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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Financial Test Run



Ho boy. I can't believe people do paperwork and talk on the phone for a living. I'd rather chop firewood.

I've been setting up my affairs so they can be handled from afar. Today was a test run and discoveries were made. I totally forgot the password to one of my accounts. In my defense, it's been well over a year since I used it. To make matters even more interesting, my hint question made absolutely no sense to me at all. Had I been drinking when I set up that account?

Anyway, after a very long conversation with a nice man in India the problem was sorted out.

Feeling a bit punchy from that, I stumbled on to try to pay my house insurance on-line. They claimed my debit card number was not valid. After three attempts to get that to work, I gave up and wrote checks.

Then I had to ask myself: was the problem with the insurance site or with my debit card? It was the debit card. As I've mentioned earlier, my old credit union was bought out by a bigger one. They said I could keep using my old debit card, but they lied. It worked fine at ATMs or swiping it in person, but the company's servers often glitch with on-line and phone payments. Their solution is to issue me a brand new card under the new name. Great, that works for me.

Here's the funny part. About two weeks ago I asked at my local branch if I could get a new card ahead of time. The question was bounced up the chain of command and the word was no. The old card was set to expire while I was traveling so I wanted one with a later date.

That happened to me before. Did you know your mail can be forwarded to a temporary address, but they won't ship a new debit card to one? At least at my credit union, the card would either have to go to my home address or picked up in person at a bricks and mortar branch. That did me little good since all branches were in New Hampshire and I was in Florida.

The new debit card? It will have a later expiration date.

One more hint, if you plan on a long trip, let your debit and credit card companies know ahead of time. They'll freeze your account when they see “unusual activity.” That can be loads of fun too when you try to buy something and suddenly your plastic money doesn't work.

That's another good reason why I'm going to do what Spud used to do. I'm going to hide a few bundles of cash on the boat. So far, just about everybody still takes cash.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. Be sure and activate the new card before you leave home most wont activate if your not on a registered land line or at a branch ATM.Oh you are right about letting a card companie know when your out of town.I was in las vegas about 5 years ago and my bank froze my account till i called and told them i was on vacation lucky i had told the branch president before i left she unfroze it for me.

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    1. Good point. Much easier to do from home.

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  2. I 'd have a few silver coins in case the world goes higgley-piggley. A few pre 64 quarters, dimes or half dollar peices might go a long ways on convincing folks you aren't ripping the off if money goes off line. Yes, stash greenbacksI I have no idea why folks like thosse green peices of paper for real thing you can use. That's on them, perhaps it's the art and historical worth.

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    1. Eventually, people see the value of silver, but in the short term, everybody takes paper.

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  3. Do you have a "cash card?" I heard that question in a Red Skelton skit many years ago. Now most folks don't know who Red Skelton was!

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    1. Remember Red Skelton's seagulls? The skit broke me up every time.

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  4. Having a few bundles of cash hidden around the place is a great idea, if you can remember where you put them...

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    1. It's my wife who misplaces cash. Tends to show back up at the oddest times. We call it magic money.

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  5. Smart man getting all your ducks in a row beforehand.
    Those could be real nasty issues to try and iron out from so far away.

    I bought a dishwasher from Sears once and got a phone call from the bank about suspicious activity before the damn thing got delivered from a mile away!

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    1. Picture trying to solve these problems from a small boat in the middle of nowhere. I did.

      Maybe it's suspicious that you bought something?

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  6. Sixbears,

    What if you card was stolen or lost, would you get one immediately?

    My credit union makes the bank atm/debit/credit cards on the spot. They don't send them out to a vendor.

    So when I was notified by the credit union a group of debit card numbers were stolen, I was able to cancel the old and get a new one with in seconds.

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    1. Judging from past experience, I doubt I'd get a card. We keep a credit card with no balance separate from all the others in case they get lost. Have had to use it once too.

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  7. Good point on the debit cards. Our bank froze our account and we were only two hours away from our home on the west coast of Florida. Buttholes.

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    1. It was a pain, wasn't it? Now imagine being very far from home and having to deal with them over a crappy cell phone connection.

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