Friday, December 08, 2006

Things that you can't buy ...

I may chuck something at the telly next time I see this ad - I pictured it in French as being less irritating for today, when I realised that there are mega problems associated with buying more than a Marks & Spencers' semmit with my MasterCard. It's a question of enhanced security making life difficult, not just when I tried to buy online tickets for internal flights in the US - understandable to think that someone had run off with my card there, I suppose - but today, when I tried to pay for the new telly in a local shop. That's the telly I'll be chucking things at ...

It seems that if you actually spend the amount of money that it actually would be inconvenient to have on your person, it's a problem. You can be there, have put in the correct PIN, have heard the retailer give your security numbers off the back of the card, be known personally by said retailer - who happens to own the business you're trying to pay - and still some lassie far, far away with the accent to match won't let you use the card unless you tell the retailer the first two letters of your private password so that he - not you - can pass it on. I refused to do this in a crowded shop where your business is everyone else's, so the deal was cancelled.

I then went home to a serious-sounding call-back message from my bank's security; a further 15 minutes passed before I could actually remonstrate with a real person with a Scottish accent. Apparently it was "such a big sum of money". I had no idea I was turning into a big spender - it didn't strike me as ferociously big bucks. And I'll have to go through the business of contacting them again before I go to the US because that'll be another new spending pattern.

I dunno. I guess I'll have to stuff dollars in my bra or something. Dead convenient. "For everything else there's MasterCard" - but only if it doesn't cost too much.


  1. Just so long as you buy a bigger bra - and preferably not with mastercard!

    Mais c'est difficile to balance security against ease of use.

  2. Anonymous9:01 PM

    A new telly? Internal flights in the USA? Has one won ra Lottery?

  3. No, no - this is merely what one does in retirement, when one is no longer so busy that one has no time to spend one's hard-earned dosh.

  4. I can't wait to retire...