Regular readers will be familiar with my problems with computers and all forms of modern technology, I love my computer for word processing and email but when it has a tantrum I feel like throwing one myself.
How often have I written a longish letter to have it disappear completely? Sometimes it goes into drafts and can be recovered but, more times than I can count, it has just vanished. Gone into the ether where lost letters float about like “space junk”, never to be seen again.
Another one of my computer’s little tricks is to send a partially finished letter. Without my touching a key, the words will disappear and I find them in the sent box. I then have to rewrite to the addressee and apologise for sending a half letter. Needless to say my family probably think “poor old girl, she is really losing it”. My friends do not feel this way as they often do the same thing. My husband says that I must have pressed the send key but I know that I have done no such thing.
My latest brush with the mysteries of computers and all things technical came a couple of weeks ago. We got a letter from our bank telling us that the carrier for our credit card was changing hands and we would receive new cards that should be activated on a certain date, the old cards would then be refused.
The day arrived and Dave phoned in to activate the cards, they each had to be done separately and I heard him speak into the phone to activate mine. Easy enough, or so I thought. A couple of days later Dave went off to Scotland for a few weeks and I stayed home to keep the home fires burning, or in this case the fans turning to keep things cool.
Being alone I did not need to do much grocery shopping but when I did go to the grocery store, I tried to pay with the new credit card. Declined! I tried again then transferred to my bank card instead. A week or so later, the same thing happened, declined. I like to use credit cards as we collect the airmiles and with Dave being a frequent traveller we use a lot of miles.
I forgot about the situation until last week when once again I tried my card in the grocery store, declined. I decided to clear this up and went to our financial institution. The clerk told me that I needed to have the card declined three times, at one go, to activate it. I was kind of stunned and asked her to repeat the statement. She did so and I told her that Dave had not done that and had no problem with his card. She also told me that I would have been given this information when phoning in for activation, Dave had been told no such thing.
The suggestion was that I go to the next store, buy a small item and then be declined three times, the fourth time would then go through and the card would be fine. If it was April first, I would have enjoyed the prank but in the middle of July this did not seem at all funny. However, I walked to the store and picked up a couple of dishcloths and told the clerk about the request from the bank. Oh yes, she said it has been happening for a few weeks, lots of people have had to do this. Unphased she lead me through the process of being declined three times. On the fourth time, she gave a snort and transferred to a different machine. Again declined four times.
By this time I had a queue of people behind me and one customer said that she had had the same performance. I dragged back to the bank and the clerk said she needed to put in a new security number, she punched some buttons on the machine and I put in my new number. I then went back to the bank, was declined three times and on the fourth attempt, made a successful purchase.
What sort of nonsense is this where another business has to be inconvenienced by going through the declined business four times for a customer who is making a very small purchase, just to make her card work? If the card has to go through this rigmarole, why can’t it be done at the bank? I must say the store clerk couldn’t have been any nicer and very understanding but I had felt really embarrassed during the few times previously when my card had been declined in the grocery store. I know that customers behind me were thinking, she must be in a bad way to run up her cards past the limit. That is how I would have felt towards anyone else getting this run-around.
We have personally been using credit cards for about fifty years and they have always been activated by the one phone call. Once or twice we have had to answer a privacy question to prove who we are, but usually just phoning from your home phone is proof enough. Our local supermarket only accepts one kind of credit card or I might have been tempted to tell them to cancel it at the bank. The clerk explaining it all to me didn’t seem to think it was in any way strange to have this nonsense and was insistent that I had been told of the situation when the card was activated by phone. Nice to know that the customer is not always right and, in some cases, is downright stupid.
Time to write my big sign and parade round town decrying some of these ‘supposedly’ modern methods of making things more efficient! Well, I would do but it’s too darn hot! Thank goodness for ODN.