Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Collector Club Runabout & Drift - I am so totally screwed

Okay, this is a story to tell for generations.
Just when you thought the expression 'everything that can go wrong, will go wrong" was just a myth or exaggeration of a run of bad luck... this raises the bar on Murphy's Law.

So, I have 3 Credit Cards, at 3 different banks. My main Credit Card is at NAB which I use most, a back-up Credit Card at Aussie that I only use if the main one is reaching its limit, and my Business Credit Card at Westpac, which I use so rarely, there are only 4 purchases on it in the last 6 months.

A couple weeks ago, I was trying to register for BotCon, using the Aussie Credit Card (because the main one wouldn't have covered the $996 Registration fee). It was rejected, and I just assumed that it was because it wasn't the one on file, or it also didn't have enough on it.
I then went ahead and used my main credit card, overdrawing it in the process.

Not thinking much about the Aussie Credit Card (because I don't use it much), it wasn't until last Saturday that I tried using it at the shops and had it declined.  I then thought that it was likely to be frozen by the bank for attempting to make a big foreign purchase (which they did in 2010 while I was at BotCon - I was NOT happy, as it tied up a fair chunk of my spending money).
I decided to get onto the Credit Card company, to unlock the Card, as I was probably going to need it for booking BotCon flights on Monday. So I had to wait 2 days until Monday morning to ring up the Credit Card company to find out if that was what was going on again.

But before I could fix up my backup Credit Card, on the Sunday, I found out that my Main Credit Card was not working, and would have to chase up the NAB bank to fix that one as well.  And I only found out it was frozen because I was having trouble using Paypal on Ebay. I had done some "buy it now" on a few Transformers, but Paypal wouldn't complete the transactions.
Since it was Sunday evening by the time I had gone through all the help screens on both Paypal and on the NAB, I had to wait until the next morning to ring up either of them, to find out what was going on.

So on Monday morning (yesterday), I was going to ring up Paypal first. But checking my emails, I found one from Amazon.com saying that they couldn't charge my (main NAB) Credit Card for my pre-order of the Movie Trilogy boxset.  BigBadToyStore was also having a problem, which had me thinking it was a problem with the Credit Card, not Paypal.
So I rang up the NAB, and they told me that the Card had been Frozen due to a suspicious charge. I looked on my statement (online) and saw a $57 charge to an online music site that I'd never heard of.

They told me that the card details had obviously been stolen, and they had to cancel that card, and issue me with a new one.
The new one is expected on Friday at my mailbox... leaving me with a lot of scheduled debits needing to have the details changed, including my server host which had tried charging the Card during the TWO WEEKS it had been frozen (and I hadn't been notified at all). Two different banks, both suspending my accounts/cards, and neither told me about it... I had to find out by myself, while trying to make purchases. If they'd told me, I could have had Paypal fixed up before I needed it, and sorted out the businesses who were charging my card during that time.
Now to keep that account on Paypal, I have to wait until the end of the week, go through the whole verification process, and then see if the two sellers that I still owe money to, are happy to wait that long.

The NAB Card was now sorted (cancelled and new one on its way within 4 days).
I was told that I could call back the next day to find out the expiry date of the new card (I already knew the new number), but would have to wait until I get the card to know the 3-digit number on the back (some sites I can now use it on, but not on sites that ask for the 3-digit code until Friday).

Now I definitely had to sort out the (backup) Aussie Credit Card, as I would need it for my BotCon airfares later that morning.
I rang up the Credit Card Company, and they confirmed my suspicion. It was indeed a foreign purchase that had them Suspending the account, but it was a legitimate purchase (a Deposit charged by the BotCon hotel). That was done on the 6th January, three weeks ago, and I had not been notified about it. They said they sent a letter on the 7th, but I never got it.
Anyway, they unlocked the account, now that it was verified that it was a legit purchase (lucky for me that they allow a suspicious purchase but block any future ones, because if they had rejected that deposit, I would have lost my reservation to the BotCon hotel).

Within the hour I was at the Travel Agent, and paid out $2000 on airfares (from my savings account and the Aussie CC)... But after the events of today, if only I had used my Westpac Business Credit Card instead.

You see, today I found out that my Business Credit Card has also had it's details stolen, and I had to ring up the bank to cancel the card, and order a new one.
And I only found that out, while I was trying to add it to my Paypal account, as a temporary replacement to the NAB CC. The Paypal screen was rejecting the card, saying that it was already assigned to another Paypal account.
Since I don't have any other Paypal accounts, I rang them up straight away to query it.
They looked it up, and asked if I knew some guy who it was being used by, and I told them no.
We worked out that there were five purchases made with that Credit Card, totalling $240.
They put a stop to that Paypal account, and I then had to quickly ring up the Westpac Bank to report the issue, cancel the card, and have a replacement sent.
That's expected to take 2-3 days (Thursday-Friday), sent to the Nearest Bank Branch for collection.

That's right, I am now down to one working Credit Card, which did have $1000 credit on it before I went to the Travel Agent yesterday... and I have an impending expense of $500-700 within the next 12 hours.
See, if I had used the Westpac card for that $1000, I would have enough to buy Runabout & Drift... but instead, I have to beg someone else to buy them for me tomorrow when they are released. Then sort out the mess later.
And since the Aussie Credit Card is not from an actual Bank, I can't just make a deposit straight into the account. The fastest option is Bpay, and that would take 24-48 hours... which would be too late.
And unlike the NAB having an instant credit limit increase, Aussie Credit Card is expected to take up to 5 days (I increased it by $1000, just in case a miracle occurs).

So a recap...
The main NAB CC - won't arrive until Friday (only have card number and expiry date - need 3-digit code to make this Toy order)
The backup Aussie CC - not enough on it to cover Toy order, and will take 2-5 days to add money or increase credit limit.
The business Westpac CC - wont' arrive until Thursday.

And even if one of those cards arrive or can be used in time, I have to worry about The Club Site rejecting any new Card now (unless their demand for a copy of the card is only when first ordering from them).

So, sometime in the next 8-9 hours, the two Club Toys will be put back up for pre-order, with Runabout most likely being sold-out within 24 hours... and I need to order 7 toys for others.
All options for me to do this myself are now prevented.
Off grovelling I must go. 
I am so totally screwed.

Update Feb 1st - Collector Club is still yet to re-open pre-orders as they sign up to new Credit Card processing company.  No replacement card has arrived yet, and the Aussie Credit Card hasn't had the limit increase approved or received deposit yet.  This 24 hour "stay of execution" is torturous if the pre-orders start in the next few hours (as they are now starting their Wednesday office hours there).

Update Feb 2nd - Collector Club waited until the end of their business day (Wednesday) again, which is about 7am Thursday where I live. I get the early wake-up call from Doug again, and hop online to check the one card I still have.
Finally some good news... the limit increase AND the deposit have gone through on the Aussie CC. Now to see if it gets approved by the Club site. Another anxious 5 minutes... and success.
I re-check the credit card statement, and it shows that amount missing, but doesn't yet show the transaction. So hopefully that means, after all the drama and stress (and several really early mornings in a row - I work nights), this has ended up working out. But only because the Collector Club had to change CC processors... so everyone else's bad luck, was my (only hope of) good luck.
Oh, and BTW, just to reassure any of those people I was asked to buy these for - I had enough money left on the card to cover MOST people, and would have just chased up the remaining ones later, at whatever it extra it would cost me on the secondary market. I just didn't want to alarm or panic anyone unless it was absolutely necessary.

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