Banking Woes



  • Do banks have ANY idea how to do "online banking", or are they just paying vast amounts of money to external "security consultants" to think up new weird and wonderful ways to fuck with their customers ?



    Background, my bank is in UK (let's call them GnatPest for the sake of argument, but their actual name is Natwest), and I'm based overseas. As I still have family in UK, credit cards and other bills to pay etc, it's useful to have a bank there, and I can manage everything online - well that's how it had always worked until a couple of months ago.



    I wanted to make a bank-to-bank transfer within UK, but because I was creating a new payee, I was informed I couldn't do it online without their new Card Swiper gizmo (which I have never received) or alternatively I could use their phone banking service and setup the new payee there. So I go through the phone banking, setup the payee and the transfer and think nothing else of it. A few days later, a letter arrived telling me they tried to contact me (despite having never asked me for an up to date contact number in the 25 years I banked there), and because they couldn't get in touch (even though they do have my email address, they never thought to use it to ask me what my contact number was), they had cancelled the transfer and blocked both my phone and online access.



    So I have to wait a week for a new activation code to get my services back online, which gets sent through the regular post to my parents address in UK, and then have to be relayed across to me by phone. The first one doesn't work for some reason. Another week waiting for the next one, which thankfully does work.



    Finally back online, I again phone them to setup the transfer, it's accepted again and I double check to make sure they now have my correct contact number. And yes, you guessed it, a few days later, another letter through the post telling me the transfer has been blocked due to "security checks" and my online and phone access blocked.



    After filing a complaint, they investigate, and discover the bank has made "no error", but cannot tell me why the transfer was blocked "for security reasons". They'll accept my transactions over the phone, they just won't honor them, and can't tell me why. So I resign myself to the fact that they obviously need me to have a Card Swiper gizmo (even though they won't tell me as such), and request one. After $100 in UPS fees to get it and the actual card and PIN (another three separate mailed items) sent out to me in Asia, I discover their "security tape" covering the PIN has actually melted to the paper in the heat, so I cannot see my PIN.



    And of course, they can't just send out a replacement PIN, they have to send out a new card also. So when it finally arrives, that'll be another $50 UPS transfer to get the new card sent out - and I'll ask my elderly parents to remove the tape from the PIN and read it out to me over the phone this time.



    So far, I've accrued costs of $47 in phone calls to UK and $150 in UPS courier fees, not to mention the fact I've been locked out of my account on and off for almost 6 weeks and I STILL cannot make this transfer after over 2 months of hassle.



    If banks want to have a real online presence, they might want to consider moving into the 21st century and dumping the snailmail deliveries, phone based banking that doesn't work, sticky covered PIN numbers that melt above 30oC, Card Swipers that you need to make even the simplest transactions and just USE the damned Internet for the purpose it was intended.



    TL;DR; NatWest Online & Phone banking sucks monkey balls. Don't know why I'm posting it here, just letting off some steam.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Yes, the bank clearly sucks. Why didn't you just get your parents to make the transfer? ("as old people, they don't feel comfortable with this new-fangled Intertubes thingy" is a cromulent answer.)



  • The Internet is a GLOBAL network. It's a horror how many businesses have not figure that out yet. From your bank demanding that you walk into a branch, to Google Music which is only available in the USA.  Corporate provincialism is a big nuisance to global people like you and I.



  • Presumably the Card Swiper thingy does add a certain level of security. Unfortunately, the trade-off is inconvenience. My banks are perfectly happy with customer number + password authentication, so I don't encounter the same sorts of issues that you had.

    That said, for both the banks I currently use (one for general banking, one for my home loan), there's an area of the online banking site for messages. So if they want to contact me or I want to contact them, it goes through that. Though generally if they need to send me something, it comes through the post. (I think that's because we've said that's our preference.)

    But if I want to send money to any other Australian account, I can. I don't even have to set the recipient up as a permanent payee if I don't want to. If I do want to, I just have to tick the checkbox on the transfer screen, next to the account details, that says words to the effect of "Add this payee to my list".

    Note: Pay Anyone access is a feature that you have to specifically request; I did this when we got our home loan with a different bank, so I could just put money directly in the home loan account myself rather than setting up a direct debit. So if you're worried that someone might get into your account and take all your money, you don't have to enable it. But once the feature is there, it's no effort to add additional payees. And as I said, you can do one-off transfers without setting up a new payee.

    I've also never really experienced a problem with their phone banking system. But the online banking is much easier to use (you get far more information on the screen than over the phone) so it's very rare that I use the phone banking these days. I used it more often before we got broadband, when online banking meant "make sure nobody's using the phone, then dial into the ISP, then slowly load the banking site...."



  • About a year after I moved to Spain, my UK bank decided to improve their security by replacing all phone usernames and passwords. How this improves security I'm not sure - maybe they had a bad leak which they didn't want to tell anyone about. I got a letter through the post with my new username and the information that the password would follow shortly.

    Despite chasing them up several times over the following two years they seemed completely incapable of getting my password to me through the post. Maybe they were putting enough postage on for UK delivery only or something. Fortunately I discovered that they had a snail-mail address to which I could send instructions accompanied by signature and photocopy of passport, and the main reason for keeping the account open is for some direct debits so I didn't need to send many instructions.

    With the general chaos in the banking sector recently they were bought out by a large Spanish bank. Unfortunately that doesn't make it any easier for me. The new guys have ditched the route which I did use to send the occasional instruction, and my only option now is to fax them instructions with a copy of my passport, a recent bank statement, and a recent utility bill. Of course, I don't have a fax machine or a telephone modem, so I either have to buy some equipment or use a locutorio, which opens a security hole large enough to drive a bus through. Oh, and they've added a charge of 25 quid for the privilege.

    By now blakey will be screaming "Why don't you sign up for Internet banking, you moron?!" Strangely enough, I did look into that. Apparently I need an address in the UK to be able to sign up for Internet banking over the Internet. It looks like my best bet will be to go into a branch between Christmas and New Year, when I'm in the UK visiting family.



  • @daveime said:



    So far, I've accrued costs of $47 in phone calls to UK

    You're in the internet era, use skype out or any similar service. I pay around 2$ for a 1 hour call to the other side of the planet.Bank are not sending sensitive informations by mail for several reasons:

    Could be intercepted easily (like a reading a postcad you know), crypted email is not understood by around 99% of their customers, laws probably mandate them to use post office (here in belgium, laws prohibited banks to store mobile phone number of clients, because phone number of client haad to be associated with a physical address). And laws probably only allow addresses locates in UK too :).

    For the rest, yes, your bank sucks.
    There real wtf is: why do we have to pay an extra nearly 10% fee when transfering money using bank accounts from one country to another. Are the bits more expensive when the cross the country borders?I it was not the case you could simply do everything from your bank account in asia :)



  •  A big bank here has some severe online issues, too. A year ago, I wanted to make an online payment and filled in the form for it. To confirm the payment, you got some hassle with a reader, a challenge and a response. I didn't use that yet. I then decided I better double-check to make sure I didn't already pay that. Went to my transactions history, saw it wasn't paid yet, so I opened the payment form again. I filled in all the fields, submitted, confirmed with the reader thingy and... they registered the payment twice! They actually put the form fields you fill in into your sessio, even if you decide not to go ahead with that payment. That's one hell of a security flaw... I also couldn't delete it, so I had to take time off of work the next morning to go to the bank and ask a clerk to cancel that payment.

     Around that same time, I wanted to make an appointment to talk about a carloan. I fill in the contact form on their website and get a confirmation mail:

    "Dear <firstname> <lastname>,

     We confirm your appointment at <agency>.

    Blablabla"

    Those two were already bad enough, so I wanted to contact them to let them know. I went to their site and looked for contact info. There was this "Contact" button that rolled out with the necessary info. Except... it only worked in IE7. It didn't work in Firefox, nor in IE6 or 8, nor in Safari, nor in Google Chrome, nor in Opera. It ONLY worked in IE7.

    So finally, I send a mail to them, forwarding that appointment confirmation mail, and letting them know about all three problems. The first one apparently was not a problem, but was "for my convenience" (which I find highly inconvenient, having to go to the bank the day after to cancel a payment). For the mail and the contact button, they pretty much told me I was lying. The week after, the contact button was fixed. A year later, when making another appointment, I still received "Dear <firstname> <lastname>", though.

    You'd think that's all in the past. We're a year further now. The appointment confirmation mail'd be the only problem now. Right? Right? HELL no! Our phone company here are kinda mobsters. They sent me a bill, which I scheduled to be paid a week before expiration (they bully me, so I pay at the very damn last minute). Two of the four weeks I had to pay that bill had passed, and I got a legal notice thingy saying I had to pay Lotsa Moolah for unpaid bills... being that one I scheduled to be paid. It had to be paid to their curator agency thingy. Yep, if I say they bully, I do mean they bully. That's their way of doing business with most of their customers, and since they got a monopoly and the politician who's got to watch over them to make sure they behave, on their payroll. So they can get away with it, too.

     Anyways, I wanted to cancel that scheduled payment. I went to the list of scheduled ones, click the "Delete" button and it's gone. All nice and good. Then a week later, a bit before that bully mail's expiration date, I want to pay them, and what do I see? The damn thing I canceled got paid! WTF! I canceled it! It got removed from that list of scheduled payments! Then bloody well ACTUALLY remove it, too!



  • The Internet is indeed a global network, but the entities at the endpoints of any interaction that occur over it are subject to the laws of a particular nation (and province and locality).

    Google Music is available in the USA because their Legal department determined that they could offer the service to American users without violating US federal or state law.  If they had waited until they had legal clearance for all of the 200 or so nations of the world -- including, somehow, the ones whose laws would expressly forbid what the service does -- then it would have taken years longer to come to market, or more realistically the project would have been cancelled early in the planning phase.

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @The poop of DOOM said:

    WTF! I canceled it! It got removed from that list of scheduled payments! Then bloody well ACTUALLY remove it, too!

    People keep asking me why I don't autopay bills. This is basically why.

    My bank got bought out by another bank a few years ago. I have a car loan through them--but actually through a subsidiary. I used to pay my car payment online, through bank1dealerservices.com. When Bank 2 bought Bank 1 out, they set up a new website, bank2dealerservices.com, that was in most other respects identical...except they added the banking industry's laughable version of two-factor authentication: three security questions. But since I never set any up under the old web site, I don't have answers--or questions chosen. So I can't log in without calling them.

    Sometimes I get annoyed enough that I'll hold off a payment until they call me to harangue me about why didn't I pay. It's fun--you just act all innocent and brightly say "oh, great, thanks for calling, I'd like to make my car payment!" They get all discombobulated, because they're clearly expecting the call to be hostile. It's almost worth the $4 fee.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    The Internet is a GLOBAL network. It's a horror how many businesses have not figure that out yet. From your bank demanding that you walk into a branch, to Google Music which is only available in the USA.  Corporate provincialism is a big nuisance to global people like you and I.

     

     Google Music only being available in the USA presumably has something to do with distribution rights. You could have thought of that yourself.

    Even though the European Union has about 650 million inhabitants, the copyright holders still deal on a country-by-country basis. Does that suck? Sure, but it's not the copyright holders' fault either that Google wants to sell over the internet.

     



  • @FrostCat said:

    @The poop of DOOM said:
    WTF! I canceled it! It got removed from that list of scheduled payments! Then bloody well ACTUALLY remove it, too!

    People keep asking me why I don't autopay bills. This is basically why.

    Agreed. That and I like to feel the sting of manually paying it to force myself to re-evaluate the given service or product.

    @daveime said:

    Do banks have ANY idea how to do "online banking", or are they just paying vast amounts of money to external "security consultants" to think up new weird and wonderful ways to fuck with their customers ?

    I'd just like to say that this is an excellent opening sentence, one which both captivates attention and provokes thought. Daveime, I'm awarding you +1 internet points for your fine writing style.

    Anyway, the answer is "no" and "yes" in that order.



  • @Severity One said:

    @AndyCanfield said:

    The Internet is a GLOBAL network. It's a horror how many businesses have not figure that out yet. From your bank demanding that you walk into a branch, to Google Music which is only available in the USA.  Corporate provincialism is a big nuisance to global people like you and I.

     

     Google Music only being available in the USA presumably has something to do with distribution rights. You could have thought of that yourself.

    Even though the European Union has about 650 million inhabitants, the copyright holders still deal on a country-by-country basis. Does that suck? Sure, but it's not the copyright holders' fault either that Google wants to sell over the internet.

     

    Then what about all those Facebook groups about TV shows they show in Europe as well, where they say: "LOOK AT THIS AWESOME PROMO VIDEO!", you click on it and it says: "Sorry, this content is not available in your region". I quit the Big Bang Theory group because they kept pulling such crap. Of every 100 comments to those posts, 90 were people complaining about the video not being available in their region. Do such actions have to do with copyright holders, or is it just those producers being dickheads?



  • If your bank is going to treat you like that, why not change banks?  That's what I'd do.  (What I have done, in fact, on a couple different occasions when the bank thought they could jerk me around.)



  • @FrostCat said:

    @The poop of DOOM said:
    WTF! I canceled it! It got removed from that list of scheduled payments! Then bloody well ACTUALLY remove it, too!

     

    People keep asking me why I don't autopay bills.

     

    I tried setting up an autopay bill once, with my ISP. I got charged late fees because the autopay never happened, even though their website confirmed I was set up for autopay.

    I just canceled the autopay and forgot about it. Wasn't worth fighting with them over a $10 late fee.

     



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    If your bank is going to treat you like that, why not change banks?  That's
    what I'd do.
    OP is a Brit abroad. Wanting a UK bank.



    Changing banks is, for most, an ordeal (which it shouldn't be, given the legislative crap we have, especially wrt changing banks) for those in-country. I can (or maybe not) imagine the hoops a Brit based in furriner-land wanting to open a UK account with Santandont or Barcrap would have to jump through.



  • @PJH said:

    @Mason Wheeler said:
    If your bank is going to treat you like that, why not change banks?  That's
    what I'd do.
    OP is a Brit abroad. Wanting a UK bank.



    Changing banks is, for most, an ordeal (which it shouldn't be, given the legislative crap we have, especially wrt changing banks) for those in-country. I can (or maybe not) imagine the hoops a Brit based in furriner-land wanting to open a UK account with Santandont or Barcrap would have to jump through.

    It's never been an "ordeal" for me.  You go in there, you close your account, ask for a cashier's check to cover the full balance, then you take it to another bank, open an account and deposit the check.  Might be a bit tricker if the nearest local branch is across an ocean, though...



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    It's never been an "ordeal" for me.  You go in there, you close your account, ask for a cashier's check to cover the full balance, then you take it to another bank, open an account and deposit the check.  Might be a bit tricker if the nearest local branch is across an ocean, though...


    It doesn't work like that if you live abroad. I tried it. Went into a Barclays branch near Liverpool St station, waited ages to talk to someone, explained that I'd like to open an account but live abroad. The best he could do was take my details for their overseas department to phone me the next week. I think they may have done so once while my phone was off (ran out of battery because my flight was cancelled, but that's another story), but they didn't try a second time, and if they can't make that much effort to get my custom I don't really expect to be happy being their customer.



  • @Severity One said:

    Google Music only being available in the USA presumably has something to do with distribution rights. You could have thought of that yourself.

     

    Of course I thought of that. I also know that you can BUY distribution rights, and you can TRACK distribution rights.

    Google wants to sell Madonna's "Bad Romance". So they ask for distribution rights. Fifty cents per song sold. Where can we sell it for you? USA? Why not the whole world? Oops, the publisher no longer holds the distribution rights to Europe. OK, how about the rest of the world? Here's a list of 150 countries; which ones can we sell it in and make you some more money? Can we sell it in China? Lots of customers there!

    Andy wants to log in to Google Music from Thailand. He only gets choices of the songs that Google Music is legally able to sell in Thailand. Maybe not New York's latest rave, but a very nice music collection anyway. More than can be found in the local CD shops.

    Nope, doesn't work that way. Google doesn't want to bother dealing with multiple countries, so they cut the cord and sell only to USA IP addresses.

    The irony is that I downloaded Madonna's "Bad Romance" video from Google's YouTiube already. Free.

    Perhaps when publishers realize that selling the rights to France is cutting them out of the rest of the European market, that selling the rights to Europe is cutting them off from more than half the people of the world, the publishers will begin to think globally also.

     



  • @Mason Wheeler said:

    It's never been an "ordeal" for me.  You go in there, you close your account, ask for a cashier's check to cover the full balance, then you take it to another bank, open an account and deposit the check.  Might be a bit tricker if the nearest local branch is across an ocean, though...
    I don't know if they're still trying it, but last time I tried to close an account Nat West - them again - claimed that you can't close an account with them, nor take out your final penny.

    The bigger problem with changing, though, is that it's completely pointless. All UK retail banks have the same attitude to providing banking services that wire wool has to being used as toilet paper: this is not our function and if you try making us do it we will gouge you.

    Added to that, much of what they do is completely inexplicable (he said, launching into his own UK banking WTF):

    A couple of years ago, I went with the wife to visit her family in Trinidad for a few months - I forget, but say five or six. We obviously notified the bank (HSBC) before we went, and they confirmed they'd noted the time we'd be away - and I should mention that it's a joint account, with a cash card each. Got there, used the cards repeatedly without any problems for a month or two. Again, I forget how long, but I checked at the time and there was absolutely nothing significant about the number of days/weeks, the date, or anything like that. Still, one day, one cash machine swallowed my card. The wife was off shopping elsewhere, and continued using her card fine. Called the bank and they said that my card had breached their security checks because it had been used in Trinidad, and asked if I was over there. They never did explain why they'd only found that to be a problem after a couple of months.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    Nope, doesn't work that way. Google doesn't want to bother dealing with multiple countries, so they cut the cord and sell only to USA IP addresses.

    I have google music. Live in Denmark. Havn't bought anything yet tho...



  • @swayde said:

    I have google music. Live in Denmark. Havn't bought anything yet tho...
     

    I am in Thailand. I go to http://music.google.com and it says "We're sorry. Google Music is currently only available in the United States" How did you get a United States IP address?

     



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    How did you get a United States IP address?
     

    Denmark is p much a US state.

    Or a proxy.



  • @PJH said:

    @Mason Wheeler said:
    If your bank is going to treat you like that, why not change banks?  That's
    what I'd do.
    OP is a Brit abroad. Wanting a UK bank.



    Changing banks is, for most, an ordeal (which it shouldn't be, given the legislative crap we have, especially wrt changing banks) for those in-country. I can (or maybe not) imagine the hoops a Brit based in furriner-land wanting to open a UK account with Santandont or Barcrap would have to jump through.
     

     I don't know about changing from abroad, but if you're thinking about it I can sortof recommend Halifax.  Their online banking is pretty good, for the most part, and it doesn't need a separate dodad.  [Side WTF: recently they changed their authentication method from "username, password, memorable questions" to "username, password, memorable information"; the questions were the usual gumph, but the 'memorable information' is great: three characters from a word you've picked.  So now I have two passwords!  So much more secure!]  The big downside of Halifax is their overdraft policy, though: they charge £1/day you're in the red.  But otherwise, pretty good customer service etc., in my experience.

    On the other hand, my HSBC experience has been pretty lame.  Aside from assigning you a username consisting of a twenty-digit sequence of letters and numbers, they also have a calculator thingy that you're required to use in order to sign in.  Of course, mine never arrived, so when I wanted to use online banking I was confronted with a screen telling me to set up a device I didn't have.  Luckily there was a link marked 'skip this step', which keeps you logged in, and takes you to their homepage.  I click 'take me to my accounts'... and I'm taken right back to the damn set-up screen again.  I still haven't been able to log in, but I'm quitting them anyway, since they got rid of my overdraft without telling me -- they claimed not to be able to contact me, despite having both my email address and my mobile number.

     Sorry, that turned into much more of a rant than I meant it to.  In summary: Halifax are okay if you don't go into your overdraft; HSBC I wouldn't recommend to anyone.



  • Just ran up against another example of a company (that ought to know better) not realizing that the Internet is a global network:

    We have used Dynamic DNS (now dyn.com) for years. But with recent ISP problems I have had to check the "Last Updated" timestamp on my host name. And, incredibly, dyn.com doesn't bother to tell you what time zone that timestamp is for!

    Testing reveals that it is United States East Coast time. Now how the H* would I know that? I don't know, or care, what time zone dyn.com is in. Dyn is a global corporation offering a global service. I'll bet the timestamps even switch between EST and EDT ! Come on guys! Show the time zone and/or show it in UTC/GMT.



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    We have used Dynamic DNS (now dyn.com) for years. But with recent ISP problems I have had to check the "Last Updated" timestamp on my host name. And, incredibly, dyn.com doesn't bother to tell you what time zone that timestamp is for!

    Testing reveals that it is United States East Coast time. Now how the H* would I know that? I don't know, or care, what time zone dyn.com is in. Dyn is a global corporation offering a global service. I'll bet the timestamps even switch between EST and EDT ! Come on guys! Show the time zone and/or show it in UTC/GMT.

     

    Looks like you posted that at 8:08 PM.  No idea where it was 8:08 PM, but previous experience suggests it wasn't where I am.

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    @AndyCanfield said:

    We have used Dynamic DNS (now dyn.com) for years. But with recent ISP problems I have had to check the "Last Updated" timestamp on my host name. And, incredibly, dyn.com doesn't bother to tell you what time zone that timestamp is for!

    Testing reveals that it is United States East Coast time. Now how the H* would I know that? I don't know, or care, what time zone dyn.com is in. Dyn is a global corporation offering a global service. I'll bet the timestamps even switch between EST and EDT ! Come on guys! Show the time zone and/or show it in UTC/GMT.

     

    Looks like you posted that at 8:08 PM.  No idea where it was 8:08 PM, but previous experience suggests it wasn't where I am.

    You're wrong. He posted it at 4:08am. No idea where you are, that it's 8:08pm, but this experience suggests it isn't where I am (meaning, thank god, that you're not my boss seeing me post on these forums)



  • @The poop of DOOM said:

    @da Doctah said:
    @AndyCanfield said:
    We have used Dynamic DNS (now dyn.com) for years. But with recent ISP problems I have had to check the "Last Updated" timestamp on my host name. And, incredibly, dyn.com doesn't bother to tell you what time zone that timestamp is for!
    Testing reveals that it is United States East Coast time. Now how the H* would I know that? I don't know, or care, what time zone dyn.com is in. Dyn is a global corporation offering a global service. I'll bet the timestamps even switch between EST and EDT ! Come on guys! Show the time zone and/or show it in UTC/GMT.

    Looks like you posted that at 8:08 PM. No idea where it was 8:08 PM, but previous experience suggests it wasn't where I am.

    You're wrong. He posted it at 4:08am. No idea where you are, that it's 8:08pm, but this experience suggests it isn't where I am (meaning, thank god, that you're not my boss seeing me post on these forums)


    You're right. He posted it at 4:08am. No idea where you are, that it's 4:08am, but this experience suggests it is where I am (meaning, oh god, that you're my boss seeing me post on these forums)



  • Interesting. Significant. The local time when I posted it was "29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM", exactly as it says in the WTF forum. No time zone shown. So thedailywtf.com has another WTF.

    (Thailand time; GMT + 7, EST + 12)

     



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    Interesting. Significant. The local time when I posted it was "29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM", exactly as it says in the WTF forum. No time zone shown. So thedailywtf.com has another WTF.

    (Thailand time; GMT + 7, EST + 12)

    That's not a WTF. It seems to do some geo-locating and sets your timezone accordingly. I didn't set timezones or such in my profile, yet it shows the times of posts as what it is in my timezone. Eg. your post was posted at 11:09am. It's actually a pretty nice feature, as it'd be a complete mess if each post would appear as posted in the poster's timezone. That would mean I'd be replying to a post that will be made in the future.



  • @The poop of DOOM said:

    @AndyCanfield said:

    Interesting. Significant. The local time when I posted it was "29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM", exactly as it says in the WTF forum. No time zone shown. So thedailywtf.com has another WTF.

    (Thailand time; GMT + 7, EST + 12)

    That's not a WTF. It seems to do some geo-locating and sets your timezone accordingly. I didn't set timezones or such in my profile, yet it shows the times of posts as what it is in my timezone. Eg. your post was posted at 11:09am. It's actually a pretty nice feature, as it'd be a complete mess if each post would appear as posted in the poster's timezone. That would mean I'd be replying to a post that will be made in the future.

     

    Confusion. Your data proves the opposite of what you are saying. My post was made at  29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM THAI TIME. That is 28 Nov 2011 10:08 pm EST. If you are sitting in New York, it looks as if my post was made twelve hours into your future. And if you reply to it, your post should be timestamped 28 Nov 2011 10:xx which appears to be almost twelve hours BEFORE my post was made. Indeed, it wraps around midnight, so your post would appear to be answering my post from tomorrow.

    That's why lack of time zone information, lack of use of UTC/GMT, is so confusing when dealing in a global environment. 

    And why should the server believe my client computer's clock when I post a message? Doesn't the server already know what time it is right now? I posted at  29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM (client clock) but when the post came in the server should have timestamped it as 28 Nov 2011 22:08 GMT. 

    (Sometimes I do software support. One time a secretary managed to set her computer clock to ONE YEAR in the future. Boy did that screw up the timestamps and updates on everything!)

     



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    @The poop of DOOM said:

    @AndyCanfield said:

    Interesting. Significant. The local time when I posted it was "29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM", exactly as it says in the WTF forum. No time zone shown. So thedailywtf.com has another WTF.

    (Thailand time; GMT + 7, EST + 12)

    That's not a WTF. It seems to do some geo-locating and sets your timezone accordingly. I didn't set timezones or such in my profile, yet it shows the times of posts as what it is in my timezone. Eg. your post was posted at 11:09am. It's actually a pretty nice feature, as it'd be a complete mess if each post would appear as posted in the poster's timezone. That would mean I'd be replying to a post that will be made in the future.

     

    Confusion. Your data proves the opposite of what you are saying. My post was made at  29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM THAI TIME. That is 28 Nov 2011 10:08 pm EST. If you are sitting in New York, it looks as if my post was made twelve hours into your future. And if you reply to it, your post should be timestamped 28 Nov 2011 10:xx which appears to be almost twelve hours BEFORE my post was made. Indeed, it wraps around midnight, so your post would appear to be answering my post from tomorrow.

    That's why lack of time zone information, lack of use of UTC/GMT, is so confusing when dealing in a global environment. 

    And why should the server believe my client computer's clock when I post a message? Doesn't the server already know what time it is right now? I posted at  29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM (client clock) but when the post came in the server should have timestamped it as 28 Nov 2011 22:08 GMT. 

    (Sometimes I do software support. One time a secretary managed to set her computer clock to ONE YEAR in the future. Boy did that screw up the timestamps and updates on everything!)

    Even bigger confusion!

     You posted it at 29 nov 10:08 AM. Here, in Belgium (GMT+1, if I'm not correct. Not sure, with all that DST and such), it shows up as 29 nov 04:08. That does seem about right, as Thailand's sometimes +5, sometimes +6 hours from here. 10 - 6 = 4. So, it does exactly as I said. It can be that it fucks up with date wrapping. In my case, I can't check that as there's no date wrapping going on.



  • What makes you think the server is using the time on your computer?



  • @Sutherlands said:

    What makes you think the server is using the time on your computer?

    What makes anybody care about this conversation? <- bigger mystery



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    Confusion. Your data proves the opposite of what you are saying. My post was made at  29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM THAI TIME. That is 28 Nov 2011 10:08 pm EST. If you are sitting in New York, it looks as if my post was made twelve hours into your future.


    FWIW I'm in New York, and it looks like your post was made on November 28th at 10:08 pm. Where does the 12 hours into my future come into play?



  • @AndyCanfield said:

    Confusion. Your data proves the opposite of what you are saying. My post was made at  29 Nov 2011 10:08 AM THAI TIME. That is 28 Nov 2011 10:08 pm EST. If you are sitting in New York, it looks as if my post was made twelve hours into your future. And if you reply to it, your post should be timestamped 28 Nov 2011 10:xx which appears to be almost twelve hours BEFORE my post was made. Indeed, it wraps around midnight, so your post would appear to be answering my post from tomorrow.
    No. The server adjusts the displayed time stamp to the viewer's location. When you look at the post in question, it says 10 AM on the 29th. When I look at it, it says 10 PM on the 28th. My time zone is set in the profile options, but I don't recall if I ever actually set that. It may be that it geolocates you when you create an account or access the site without an account. So, since I am posting this just after 6 PM on the 29th, you'll see it after you get up on the 30th, and it will say I posted at 6 AM.



  • Some banks automatically lock down your account if you attempt to use it in a different country to your main address unless you notify them in advance that you will be doing so. Of course, if you do notify them, they'll then say they never received the notification or forgot to put it on file/etc and still lock down your account. This is probably what happened to you when you tried to setup a new payment from Asia. 

    Saying that, I did have the bank phone me last year as someone phoned them from the states asking to increase my credit card limit. They cancelled the card there and then and the only unauthorised transaction was a £1 payment to some internet website (test payment?)



  • @Mole said:

    Some banks automatically lock down your account if you attempt to use it in a different country to your main address unless you notify them in advance that you will be doing so. Of course, if you do notify them, they'll then say they never received the notification or forgot to put it on file/etc and still lock down your account. This is probably what happened to you when you tried to setup a new payment from Asia. 

     

    Some banks are far more idiotic. I flew out on short notice, and spent a week out of state. I'd forgotten to call the bank, so I figured I'd just go with it until the fraud people called me. In that week, I managed to get charges on my card in Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Atlanta, San Francisco, and London (England).

    They finally called me the day I returned. They flagged $18 in gasoline and coffee at a place I visited 200 times a year as fraudulent.

     



  • @NoOneImportant said:

    @Mole said:

    Some banks automatically lock down your account if you attempt to use it in a different country to your main address unless you notify them in advance that you will be doing so. Of course, if you do notify them, they'll then say they never received the notification or forgot to put it on file/etc and still lock down your account. This is probably what happened to you when you tried to setup a new payment from Asia. 

     

    Some banks are far more idiotic. I flew out on short notice, and spent a week out of state. I'd forgotten to call the bank, so I figured I'd just go with it until the fraud people called me. In that week, I managed to get charges on my card in Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Atlanta, San Francisco, and London (England).

    They finally called me the day I returned. They flagged $18 in gasoline and coffee at a place I visited 200 times a year as fraudulent.

     

    Well, they see two people using the card: a globe-hopping adventurer, and a person who goes to the same place for coffee 200 times a year. So they're just giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming your real life is the more interesting of the two.

     



  • @NoOneImportant said:

    I flew out on short notice, and spent a week out of state. I'd forgotten to call the bank, so I figured I'd just go with it until the fraud people called me. In that week, I managed to get charges on my card in Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Atlanta, San Francisco, and London (England).

    They finally called me the day I returned. They flagged $18 in gasoline and coffee at a place I visited 200 times a year as fraudulent.

     

    Used to work for a credit-card company.  They look for fraud with a complicated algorithm that attempts to identify "out-of-pattern" spending.  If you use the card for plane tickets, car rentals and hotels and make a one-time exception to buy a shirt in a department store instead, that's "out of pattern" and they may call to confirm that you're really the person whose name appears on the card.

    They issued us cards in case we had to travel, which we never did, but just in case we needed to charge some expense back to the department.  Had the card for four years and never used it.  So one day they come up with some special need to pick up some supplies (I think it was special color notepads and a box of golf pencils or something) for a presentation in the office, and they tell us "just put it on your corporate card".

    You know what's "out of pattern" on a card that's never been used in four years?  Using the card!

     



  • @NoOneImportant said:

    They finally called me the day I returned. They flagged $18 in gasoline and coffee at a place I visited 200 times a year as fraudulent.
     

    Same sort of thing happened to my boss's card: use it all over the place but renewed a domain name that got flagged as fraudulent. (Same registrar, we have dozens of domains with them) They said that most fraudulent transactions are small amounts, so the nth ~$10 transaction tripped something.



  • Having once had a card number and PIN code extracted in a Southampton, UK petrol station staffed by some dodgy people (using either in-line keypad reader or an overhead camera watching me), their colleagues made $2-$10 coffee and gas purchases in the eastern USA until they got brave and ran up $1000 in Home Depot or similar. Fortunately that was seen by the credit card company as fraud and they refunded all of the payment.



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