Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Who's Chopping Onions In Here?

Yesterday morning started off with a bang.  I had emailed the ticket exchange yesterday where we bought our Wimbledon tickets, and asked how we would arrange delivery.  I was a little concerned that our credit card hadn't been charged yet, but I figured it might not happen until shipment was made.  I get an email back this morning saying, "There was a problem with your payment. Could you call us at your earliest convenience so we can resolve this?"  Umm, okay.  Thanks for waiting until I contact you before you tell me this.  I called their international support number and asked them what the problem was.  The guy who answers sounds like he's in a wind tunnel, and asks me for the order number.  I can hear him just muffle the phone instead of putting me on hold while he looks it up.  He comes back and says, "We are having problems with our credit card processing.  We don't receive funds from credit cards until 28 days after they're charged, and Wimbledon will be over by then.  We've been having issues with fraudulent charges, especially from overseas, so we're going to need you to make alternate arrangements for payment."  I ask what the alternatives are and he says, "You can either wire us the money or pay cash when you get here."  Yeah, not happening.  Is anyone else seeing a big ass red flag?  I tell him "no thanks" and hang up.

I'm a little flustered because I had been searching for tickets for weeks and finally decided on buying them from this place because they were the cheapest.  Now I had to begin my search again and we're only 11 days out from the event.  I find what I guess is a good seller and swallow my anger that the price is now $250 higher.  Whatever.  I place the order online with my American Express card and I get a confirmation email from the site.  Two minutes later I get a call from American Express, trying to verify the validity of my charge.  That's cool; I appreciate my credit card companies calling me when large purchases are attempted.  I tell them that I did, in fact, want to make that purchase, so please approve it.  The lady tells me, "That charge was denied so we could verify its validity, but I've cleared that from your account, so you may now attempt the charge again."    Exqueeze me?  I'm telling you that the charge is valid, so let it post.  "No, ma'am.  That's not possible.  We denied it and you'll have to try it again."  Are.You. Kidding. Me.  What kind of policy is that?  I asked if this was going to happen every time I tried to make a large purchase, because if so, I will be canceling that card immediately.  She said that it doesn't necessarily happen all the time, but it did in this instance.  I was livid.  I yelled at her for a couple minutes about how I didn't appreciate them making me look bad by denying this charge when I had adequate credit available and I'm an excellent customer.  I told her that it's ridiculous to deny what should be a valid charge automatically and THEN ask questions.  I told her that this was a ticket exchange, and I'm not just going to "try it again" by purchasing two more freakin tickets to the Wimbledon Final.  If I could have punched her through the phone, I would have.  I can't believe that they couldn't have just put a hold on that charge until they got confirmation from me, instead of just outright denying it first.  Discover calls and checks with me, and then approves it, so I know it's possible.  (Believe me, if the site would've accepted Discover, I would've used it).  I hung up on the lady because my voice kept getting louder and louder and I knew I needed to calm down.  I got in touch with the new company I had bought the tickets from, explained the situation to them, and asked them to run the card again.  I love when American Express makes me feel like a douche.  I'm on Team Discover.  And by the way, who's chopping onions in here?        

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