Why I Love Technology

So far the thieves have ordered on my American Express card:
Mac computer(s)
Car stereo
Night vision goggles
Home stereo
Custom engraving (don’t know on what)
Auto anti-burglary service (don’t know what that even means)
Random electronics

By the time we shut it down this morning, the total was about $20,000. I’ll have a new card tomorrow.

It was the home stereo guys who thought it was odd that someone in Ohio would buy stuff and send it to LA, and they called me. Go, Woofers Etc! American Express explained that the thieves wait till UPS has the package, then call UPS and change the destination.

Too bad. I would actually like some night vision goggles. Probably not $2000 worth, though.

LA DWP (my local utility company) used to accept American Express, which I loved because I got rewards points (chilling this house isn’t cheap). They discontinued using American Express, so I figured I’d go back to writing checks. I got an email statement, which I ignored, because I had cancelled paperless billing, so my bill should arrive in the mail any day. Then I got an email overdue notice.

Somehow my paperless billing had gotten uncancelled, so I never got a bill in the mail. And we’re in a heat wave so I don’t want the electricity turned off. I recancelled paperless billing, and, after only three attempts on their stupid website (because apparently you can’t pay by phone, or if you can they’re sure not going to tell you on the website), I managed to pay the bill with that City National Bank Visa I never use. All’s well with me and LA DWP. For now.

Within 30 seconds, I got a call from CNB to verify the charge because I never use that card. The fraud police are all over my accounts today.

Oh, and I decided to pay my insurance with American Express for the points, too. You can only do that if you pay the full balance, so I wait until the last quarter’s bill and pay that one. Here’s how you pay bills online to Chartis. You try to go on their website, using their impossibly-complicated directions to get a username and password. That doesn’t work. You call and they send you an email with a new username/password. Which doesn’t work. Then the person on the phone gets locked out of the website. So you give her your credit card information over the phone, which you could have done in 30 seconds. Instead of spending an hour trying to make their website work. The woman on the phone thought that perhaps the website might be having problems. She sent me a new username/password and suggested I try again in a few days, just to see if I could get on the website, which I won’t need to use for another year. Yeah, I’ll get right on that.

Earlier I ordered some eyeglasses and–oh, why go through it, the website was a disaster. I emailed the company, and got this reply:

“We hate our website too! We’re supposed to get a new one this fall. Meanwhile, tell me what you need changed, and I’ll do it manually. The changes might not show up on your email confirmation (Bad website! Bad!), but I promise to make it right. Thank you for your patience.”

That made me smile.