Wednesday, November 23, 2016

No more features please

So my credit union just sent me an e-mail. They are adding all kinds of “features” to my debit card. Lord save me now. All they are going to do is to make it harder to access my own freaking money. Their current features are bad enough.

Normally I'm accessing my card on-line from all over the place. Since March I've been doing all my financial stuff from either at their offices or from home. About once a week, for whatever reason, the enhanced security features are tripped. They claim they are detecting unusual activity, but absolutely nothing has changed.

Instead of just being able to do my business, I've got to jump through all kinds of security hoops. Their long list of security questions are a royal pain: What's my favorite food? Where did I go to college? What's my wife's middle name? What was the middle name of that little girl who sat three seats away from you in third grade? What's the difference between an octopus? Really hate those silly questions.

Then they have to show me a bunch of pictures and I've got to remember exactly which species of woodpecker I picked for my security pic. Was is the Pileated or the Ladder Back? What am I, a biologist?

If they'd have kept the exact same layout from 1995 I would have been happy. I don't care if it looks like the display from a Commodore 64, I learned how to use it once and that should be enough. If you want me to retrain all the darn time, pay me for my time.

One National bank that I do business with is even worse. For years I dealt with them completely on-line. Then one day I was tired and muffed their security questions and was locked out of the site. Eventually, after going through phone center hell, I got a real live human on the line. She was giving me all kinds of grief. Finally I told here that if they really don't me to pay my bill that's fine with me. She relented and I was able to make the payment -once.

After that, the only way I've been able to pay them is by physical paper check, just like the pioneers. I thought of going through the trouble of reestablishing my on-line access, but gave up on the idea. Now all I do is make sure that bill is the very last one that's going to get paid. They've become number one on my list of companies who'll be stiffed when the budget gets tight. I find joy where I can.



  1. Being a stay at home type, I use cash for most things. I realize that can't be done living on the road.I wish I had a suggestion to make your life easier, back that's nigh impossible in this day and age.

    1. I know Gorges, but it sure feels good to vent.

  2. Sixbears is absolutely right, these stupid things have gotten out of control. Now it's the damn chip in your card. I bet I have seen twenty different card readers, already.
    Some want a PIN number, some don't. Some aren't even set up for reading the chips yet!
    I did have my account locked out one time for suspicious activity and I was glad it happened. Someone tried to use my account to buy something from Target, all the way across the country in Maryland.
    Other than that, these cards have turned into a giant PITA.
    I use PayPal a lot when shopping online. The account is set up on my laptop and they have it rigged so that it takes like two clicks to buy something now. No typing in the whole card, security numbers or security questions.
    Quick and dirty, just the way I like it.

    1. Guy at one of the local stores dreads Christmas shopping. The chip readers are slower and people don't fully know how to use them yet. He figures the lines are going to cost him sales.

  3. use to get billed but changed it to 1600 Pennsyvania ave somewhere south 29 years ago

    so far so good


    1. I don't know . . . sounds like a sketchy address in a bad part of town.

  4. Pretty soon everyone will get chipped.

  5. went into my bank branch monday and the regular ladies were at the drive through.
    new girl wanted my license and a debit card!
    we don't have one.
    she didn't give me grief but i am expecting to get it as soon as the regulars are transferred . hope it doesn't happen.

    i carry an overdraft which i pay a yearly fee for, and sometimes have to use.
    one of the new tellers said, in a censuring type of voice, 'you purposely went into the overdraft?!'.
    i said yes that's what it is for.

    why would i pay for something unusable?

    at another branch i was questioned about why i wanted 100$ cash. i answered in a friendly way but it is a symptom of the noose tightening.
    i doubt rich people are bothered this way because it is easier to steal from the little guy.

    when i was little very few had bank accounts. mum cashed dad's pay at the a&p and bought groceries.
    i reckon the bankers realized more money could be made in small amounts from common people than from a few rich people--who are notoriously tight with their cash-- and thus now everyone has a checkbook.
    used to pay utilities in the area where you lived, but now the offices are centralized so you must use a check and mail it, or an e.f.t., both of which require a bank account.

    it is like all the recorded messages when you want to speak to a human being. cannot press '0' anymore and reach one , it just hangs up on you.
    they call it efficient but it is certainly not efficient for the customer.
    bloody irritating!
    it eventually will not end well.

    1. It will not end well. For a while after my parent's medical bankruptcy my dad had no bank account. It's expensive to be poor. He had to use those check cashing places and they took a good cut. It took him two days of running around to pay bills that someone with a bank account could spend 15 minutes writing checks for, or 10 minutes on-line.

  6. And one day the cash flow is cut off, the ATM refuses to accept your card, the account is "frozen" for some unspecified reason and when you attempt to phone the call center to sort it all out there is no answer or you are repeatedly cycled through select a number hell, you will accept not all paranoid people are.

    Learn my friend and prepare!

    1. Can we shoot zombies that day?

      Seriously, I half expect the financial system to shut down at some point. The question is, will it start up again?

    2. Oh, it will start up again. But it will be in whatever form THEY want, AFTER they've taken as much from US as they think they can get away with.

    3. Can't get blood out of a turnip, and I'm feeling pretty turnippy lately.

  7. Oh them bankers ain't got it all figured out like they want you to believe.
    The Underground economy in this country is estimated to be worth two TRILLION dollars a year.

    1. Oh my goodness, all that underground money doesn't get taxed. Boo Hoo.

      How about the barter economy?

      Better yet, the gift economy?

      Neither of those things even need currency.