“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

This is really getting old.




I got up this morning and as I usually do, I watched the news and weather while I drank my coffee. Then I picked up my Kindle to check my emails.

There were a good number of emails from Amazon Kindle, telling me they had cancelled my magazine subscriptions per my instructions. The only problem was, I didn't cancel any of my magazines.

I used the help function to contact them.  If you call early in the morning, eastern time, you get people who live in the Caribbean. Why this should be, I don't know, but it's so.  The first person I got was a young woman with a thick Jamaican accent. She told me I cancelled the magazines. I said "no, I didn't". She said "well, a family member did."  I asked her who. She couldn't tell me. Then she did the "Kindle Help Desk dump you shuffle".  If they ever tell you to hold down the power button to "refresh" the screen, it will certainly do that but it will also break the connection. That's how they get rid of people they don't want to mess with.  I told her if I did that, I'd lose her. She said I wouldn't. I was ready to lose her, so I did hold down the power button and sure enough, it broke the connection.

I called back. I got a young man with a dot on the face Indian accent. I couldn't understand him at all. He couldn't understand me. We tried to talk for a few minutes, couldn't, he asked me if he had resolved all my issues and I told him "no, but thanks for trying" and I broke the connection.

I went in and started new subscriptions on the magazines. Problem is, it amounted to about $300 worth of subscriptions, most of which I had just paid in full. Now I have to get my money back from Amazon. I also had to go in and do all this "jerk around" data entry in my financial management program.

This on top of my credit card being compromised (both times by someone in Arizona) twice in the last three months.

I am pretty sure whoever did this with my magazines subscriptions was just being malicious, since they didn't profit it by it.

On top of everything else, my real name and email address were recently compromised on a blog I go by sometimes. Although I filled out a comment using my "Harry Flashman" moniker, and my harryflashman email address and blog url, the comment posted using my real name. I have no idea how in the world that happened. I don't know if the blogger is using some program that is capable of linking to the primary account of a gmail account through a secondary account. I don't know if he did it, or it just happened somehow. I am at a loss to explain it in any way. But that's dangerous from my perspective. I sure won't be going back by there, that's for certain.

I also saw a post by another blogger , whom I read almost ever day. He is a very reputable person. Some one in one of his circles found a way to access his other circle members and started sending out vulgar messages to them, using his email, and with a vulgar picture attached.

This happened to my brother T a few years ago. Everybody in his email account got hideously perverted messages which appeared to have originated with him.

I'm about to the point where I wonder whether fooling around with credit cards ,et al is even worth doing.

35 comments:

  1. Hi Harry! I am sorry to hear that you have been having so many problems lately with credit cards. If not for the fact that we do a lot of our shopping online, I would be very happy to do away with our credit cards. I hope Amazon will not give you any problems with reimbursing you for the magazine subscriptions. I have found Amazon to be real helpful in correcting any mistakes or problems. I had a couple of packages stolen a few years ago before I returned home to get my mail, but Amazon sent me replacements without question. Of course, now I have a post office box and get most of my packages there. Jana

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    1. Jana, I touched base with them again, got a young black guy who spoke good English this time. He said that my account was not hacked. He told me that it was a mistake on their end. He refunded the remaining amounts on the subscriptions that were cancelled, so in effect I just renewed them early, which I am ok with. Once I got someone I could communicate with it worked out. I still had to go in and make a bunch of entries in my financial software as it is a double entry system.
      I get so tired of all the extra work and aggravation this type of thing causes. Someone else lets my account get hacked, or messes up my account but it's my problem.

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  2. How would a family member cancel your mag subscription? Don't they need a password? Don't you just love speaking with (English speaking) persons that make $2 an hour? Wow.

    Isn't America great...keep your cool brother! --Troy

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    1. The whole thing about me canceling my subscriptions was ridiculous. I have two kindles. I am the only one who has access to them. I have only the one Amazon account, a holdover from before their stupidity about the Confederate flag. I only use it now for my magazines. The first two people I talked to just didn't want to accept the premise that Amazon messed up.

      Sometimes I really wish the internet and credit cards had never been invented. I can remember when neither existed and controlling your own affairs was much easier.

      Of course, the good outweighs the bad in reality, but I get so tired of"fixing" this kind of thing.

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  3. Good grief! You have been through the wringer. Sorry that all that is happening to you!

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    1. Lisa, you know me. I have a very low tolerance for "agro" as the British say. This kind of things makes me really angry, because I am helpless to do anything about it. Ruins my whole day.

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  4. I'm not a big fan of foreign call centres to put it mildly. If you pay a price for a service that is based on your country of origin then you expect to speak to someone from that country. If I paid in rupees at a fraction of the cost then I'd be happy to speak to India, as it is I pay in £'s and expect to speak to someone in the UK. Doesn't work that way though does it?!

    I hope it's just a computer error and not someone messing with you. Once you have a credit card compromised it seems to keep happening, did you find out where they'd gotten the information?

    I've had emails in the past from people I know that are evidently not from them, usually with dodgy virus laden websites linked through them, who know's how it works, I can't understand the mentality behind it. Have they nothing better to do than mess with other people?

    Anyway I hope amazon helps, they've always given first class customer service here, you just need to get someone in the US who can take an action that isn't on a script.

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    1. Kirsty, I don't like foreign call centers because we have lots of intelligent young people here, who could and would do that job for a decent wage. But the companies can save money by using people who work for slave wages overseas. Which leaves a lot of our youth doing jobs that don't challenge them and are not satisfying to them. It also denies better jobs to our young people, because that's an entry level job in so many companies. Work hard, show up for work, be conscious of your appearance, and you can go up the chain. But not if you can't get that first foot on the ladder.

      I am also beside myself when I have a problem to solve, like today, and the people who are supposed to help me can't speak my language. That's one reason I fly into a rage when I call on the phone and the telephone menu says "push one for English." Why in God's name should I have to push one for English? That's what we speak here.

      No, you're right. It doesn't work that way here.

      I used to buy a lot of books and videos from Amazon, til they felt they had to participate in the cultural re-engineering of my country. After that, they became like Walmart, I don't spend a penny with them I can help. I do get my magazines for Kindle through them because only Amazon has some of the niche magazines I want, that I can't get here. So I have to compromise some or cut off my nose to spite my face.

      I don't know what to think now. I will just have to see if I have any more trouble with the magazines. If I do, then it wasn't just a glitch at Amazon. If I don't, then I will try not to be paranoid about it and accept that they just had some kind of problem. But after a whole long chain of this kind of thing, it gets to be difficult not to think it's intentional.

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  5. I'm sorry this happened to you. Since K-Mart if the only "big" store around here, I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon. I thought they were more together than what you describe. I'
    ve never had any problems calling them, but it has usually only been for minor issues.

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    1. Inger, I had good experiences overall with Amazon. I used to buy a lot of things from them, books and dvd's for the most part. But this problem with the magazines is not the only time I've had to contact them with the "Help" feature. It's an application that comes on the Kindle. You basically skype with them. If I wait til afternoon I get help desk people from in this country. But in the mornings I get people from the Caribbean region. They are nice enough people for the most part, but the language barrier kind of negates the whole purpose for the call. And there's this. I only call them when something really egregious has happened, and I am already mad. It doesn't take much to set me off then. But I struggle against venting on the people I talk to, because I know they are just workers and not "the company."

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  6. It's the credit card company that has messed up my disability funds. I'm not impressed.

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    1. From reading your posts, I knew you got the short end of the stick on a funds transfer, but I didn't know what the exact circumstances were. It's unacceptable for some lame company to fail to do their part in getting a man's rightfully due money to him. The only thing I have ever heard of helping with that kind of situation is filing a complaint with the federal department of labor. The trouble is, the process is so odious and interminable there's not much point. My wife and I applied for our VA medical benefits, both of us served on active duty and earned them. But they still haven't gotten us up and running in the computer system. They keep telling us "they are backlogged."

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  7. Sorry to hear of your troubles. Mostly we've had good experiences with Amazon. Although, I was not happy with their Confederate flag ban.

    Harry what's your take on civil forfeiture laws?

    later,
    -Moe

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    1. I can't really fault Amazon considering the years I bought from them and the few problems I've had. Other than their greed in using foreign workers as opposed to our own. But the flag issue did them with me, just as it did Walmart with me. It's not an exaggeration to say I spent several thousand dollars a year between both places. Now I don't trade with them at all if I have a choice. In the case of my magazines, however, I don't. They let me order about any magazine I want on the face of the planet, the only way I can get them now that I no longer venture into Chattanooga to go to the books stores.

      Civil Forfeiture would be ok if you could trust every single law enforcement agency. The trouble is, you can't. Take the Sheriff's Department here. They have all kind of fancy SUVs, Pick Ups, and even some kind of sports car they tool around the county in. They say they confiscated them from dope dealers. In our county? This place is dirt poor overall. I think it's very likely people get stopped, the deputies (at least some of them) look on the floor board in the back seat and "What's this!" a little package of dope appears and the driver is out his vehicle. Arrests to order, as it were.

      Before people say that couldn't happen, let me tell this story. Years ago we had a Sheriff who was kind of the "Boss Hog" type. Lots of people got arrested for stealing things like log splitters, and sent off to jail. Then one day one of the deputies turned himself in to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. What was happening was the Sheriff was getting bent at people, so he would send this deputy out to someone's house, and they would steal something like the log splitter. Then, the next day, acting on a tip, the Sheriff would arrest someone for theft, because there behind their house would be the stolen log splitter! Then the Sheriff and the Deputy quarreled. The Deputy figured he was next on the list to have some expensive piece of gear materialize at his house and he ratted. 14 individuals were released from prison who were victims in this deal, and the Sheriff went to prison himself.

      That was when a handful of people ran this whole county and ruled with an iron fist. So I'm not naive about all law enforcement being my friends. Probably it's not that bad today, but who knows about tomorrow. I have qualms about giving law enforcement financial incentives to arrest people.

      For that reason, I'm not a proponent of civil forfeiture laws.

      By the way Moe, It's really good to hear from you again. Hope all is well on your end.

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  8. Harry, what about using a separate debit card vs a C.C.? I have my SSI sent to my checking account (dircet deposit) witch I access via a debt card. I then transfer money from checking to pay off CC. I've been doing the DC to pay CC for several months so far so good. I went back to writing checks for the first time in like 25 years, 2nd check took over 3 weeks to clear my bank a third has yet to clear. NO MORE writing checks again ever. Bank even refunded my check printing charges.

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    1. Rob, I have both debit cards and credit cards, and it really isn't the financial aspect of being ripped off that bothers me, either way. I have never lost any money because of it. The bank or somebody else takes the hit. I do have multiple accounts, and it's generally an administrative and emotional issue for me more than anything else. I'm not really more angry about one than the other. It's just the idea that some scumbag did something that inconvenienced me. It's the idea of being put upon that makes the blood vessels in my neck swell up!

      I still write checks. I have written so many that the numbers on the checks are five digits and the bank is always whining about that and wanting me to let them assign me a new account, but I won't. I have had that account since 1986 and I will have it til both my wife and I die and then I hope the kids will use it. They are on the account.

      I am no fan of banksters, as you can doubtless tell.

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  9. I was thinking about getting a prepaid credit card that is not connected to a bank account for internet transactions.

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    1. The problem for me is that some companies my wife likes to buy from won't take prepaid cards. And if they did, and someone ripped you off, you would still have to deal with getting your money back and all the fraud hassle as far as I can see. Maybe I am missing something though. I would be the first to admit that I am not very savy with all this.

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  10. I don't know why some people take so much effort to make other's lives such a pain in the butt. If those same people chose to do good deeds, the world would be a vastly better place.

    I've refused to get a credit card. Many stories, especially lately seem to be of 'Bad Credit Card Karma' and although very useful on a few occasssions, just prove themselves to be not worth the bother.

    My condolences on your troubles, hope you get them ironed out.

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    1. How do you live without one. I am serious. I buy a lot of my books and DVD's on line. I get many of my magazines on my Kindle and I have to use a credit card, debit card,or authorize some company to access one of my bank accounts.You have to have some kind of card to make a plane reservation, hotel reservation, etc. I would be hard put to function without some kind of plastic. Yet I know others like you who have chosen to eschew plastic and they survive. I just don't know how.

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  11. AMazon had a glitch recently with subscriptions. They wound up renewing my cooking magazine subscription five times...once to each different bank card I had ever used with them. The straightened it out, cancelled all but one subscription, returned the money, and gave me $20 for troubles.

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    1. I'm still to unscrew this latest mess and they seem to feel it's up to me to fix it. I think I have done so except they owe me some money because I had to renew magazines that I had already paid for. Some of it they reimbursed me already and some they promised in three days. I wish they had just fessed up that it was a glitch on their end. They didn't give me anything but a hard time so far.😈

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  12. Is there a way for me to follow your blog by e-mail. All I can see is to join your 'circle' which I might have done--or not, can't figure it out!

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    1. Joy, I am not sure what you mean. Most people just book mark a blog and then leave comments to participate.Anyone can comment on this blog though I do censor it so my friends won't have to see a bunch of obscenities and such when my pet troll comes by.

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    2. On some blogs, folks have a little widget that says, "Follow me by e-mail". Then, when you do a new post, I automatically get an e-mail that you posted. I will bookmark your blog, had forgot about that option. Thanks!

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    3. Joy, I have seen that but I don't know how to set it up. I am not very computer literate. It took me about a year to be able to use Blogger.

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  13. Ralph and I are getting wary about Amazon....the only times we have had unknown and odd charges on our cards were when we bought from Amazon...humnn!

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    1. I don't like Amazon because they caved in to the"black lives matter" social engineering project. I'm not sure how good their security is. USAA implied they might be the problem with my cards getting compromised but they only implied it.

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    2. I'll do more than imply it.

      I can vouch for amazons poor security. I forced a refund several weeks back and had to talk to one if their reps. The following night, someone tried and did open another account at amazon using my credit card.

      That was pretty suspicious timing if you ask me. I flat out accused the guy that gave me a refund of stealing my card number and opening that account. Amazon refused to talk to me once I did that which spoke volumes that I was correct in my accusations.

      At any rate I wasn't responsible for the charges and had to get another credit card account number.

      Life goes on.

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    3. Matt, just found your comment here. I had the same thought. Seems like Amazon might be the "leak" for my credit cards, as the only other places I use them are Evine and Sportsmans Guide, and some gun outfits. Those I've been using a long time and never had a problem.

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  14. Harry,

    Oh Dear, I'm sorry to hear you're having to deal with this. I recommend never using a debit card, if you use a card....make the card a designated card only for internet purchases. Don't use it for anything personal..like paying for doctors appointments. Make sure you have the proper security protection (insurance) on it (where you're not responsible to repay if someone else takes off with your card). Having security on a card really does make the difference on getting situations resolved and money back into your account. Another source I recommend using is life lock. They immediately flag situations preventing people from using your card and your money.

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    1. Sandy, I guess that would be best. I don't use a credit card for much, mostly just on line orders. I don't have a card where I have to pay if someone uses it other than myself. Based on recent experience I'd be living in a cardboard box under an overpass if I did!

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  15. That sucks in regards to Amazon. I think it's hard when things don't work with them because they are so big. I had reviews for them that wouldn't go through. I work with companies, and the companies were like, "Where's my review?" Amazon has to approved it. Anyhow trying to get ahold of the right person wasn't easy!

    I hope they don't mess up really bad with your account.

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    1. Alissa, it seems to have been straightened out, but it took a lot of using the "help" feature on Kindle to get to the right people. I just hate the aggravation when some outfit screws up and it becomes my responsibility to fix it.

      I could never do reviews like you do because of all the coordination you have to go through. I don't have the patience.

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  16. It's a scary world.

    The gun decision yesterday now screwing with the internet...Is Trump the only answer? Just curious what you thought.

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