Wednesday, April 19, 2006

seriously? SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?

So, last night I go to make my hotel reservations for Ireland.
I enter all of my debit card information and get the following result:
"Your account can not be authorized"
WTF? So I try it again, double checking that I have all of the numbers right, the spacing in my name matches the spacing on the card, etc and resubmit it:
"Your account can not be authorized"
Now I'm REALLY confused.
Did I enter something wrong?
I have the whole "verified by visa" enrollment on my debit card, do I have some sort of conflicting information between the verified by visa and with my bank? whats wrong?
This morning, I log into my online banking and verify that I have MORE than enough funds for the transaction and rather than call my bank and deal with the whole "press one to hold for an hour, press two to hold for 45 minutes, press three if you would prefer to jab a fork in your eye than to deal with all of this crap...." I opted to use the "chat with a live representative" feature and since I'm at work I think this is AWESOME since I can talk to clients and take care of my personal banking at the same time.
CSR: Hello Vanessa, how may I assist you today?
ME: the past 2 days I have tried to make online purchases using my Visa check card and both times I've been told that my card could not be authorized. Could you tell me why this has happened?
CSR: Thank you for your patience Vanessa. How much were you trying to charge using the Freedom Check Card?
ME: one was for $10 and the other was for about $225
CSR: I am not sure why it would decline it. I do show that your daily limits on that Freedom Check Card is $200.00 ATM withdraw limit and $500.00 point of sale limit.
ME: ok - both sites were european sites (I'm planning a trip to Ireland next month) - would this cause them to decline?
CSR: It will be just a moment while I confirm this information for you Vanessa.
CSR: Thank you for your patience Vanessa. So when you go online, the transactions that you are trying to make are in Europe? Or are they in a different country?

----- really? did she REALLY ask that? I hate to sound so old-fartish, but what the hell is public education coming to?-----

ME: they are based in a different country - one was for a hotel in ireland (thats the one thats about $225) the other was a russian music store (thats the one that was $10)
CSR: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment.
CSR: Thank you for your patience Vanessa. Unfortunately Ireland and Russia are completely blocked for any type of use with your Freedom Check Card. Due to an increase of debit card fraud in foreign countries, Sucky Federal Credit Union's board of directors and executive team made the decision to block foreign transactions to prevent future loss. This block is only in effect for debit card transactions, and will not affect Visa credit cards. We do apologize for any inconvenience.

So, my lovely bank does not allow ANY foreign transactions AT ALL, no exceptions, no way to set up authorization for my debit card to work at all while I'm in Ireland. IT WON'T EVEN WORK AT ATM'S!! The CSR proceeded to tell me that if I got one of their Visa credit cards, then I would be able to use it internationally.
I'm trying to get OUT of debt, not charge up more and I refuse to get another credit card. I'm working on paying mine off and have had the credit limit reduced as I pay it off so that I can't charge it back up and when I do have it paid off, the limit will be a minimal amount for emergencies only - not even 1/4th of what my budget for Ireland is.
I do not understand why you would be able to use a visa credit card somewhere but not a visa debit card. I thought the point of these debit cards was to be able to use them the same as a credit card.
After work today, i went and opened a new account at a much better bank.
They even offer rebates on the purchases I make with the debit card. Also, I didnt know this, but I guess my employer has some sort of a partnership with them so I get all kinds of free benefits with the account, I havent even read through all of them yet. I'm just hoping that the direct deposit gets up and running between now and then. The woman who set up my account must have took pity on me when I told her about the problem with my old bank because she told me that if I need to deposit ANY checks between now and my trip to Ireland, to come into the branch and bring them to her and she'll make sure theres no hold placed on any of the funds just to be sure that I have all of my funds available for my trip.


Maya said...

As I was reading this, I was going to suggest Washington Mutual. That's been my bank since I was 16, though I have had others as well. They've always been great. Welcome to the fold!

Tara said...

I've had problems using my debit cards from Canada in the US, because they are different here. They are not even they slightest like credit cards, so it tends to mess up cashiers in the US. Maybe the ones in Europe (and other countries, *snicker*) use them like Canada does.

Valerie said...

oy! What a hassle. Glad it's all taken care of.

Who you going to Ireland with? Can I come? :D

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you got all this settled before you got to Ireland and found out whooops, no money! NOw that would be a nightmare.

Vanessa said...

Maya -
just based on the experience I've had so far, I think I'm going to like WaMu A LOT.
I emailed them yesterday before going in to open an account just to verify that they don't have these crazy limitations on foreign transactions and they responded back saying that the only contries they prohibit are ones that OFAC imposes economic or trade sanctions against and gave me a list of the countries and why.

Tara -
Isn't this incredibly frustrating?

Valerie -
I'm going all by myself, only 29 days!

Jennifer -
I am so glad I got this figured out now as well.
It would have been a complete nightmare to get over there and not have any access to money at all.

Valerie said...

all by yourself??????? are you NUTS???????

Now, I consider myself very indendent but to go on a vacation all alone???? NEVER in a million years!!!

OMG girl, be careful! eeks!

Valerie said...

or independent, however you want you spell it. ;)

Vanessa said...

I am really looking forward to going by myself. This way I can do things on my own schedule rather than having to worry about whether or not my travel buddy wants to do the same thing as me or if I'm boring them, or vice versa

kimananda said...

I have the same issues with my credit union in the one point, I was trying to add to my savings there, but my checks sent from Europe (which were in dollars and payable through a large American bank) were never accepted because the credit union didn't know how to deal with them. Provincial does not even begin to describe it. I feel your pain, and hope your new bank is better.