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Old 01-23-09, 02:25 AM   #1
carbonlife
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AAAAaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!

Thought I would go for a UA-worthy title. The last few hours have just been ridiculous. I just have to document this even though it's late and no one is up.


So I get an e-mail from a friend earlier today. He is out of the country at the moment and needed help. Because of previous credit problems, this guy lives a cash existence. No bank accounts, no credit cards. I live a "plastic and numbers on the computer monitor" existence so I knew nothing of living in the world of cold hard cash.

So my friend said he forgot to take some of the cash he had for this trip; he said it's sitting in his apartment. He doesn't lie to me, so I have no problem believing him. He said he ran out of cash and needs a few hundred dollars to get him through his trip, so could I send him money via Western Union? No problem, I said.

So I get on the Western Union web site and it looks really easy to send money. So I create an account and start the process of sending money. I get through several pages of forms, and hit the last button to submit. Rejected! I try it a couple of more times but get the same result. There's a cryptic error code but no explanation. A little while later I get a call from Visa Security about a suspicious attempted transaction. Fair enough, I'm actually fine that they are extra cautious about an unusual transaction (I've never done this before) to send cash overseas. So I confirm that it was me doing the transaction, and they said that it will be approved next time I do the transaction.

So I get back on the web site and try again. Rejected! So I call Visa back and tell them that I thought this was cleared up. They said that it wasn't rejected by them, but possibly Western Union was locking me out because of the earlier failed transaction. So I called up Western Union and she asked me what the error code was on the screen, and she confirmed that because of the earlier failed transaction, I was locked out for 24 hours. Gee, they could have actually put the explanation next to the error code, but I guess that was too much to ask!

So now I gotta find a local location to do it in person. And I discover I can't use my credit card, only a debit card (in some locations) or cash. So I can't even get Amazon points for my trouble. So I go back to the Western Union web site and search for nearby locations. There's one real close in a Safeway, open until 9:00 pm. It's getting late but I think I have plenty of time. I get there a little after 8:00 pm, and after waiting for the person in customer service to explain several times to the guy in front of me that you have to BUY 2 items THEN you get the 3rd item free, I finally get up to the counter only to be told that they could only do Western Union transactions until 8:00 pm! What?????!!!!!! I said that the web site said they could do it until 9:00 pm, but she said they couldn't do it after 8:00 pm.

So now I had to go back to my apartment and find another location that's open hopefully until 10 or 11. I noticed in the search that there are many locations in a nearby town, but this is a town that I wouldn't get out of my car at night time, so I look in another direction. I find one location that looked good and was open later, so I call them up and asked if they could do a money transfer (some locations only do a subset of services). The guy seemed confused and wasn't sure if they could do a money transfer, and then a few moments later said that they couldn't do it. So I keep looking, and find another location that's open later, so I call them and ask them if they could to a money transfer, and amazingly, it was another location that couldn't do it!

Finally I find a place that is open late and the guy said they could do it! Yay! Right before I hung up I asked if I could use a debit card. He said no, they can't handle debit cards. OK, I'm glad I asked, now I need to find an ATM nearby. So I google for banks and find two nearby banks, so I hope one of them will have an ATM. I drive to that area, and the first bank I go to does have an ATM, so I get my cash, and I'm all set. So I go over to "Clyde's Liquor and Check Cashing" to do the deed. I step up to the counter and said I need to do a money transfer. Dude says he can't do it. What?????!!!!!! I just called a half hour earlier and the guy on the phone said I could! The guy behind the counter acted like he had just started his shift, and said that I talked to someone else. He said that the computer system was down and he couldn't do it! AAAAaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!

So now after a few hours of aggravation—let's see, that's three or four failed attempts on the web site, two calls with Visa Security, one call with Western Union, several calls to Western Union locations, one visit to an ATM, and two failed location visits—I just have to wait until tomorrow.

My friend will survive, but he sounded like he could have really used the cash today (when he sent the first e-mail it was morning for him).

AAAAaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!

Last edited by carbonlife; 01-23-09 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 01-23-09, 02:34 AM   #2
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So basically, you would have been better off by mailing him a check via next day delivery... unless you are a FeDex customer... that's a whole other thing. Good luck tomorrow...
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Old 01-23-09, 08:05 AM   #3
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I feel your pain! I was trying to EPay a bill once and kept getting bounced transactions for NSF. Now, I only had $20K in the checking account.

I wound up having to hand deliver a paper check the next day.
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Old 01-23-09, 08:24 AM   #4
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OOOOOooooOOOoooo I have AAAAAAaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhh days like that (actually I have too many days like that ... sigh).

Hope it goes better for ya after ya get the dirty deed done!
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Old 01-23-09, 09:02 AM   #5
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Wow that sucks.

BTW, can you lend me $25 until payday? PM and I will get you info on how to do the wire transfer.
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Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
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Old 01-23-09, 09:06 AM   #6
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You're right - I did think this was a UA thread

Those types of situations are always incredible (been there). I know it's not funny to you right now (and certainly not to your friend - hope he was ok!) but in the hands of the right director, that would have made a funny movie.
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Old 01-23-09, 09:12 AM   #7
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Sometimes you just have days like that. Get your AAAAaaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhh out of your system and muddle on the next day.
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Old 01-23-09, 12:09 PM   #8
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That's frustrating as hell, and clearly worthy of a UA title for the thread.

I do have one question, though. Where did you get my picture?
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Old 01-23-09, 03:34 PM   #9
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Is your friend Nigerian by any chance?
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Old 01-23-09, 03:54 PM   #10
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This is from a recent e-mail from my dad. (This kind of thing is always happening to him.)

As you may or may not know I tend to be a little at odds with Banks.

Over the past 6 years I have had quite a few problems with Barclays. Account Overdrawn despite money being there about 20 times at least!
Money taken off my account by Barclays Insurance even though not valid and no assistance getting it back, and so on and so forth.

So I went to Lloyds TSB - now Lloyds Group, since this morning when they took over Halifax - Bank of Scotland due to those banks going almost bust.

I booked the appointment for 11 a.m. and arrived five minutes early complete with passport, driver's license, credit card, bank statements etc.

The first part of the opening went well. Then the computer went down. So we re-did it all. Then the computer went down. So we did it all again.

Then the computer went down and this time we couldn't do it again. So the guy phoned for help. He was told to use the old system, replaced four months ago,

So we did it all over, Then it crashed again and he got his IT boss from the Branch in. SHE said that no-one else's system was giving trouble.

So we did it all over but then it said that there was a mandatory field left blank. So we did it all over. No change. So he called his boss, the Branch Manager.

She said it had to be re-done. So we did it all over. The same thing happened. So we did it all over. By now he had memorised all my data.

The same thing happened so he called in his manager, again. She came and this time SHE checked the data but there was nothing wrong
and it went to the next step for her. A scornful look at him. You could see her thinking: "Huh! Men!"

The next step was a credit check.

This was rejected by the Credit Bureau so they went off to find out why. Before doing so they had to print the report generated by the computer.
The printer jammed and we had to extract the jammed paper. "It never normally jams," they said.

At the bureau they found out that apparently the bank computer had got into some sort of loop and kept asking for my credit rating over and over again.
As I had no "record" before then the Credit Bureau's computer apparently panicked and flagged me. So they had to go through everything with the Credit Bureau.
Eventually, at 1 o'clock, having been there for 2 hours we gave up.

I have a new appointment at 14h00 tomorrow.
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Old 01-23-09, 08:22 PM   #11
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Well, today had the potential for more aggravation.

First I had to go to the DMV for the first time in over 10 years. I had a 2:45 pm appointment and I was hoping for the best. When I get there the parking lot was full and cars were circulating like sharks, waiting for openings. I found a spot pretty quickly. At 2:30 pm I go inside and the first thing I see are long lines and a lot of people sitting in chairs waiting for their numbers to be called. Then I noticed that the "appointments only" line only had two people in it. In five minutes I get to the front, check in and get my number. I sit for less than 10 minutes and at 2:45 pm my number is called. I pay my $28, get my eyes checked, and get the "corrective lenses" restriction removed because I got LASIK a while back. Yay! Then she said I had to go to Line C to get my picture taken. I first see a line with over 30 people in it, but that was Line D. Line C had only one person in it. I get my picture taken but she didn't like the bug-eyed look I was going for, so she made me take it again. (I could only find a couple of female mug shots illustrating my intentions). I was out of there by 2:50 pm. Nice!




Then I went back to Safeway and successfully sent the money via Western Union. Yay! Then I did some grocery shopping. This is the only grocery store in the area and is usually packed, but for some reason when I went to check out, there was no line! Wow! I don't remember the last time there was no line at the grocery store (in the middle of the day).

Then I get home to find that my friend Anna sent me her famous Anna Banana Bread. I think she spikes it with rum or something. It's yummy.

Whew, it all went my way today! I shall now return the AAAAaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh! title back to UA!



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Is your friend Nigerian by any chance?
Yeah, how did you know! Lucky guess!
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Old 01-23-09, 08:28 PM   #12
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Heh, glad your two days kind of evened out. That's something, I guess.

By the way, what do we win if we decode the secret message presented by the bolded words?
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Old 01-23-09, 08:38 PM   #13
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By the way, what do we win if we decode the secret message presented by the bolded words?
No code—if you read just the bold words, those are the short versions of the stories.
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Old 01-23-09, 08:49 PM   #14
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Money gram, it's the new W.U.
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Old 01-23-09, 09:11 PM   #15
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No code—if you read just the bold words, those are the short versions of the stories.
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Rejected! Rejected! BUY THEN What?????!!!!!! Yay! "Clyde's Liquor and Check Cashing" What?????!!!!!! AAAAaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh! three four two one several one two
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DMV 2:45 pm quickly 2:30 pm two Yay! one 2:50 pm Nice! Yay! no line! Wow! Anna Banana Bread rum AAAAaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh!
As the legal representative of Mr. John Steinbeck's estate, I demand that you immediately cease and desist this redistribution of his work, "Of Mice And Men."
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Old 01-23-09, 11:21 PM   #16
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and here I thought it was Cannery Row............
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Lullaby Of Foo

Now I lay me down to sleep
Keep my bike safe from the bicycle thief
Keep my tootsies toasty warm
keep my carbon from any harm

Good Night Road Bike
Good Night Moutain Bike
Good night all you Foosters
And good night Moon
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