The Hits just keep on Comin’

Things just keep getting better, you know? /sarcasm

My string of fairly sour luck — thought not as bad as it has been in the recent past — continues.

Today, I awoke to about seven inches of snow, and it’s still falling. That means I didn’t set my alarm clock back to provide the extra time to get things done and leave on time. So I didn’t leave on time. While I was outside sloughing snow off my vehicle, the windshield wiper blade broke right off. That means I can’t drive to work because I can’t see to clear off the snow, and I can’t repair the blade because it’s broken. So I call the mechanic I use and he says to bring it by.

Yeah…did I mention the broken wipers and how I can’t see to drive?

So then, I decide while I’m home, I’d update my credit card information on PayPal. I got a new card the other day, and the expiration date and CSC code have changed, so I figured I’d update. PayPal says my card’s denied, and I’m like, “huh? WTF?”

So I call the bank and the kid on the phone rattles off some activity to me — which is all me on PayPal — and I said, yeah, okay, that’s fine. It’s me. He tells me he has to transfer me to another department who can deal with touchy PayPal issues, and I roll my eyes. Whatever.

Turns out, not so whatever.

Someone dinged my card for eight-three cents on Wednesday. When the bank’s automated system saw that, it flagged my account with fraud activity.

See, pre-authorization charges are generally a dollar even. Almost all retailers hit your card for a dollar when you charge something before they charge you the full amount, and the dollar charge is removed. You never really notice this happening, and it’s pretty standard. But eighty-three cents isn’t standard, it’s weird, and the fraud department calls this amount a test charge.

When someone gets hold of your credit card number — and you’d be startled to learn how many ways there are to do that — a hokey company may throw a test charge at your account to see if it’s an active account. If it is, they can suck you dry. Since my card is one of those debit/credit cards attached to my bank account, if they suck my account dry, they can do it month in and month out every time I get paid. So I have two choices: determine whether the charge is legit, or get a new credit card issued.

The card takes five to seven business days to get here, and the same card number I’ve had for the last who-knows-how-long is going to vanish. I won’t be able to get anything out of my bank account with it until the new debit card comes, and then I’ll have to reset my PIN probably, too. Of course, the card is what we use to do a whole lot of things online, like pay bills and buy groceries from our delivery service, so now, all of that has to be transferred to another payment method until this is all straightened out.

Now, remember — I can’t drive until it stops snowing because I need car work. So I can’t pay for the car work with the credit card I’d normally use because…see above.

So I can’t pay for the car work and I can’t drive to the bank to get this straightened out.

Right now, I’m seething in fury and frustration here. I have to figure out a way to get to the mechanic, and hope the bank can work with me on the phone. Very simple…right?


Why do days like this happen? Why?

What’s up for you for this weekend?



5 thoughts on “The Hits just keep on Comin’

  1. Here’s something weird: I came over here, read this post about your debit card woes, then I checked my stats and there was a hit on this post ( in which Kristy made a comment about the very same thing. This post has lain dormant for a long time. Just seemed weird to me.

    Anyway, sorry you’re stuck. Maybe if you explain to the mechanic your problem he’d agree to bill you…?

    Hm. That IS weird.

    Happy news, though; I (finally!) have it all straightened out, and I can safely travel to work on Monday (provided I still have a job after this fiasco).

    Have a great weekend.

  2. Grrr! Möbius strip problems like that are utterly maddening. I hope a resolution presents itself soon!

    They really are, aren’t they? And they don’t like being alone. They like to travel in groups, I’ve noticed. But all’s well now.

    I honestly don’t have any plans this weekend, although if Ken’s up to it we might take a stab at driving.

    Good luck! I know you’ll get the hang of that soon, and will be Mistress of the Roads in no time!

  3. I’ve been very lucky with debit card transactions. I do a lot of internet shopping and so far I haven’t had any sort of hinkey business happen. But then I don’t keep money in that account except for whatever shopping I’m doing. It’s hard to steal money when there isn’t any.

    It’s a good practice. I think we need to redress how we’re doing things online, but that’s a conversation for my wife and I to have before I make any unilateral decisions. It’s tough because we do so much online, not just shopping — bill paying and stuff too. So it’s not a simple cut-the-ties thing.

  4. What a bunch of nonsense. I hate how difficult companies make everything now. Makes me so very glad we ditched the credit cards a few years ago.

    Not a bad idea, but it makes online purchasing tough. We do a lot of that, so it’s something we need.

    Mind you, we have started getting more into online shopping, we pay our bills online already, but PayPal makes shopping convenient now.

    True enough. I guess PayPal’s viable.

    I suppose though, the fear of fraud is very real and alive, so they like to be extremely cautious, but it never seems to be when it’s needed. Former coworker of mine, she had her information stolen about four or five years ago, and then again recently, she found out it’s happened again.

    UGH. That stinks.

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