Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Wouldn't Have Shopped Anyway

Even if I had wanted to (and why would I...I never have before), I could not have particiated in Black Friday. I look at those pictures of people standing in line for hours just to fight with other people to get something they probably don't need in the first place. It's no wonder that people who live simply in other countries around the world have a bad opinion of us.

If you are fighting cholera in a tent city built on a median strip along a busy road in Port au Prince because it's the only land left to put the few things that you managed to scrape together after the hurricane, I suppose that the opportunity to purcase a cheap iPad to use if you ever get electricity seems pretty dumb.

If a mountain in Indonesia is erupting and threatening your village, you probably don't care about a sale on leg warmers or leather jackets.

In the days when I was part of a group of vloggers, in the days before that term actually came into use (those would be video-bloggers, for those who have made it far enough to recognize the term "blogger"), it always amazed me that people who seemed to be struggling to make ends meet always had the latest "thing." They lined up to get the iPhone when it was first released, and then to get a new one every time an upgrade was made. They had multiple digital SLRs while I had a point and shoot digital camera and felt lucky for that.

By most people's standards, I guess I am pretty tech heavy, but I can't hold a candle to a lot of the people I know on some of the social media sites.

And it's easy to avoid being a clothes horse when the only clothes that will fit you will also fit the horse...and look better on him.

So, Black Friday has never held any appeal to me whatsoever, but even if it did, I would have had to bow out this year anyway.

Last Tuesday, while I was at Cousins Day, Walt called to ask if I had ordered $500 worth of goods at some store where I've never shopped. Of course I told him no. He had received a call from the Bank of America about three bogus charges and he was supposed to call a number to straighten it out.

Well, B of A scams are very big around here. My mother has had to have her account number changed several times this past year and there are so many attacks on her account that have resulted on $300+ charges made instantly on her account that they have a special hold on it to make sure that charges are valid. While we were at her house over Cousins Day she had three calls from "The Bank of America" calling to check on bogus charges and all they needed were the last four numbers of her social security number. The bank says that most of these scams originate in Russia (presumably Nigerians have migrated there. LOL). She now doesn't give out any numbers at all and just tells the callers to call her local bank if they need any information.

So when a voice saying that he's calling from the Bank of America calls and says that Walt should call a certain number he isn't falling for it. Instead he called the customer service number on our credit card and it appears that yes, the original call was legit. Someone had charged $500 at a store in England, had bought bus tickets and something else. The bank canceled the charges and said we would be issued new cards.

We have not often had to change our card number but it seems to me that the new cards were usually sent special delivery and we got them overnight. Well, the cards were ordered last Tuesday and they still have not arrived.

So no credit card for Black Friday.

But also no credit card for a couple of things I was getting ready to order. No credit card for the Netflix bill, which informed us we had been suspended until we update our account information. It seems that every time I think of something that I was going to get, I can't get it because I don't have a credit card. We actually have one other account, with Discover, but my card expired in 2006 and somehow though Walt gets a new card every year, they haven't sent one for me. Since I almost never use that card, I hadn't thought to mention that fact to Walt in the past four years!

We were sure that the cards would arrive today, but they didn't. Walt wasn't home, so I tried to call the bank, but our credit card number is not recognized (because the account has been closed), and they can't connect me unless I have Walt's social security number and I only have written down the last four digits of it, so I'm screwed.

Technology may have made some things easier, but other things are sure much more of a pain in the butt than they ever were before.

UPDATE: I finally managed to talk with a B of A rep who assures me that card will be here Monday or Tuesday. Or maybe Tuesday or Wednesday. It will definitely be here by Wednesday.


l-empress said...

And here I was thinking that the hackers who got into my e-mail a couple of months ago would get into my paypal. I put a "flag" on it anyhow.

I absolutely hate it when something useful (like credit cards) is spoiled by predators who believe the world owes them a living. Good luck with the new cards.

cd0103 said...

I hate that there are BOA scams out there because, in my experience, BOA is VERY diligent about potential fraud. They have reached out to me at least half a dozen times to question purchases. Funny thing is, only once was it actually fraud.
I get an email, in addition to the phone call, so have never been nervous talking to someone. My first call is normally a recording, though. You can also go to your local branch and get a temp card. The only drawback is, when your original arrives (usually 3-5 working days), the expiration date will most likely be different, which means you have to set up all of your auto payments again.