This afternoon B and I were trying to get some present buying done… for each other. I’d done my pop to the shop during the morning but needed to get some online ordering done. B had gone upstairs to order some bits for me, and I was downstairs watching X and buying some bits on the laptop.
This is pretty much the only way we can both shop online for each other at the same time, we do have two computers upstairs but the screen are too easily seen by the other person, so we have to sit in separate rooms! We’ve also got the complication of sharing a bank account, credit card, Paypal and E-bay accounts! We just basically have to promise not the look at any emails we might receive from said companies and hope none of them try to rip us off before Christmas!
Suddenly, B come down stairs, leans around, looks guilty and says:
“Errr, the credit card was just declined… I tried twice!”.
“Right. Can you tell me what shop it was, or will that ruin something?”
It turns our it was Barnardo’s, who should be fairly legit and you’d think their online payment would be working. We decide to simply leave it an hour or two just in case they are having some problems. We both go back to shopping. I’ve already got a basket full of stuff to buy for B so I go to pay for that, I decide not to go for Paypal so that B doesn’t get the email because the company name would give away the purchase. I enter all the card details and bang “Your card payment has been declined.”. Oh fantastic I think, three weeks before Christmas and our card isn’t working. There was part of me that thought “Oh, it’s fine they’ll just press the button and turn it back on”, but then there was the other part of my brain going “Crap, crap, crap you’ve brought almost sod all and now you’ve got the wait for a new credit card to arrive!”, which isn’t even true as we could have just used the debit card… we don’t actually spend that much.
As it turns out, after reciting all details of my past and various sequences of numbers even Fibonacci would have been impressed with, the person on the phone at the credit card company pressed the button and turns it back on. Apparently, “Oh, we detected several payments on your credit card within a short amount of time.”. Now, I’m not saying online security isn’t important, but you’d think someone would have been clever enough to write into the system something along the lines of :
if( type_of_shop == GiftShop
AND amount == AMOUNT_PEOPLE_SPEND_ON_PRESENTS
AND Date == JUST_BEFORE_CHRISTMAS )
activity = ProbablyBuyingPresents
Oh well, it was all up and running so we went back to trying to secretly buy things for each other and ignoring emails saying “Thank you for your purchase”!