Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Money Runaround

So I wasn't planning on having another post so soon but given the events that have happened in the last few hours. I think I need a little venting. 

Background- While in Spain I was planning on using something that's called a cash passport. This is a debit card that has the currency you need on it. So in theory it was like me purchasing euros on a card that I could use in Spain and at their ATMs without having to deal with the redonkulous fees Chase would hit me with. This was only the temporary situation for my money until I got my spanish bank account.
 So today I went to buy it $1000 (which was only 666.50 euros-- MAN UP USD!) + 29.99 for it to get here by Saturday (didn't want to risk having it get here monday since i am leaving on tuesday). I get to the confirmation page and it says my order didn't go through because it was rejected. This wasn't that big of a deal because I figured that it probably had something to do with the billing address issues I was having, and I'd just have to find a new way to have money.

Next, I check my bank acct. and the 1029.99 is pending/on hold...leaving only $11 in my checking! I go back to the website, and it says it can take up to 30 business days for the hold to be released! *** FREAK OUT MOMENT*** I leave in 4 days  13 hours and 55 minutes and I'm down a grand, not happening! 

So I call my bank and explain to them the situation, and they tell me that there are two options. The first was to wait, that the charge should fall off on it's own in 3-4 business days and everything will be back to normal. I wouldn't be too opposed to this plan if i wasn't flying ACROSS THE WORLD in those 3-4 business days. The next option is to get the merchant to fax them a statement with their manager's signature, and my information. Once the bank receives my money is back within 6 hours.

I call the merchant, and explain to them the situation, and what the bank said I needed from them. The guy was very nice and said that he could totally help me, and asked if they gave me the authorization code (which i later found out was the transaction number for the purchase) I said no, and he told me to call the bank to ask for it, because the bank was not going to give it to them, and then call back so that they can finish the action. Ok...

I called Chase back, and explained the situation AGAIN, and after trying to get the girl to figure out what the authorization code, I was on my merry way to getting my money back.

Called the merchant, and explained the situation to the new person handling my call, who told me that the people who could help me with my transaction left for the day, and that I need to call back tomorrow morning to complete every...That's what I get for being on Pacific Time instead of Eastern or Central...

So that is what I am going to do... call tomorrow and hope that everything works as smoothly as the merchant operator led me to believe it would be, given the circumstances. The only thing is that now, there is an extra worry over my head, and I have to figure out a new way to try to get out of the million fees that are bound to be attached to any spending I do in the motherland. Luckily I have friends and family to reassure me "If anyone can do it, you can Cathy...." 

Thanks for reading my lovely rant, I'll keep you all posted on outcome. 

<3 Cat


  1. Oh my God! I hope it all works out for you. I know we're all stressed enough... but that on top of it is just crazy!

  2. Ohhh AVS mismatch... I don't miss those... my last job was as a customer service rep and this happened ALL THE TIME. Many banks release the funds in just a day or 2... I'm sure it will work out... either way, you'll get the money back! And international fees on your card are so low, you'd pay the same price as the shipping for the 3% fee if that puts things in perspective. So if you don't get the card in time everything will be okay!!! :)

    good luck!

  3. Yikes!! Hope everything works out girl!!!

  4. So much stress! Hope it all works out!

  5. Oh no, sorry to hear about this! Hopefully you won't have to do too many withdraws until your 1st paycheck :/

  6. Should have opened acct at Bank of America (even thou I hate them more like Bank of Assholes) their sister bank is Barclays