So I was supposed to meet some folks tonight


  • sockdevs

    The plan was to get up to Camden Town for 6pm to meet some people, which would have been awesome.

    Meanwhile, I get a note from Royal Mail saying that I had an international parcel and some customs charge is payable - £16.58 to pay for the customs charge and £8 to pay Royal Mail for the privilege of paying for my customs charge. And I thought I'd just take a few minutes to do this before I had to leave.

    So I go through the tedious thing on Royal Mail's website to pay for it, get through the payment screen and my card's been declined. More than that, it's been declined for anti-theft procedures.

    So I phone the 24/7 helpline (which I had independently confirmed rather than blindly trusting what the website told me, of course) which actually does seem to be 24/7, go through the security questions for which every single one was answered 'none of the above' to discover that yes, in fact my account had indeed been stopped due to anti-fraud protection.

    Locking my entire bank account on the basis of the transaction looks suspicious. Putting through a couple of hundred pounds to buy event tickets, that's fine. Putting through a few hundred pounds for conference tickets, no problem. Putting through nearly £2k the other day to purchase some software, absolutely fine. All sorts of oddments of payments to Steam via PayPal during the sale in a pattern that looks suspiciously random? No problems! But £25 to Royal Mail? FRAUDULENT!

    So after I speak to the guy, he tells me it's unlocked but it might take a few hours to unlock... dafuq is that all about? Apparently they're doing some kind of maintenance that means that despite them having put through the unlock code, it's still actually locked, which means I'm not going out tonight.

    Yay for security? Meanwhile you can all enjoy the pleasantry of my company instead.



  • Well...want to work on SQL statements for fun and profit?

    You can take a break from getting WTF tag-teamed by the Royal Mail and the bank?

    It less fun than meeting friends on the town but more fun than getting reamed by the postal credit card police.



  • @Arantor said:

    it's still actually locked, which means I'm not going out tonight.

    That's why I have two cards - credit card and bank card. And I also keep € 100 or so as emergency cash in a drawer.

    I also do that when on vaccation - always keep enough cash with me to fill up the car and pay for one night's accomodation and meals. Last time I was in Scotland my credit card caused problems on average at every third service station.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of 2014, where we don't need cash any longer!



  • @Arantor said:

    Locking my entire bank account on the basis of the transaction looks suspicious. Putting through a couple of hundred pounds to buy event tickets, that's fine. Putting through a few hundred pounds for conference tickets, no problem. Putting through nearly £2k the other day to purchase some software, absolutely fine. All sorts of oddments of payments to Steam via PayPal during the sale in a pattern that looks suspiciously random? No problems! But £25 to Royal Mail? FRAUDULENT!

    I'm always surprised what triggers the anti-fraud checking on my card (though in my case, they call me instead of locking it instantly). Spend the equivalent of 170€ in a random Russian online shop? Fine. Buy 300€ of software from a random Irish webstore? Fine. Spend $90 in some US online shop? Fine. Spend the equivalent of 23€ in another Russian online shop to buy software? Also fine. Renew some program through SWREG for $19, just like every year for the past 3 years? Fraud! Buy some goods from local Bauhaus for 35€ (just like I do at least once a month)? Fraud!



  • I'll work on your sql for $30/hour.



  • @ender said:

    Renew some program through SWREG for $19, just like every year for the past 3 years? Fraud! Buy some goods from local Bauhaus for 35€ (just like I do at least once a month)? Fraud!

    I got fraud-checked once due to a $1 confirmation block for Amazon's AWS (which wasn't even commited as a transaction). Luckily my bank asks questions before shooting.



  • Ha! SQL action is roughly 15% of my job. Javascript is 10% and Coldfusion is 75%.

    I do other things to but that's my day to day in a nutshell.

    Before that I worked for a bank where 90% of that job was PL/SQL and 10% was coldfusion.



  • That was nice of them. Usually the automation locks you up. smaller bank?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @ender said:

    I'm always surprised what triggers the anti-fraud checking on my card (though in my case, they call me instead of locking it instantly).

    In my case (also a “phone up and check”, not an insta-block) it was due to the charges for a conference fee (to a US university) and the conference hotel (in Japan) going through within about 20 minutes of each other.
    @faoileag said:
    That's why I have two cards - credit card and bank card. And I also keep € 100 or so as emergency cash in a drawer.

    Wise.
    @Frank said:
    That was nice of them. Usually the automation locks you up. smaller bank?

    It's up to the bank to decide how much resources to commit per customer to chasing this sort of thing down. It's the sort of thing that should scale fairly well though; hire more staff, call more customers simultaneously if necessary. Doing everything through automated blocks and then claiming that “computer says no” is more of a mark of how cheap-ass they are I suppose.



  • This post is deleted!

  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Frank said:

    Or if the are a gigantic nebulous bank (cough) ...Bank of America

    As I said, there's no particular reason they can't; one person's account query doesn't really have very much to do with another person's, so scaling out is quite possible. They just don't want to, corporately.

    I don't know if switching banks would be practical for you. Let a little free market competition work in your favour for once…



  • These are those crappy life choices. Where you say..."I should really use the local federal credit union." But then you race off to Qdoba and get a queso beef burrito in you via swiping that visa debit card from BofA which was so convenient... you have become docole like a hindu cow from that brick you just consumed that your crappy life choice floats away.



  • @faoileag said:

    That's why I have two cards - credit card and bank card.

    This isn't common? I got a bank card when I opened my first account in ... 1998 IIRC, which I could use on ATMs and in most stores. The card withdraws directly from my bank account. I didn't actually get a credit card until 2009, when I switched to my current bank, and they didn't offer a debit card that could be used online.


  • :belt_onion:

    @ender said:

    This isn't common? I got a bank card when I opened my first account in ... 1998 IIRC, which I could use on ATMs and in most stores. The card withdraws directly from my bank account. I didn't actually get a credit card until 2009, when I switched to my current bank, and they didn't offer a debit card that could be used online.

    I guess that in what's called the "western" world being able to pay online is less of a hassle than in our forgotten corner of the planet. Hell, some people here still look at me weirdly when I explain to them that I can use PayPal to instantly pay something to someone in US, at any time, without the transaction taking 3 days of paperwork.



  • Bitcoin/litecoin are faster...cheaper.



  • @Frank said:

    Bitcoin/litecoin are faster...cheaper.

    We've had this discussion way back on CS. It... didn't end well.

    @Onyx said:

    Hell, some people here still look at me weirdly when I explain to them that I can use PayPal to instantly pay something to someone in US, at any time, without the transaction taking 3 days of paperwork.

    Here, you have to wait for a balancing session to have your inter-bank transfer booked (which can take up to a day, or a whole weekend), but intra-bank transfers are pretty much instant. Because reasons.


  • :belt_onion:

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    Here, you have to wait for a balancing session to have your inter-bank transfer booked (which can take up to a day, or a whole weekend), but intra-bank transfers are pretty much instant. Because reasons.

    Same here. Though for some reason PayPal is instant for me, at least seemingly. I use Visa for my account that can transfer internationally, maybe there's some additional banking magic done by <insert company handling Visa transactions here>.
    @Maciejasjmj said:

    @Frank said:
    Bitcoin/litecoin are faster...cheaper.

    We've had this discussion way back on CS. It... didn't end well.

    Yeah, I saw that and thought "Well, there's a BatDerailment signal if I ever saw one". But I didn't want to say anything.



  • @Onyx said:

    Though for some reason PayPal is instant for me, at least seemingly. I use Visa for my account that can transfer internationally, maybe there's some additional banking magic done by .

    Credit card payments are generally instantaneous. And we have a third party service which takes money from you using their account in your bank, then sends it to the recipient using their account in their bank. Maybe PayPal does something like that.



  • Right... it's polarizing but if you are in Argentina and I want to buy your products and live in the U.S. I'd be stupid to go through the international bank transfer system.

    I've done it for a $10k transaction and from start to finish with all the routing fuckups due to communication problem from start to finish took me 3 months and guess what. All the banks in between middled me. Having my funds locked up at the Federal Reserve for three weeks was mind numbing. Never again.



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Here, you have to wait for a balancing session to have your inter-bank transfer booked (which can take up to a day, or a whole weekend), but intra-bank transfers are pretty much instant. Because reasons.

    We used to have instant transfers between banks in the country (at any time of day), but had to cripple that when we joined the EU (now transfers between banks are only processed at certain times during business hours - which excludes weekends, national holidays and some foreign holidays).



  • Edit: Text removed - wrong post replied to because nested quotes don't work out of the box. See below for correct post.



  • @ender said:

    @faoileag said:
    That's why I have two cards

    This isn't common?

    Apparently not, otherwise @Arantor wouldn't have missed his friday night on town.


  • sockdevs

    Especially since it was Saturday...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Hell, I have a five layers of cards covering all edge cases.

    An American Express as primary (awesome frequent flyer program on that one), CapitalOne Mastercard for everyone that doesn't take Amex (bars and local restaurants), Visa bank debit card just in case the MC is busted, and if all of that fails I have a copy of my father's Discover card and in epic emergencies my corporate travel card (Visa).



  • @Arantor said:

    Especially since it was Saturday...

    Pffft... Friday, Saturday... Weekend! :-)


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