go on YouTube and expose what you're doing here. Deal?"

    Needless to say... my 0.0% stands. For at least another 6 months.

    Don't take their antics lying down, dear ones. They're counting on you to rollover. You don't have to. The Internet is a POWERFUL tool... whether as to exposing false religion... or false financial practices.

    I bid you all peace!

    A slave of Christ,


  • lisavegas420

    I was thinking the opposite when I opened this page. I work for an attorney and have to regularly take trips to the Court house for various reason, various departments, judges offices, ect..... I've gotten to know all the security guards, when they see me coming, they smile and wave me around the 'security gates'. So..if anyone needed to sneak something into the court house....


  • DJK

    I got home one day and there was a message on my answering machine from my credit card company stating my account was frozen because of suspicious activity.

    I call them back and they tell me about a purchase that was made for 900$ worth of tires. I asked if they paid for the tires and they said yes; proper ID was accepted at that time of purchase. Well, you freeze my account for suspicious activity, what sense does that make? I made the purchase the day before. Glad I didn't try to use my card before the problem was resolved.

    BTW, if you got 3 hundred dollars the night before, why didn't you have enough cash to buy a soda and a sandwich?

    I haven't had a problem using my debit card. I only use it at the bank, the grocery store and the drug store.

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