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.