I sit down to do some chores, mostly online these days of course. I need a new pin for my credit card which I can’t order online, I have to telephone the bank’s 24-hour service. Fair enough. So I go to Skype, where my credit has run out. In order to buy more credit I have to use the credit card for which I have no pin. First I have to change the details on my Skype account because I have a new credit card. Then I have to go to the secure payment window which times me out, presumably because of the crap connection here. So I start again. This time I try with my PayPal account. This account has been suspended for 3 months because of somethingorother, possibly lack of use, and I had to provide scanned copies of my passport and home address. I did that 2 weeks ago but haven’t checked back to see if it’s working yet (I do have a life!). We are now 35 minutes into this transaction and as yet haven’t got anywhere. I feel like my life is slipping away. Of course I can’t remember my PayPal password, which when I accessed it 2 weeks ago I had to change about 3 times, but thankfully the second attempt works. I have downloaded LastPass to remember all these passwords but a) it seems to appear and disappear at will (no, I haven’t had chance to sit down and work out how it all works…) and b) it won’t download on my Mac so I have to go upstairs and use my trusty Windows laptop.
My PayPal account, once I am in, is still blocked. We are now 40 minutes into this attempt to get a new pin for my credit card. Time is of the essence as Pete will be in the UK next week and needs to pick it up from our house in London (obviously it can’t be sent anywhere else because sending to a house full of strangers who are renting it is much safer than sending it to an address I choose, like, say my mum or sister or something).
PayPal. The safer, faster way to pay and be paid.
Well that’s a frickin joke isn’t it? Now I am finally in, having put my password in about 4 times (and that’s the correct one, which mysteriously Last Pass does not autofill) it seems that the scanned copies I sent are not good enough so my account is still suspended. The good news is that I have nearly 50 quid in there! The bad news is of course that I can’t spend it on anything.
F**k. Right, back to square one, attempting to pay Skype with my Halifax credit card so that I can get enough credit to call Halifax to send me a new pin. Today.
I hate technology but for the purposes of this blogpost will persevere with this ridiculous transaction. 45 minutes and counting. The Skype page to buy more credit takes so long to load I have a chance to write this, Skype message Pete about the aborted PayPal mission to unlock our account and check some emails. Skype asks me if I want to pay with Skrill or Ucash. Is this a joke? WTF are they? Skype is very clever however, because every time I make a change it ticks the Autofill option for me which I have to tediously untick every time, thus adding vital seconds to this already bollocks transaction.
I’m back to adding my new credit card details to my Skype account AGAIN, just like I did 20 minutes ago.
What’s going to happen next?
The page you are about to visit is hosted by your credit/debit card provider. They will ask security questions. To verify payment, just follow the the steps asked by your bank.
OK, let’s have you then.
Your order is being processed. You can check the status of your order in the Account section of our site.
We’ll send you a confirmation email to email@example.com once your order is completed.
Then you can click the Dial tab in Skype and start calling your friends on landlines and mobile phones.
Woop de woop! No extra secure banking verification for me! Just straight to the order. Thanks. I wonder if I have to somehow verify this by checking my email inbox first? Hmm. Now I’m in my Skype account which is all jolly and asking when my birthday is so I can complete my profile. Oh sod off. OK, I make the call and…. No answer. And again. No answer. It’s a 24 hour telephone banking line, how can there be no effing answer?
One hour gone. I want to tear my hair out and throw this laptop into the pool. The supreme irony is that I do have a Skype account with £10 credit already on it. It’s my business account for whatsonyangon.com but I have forgotten my password. Yep, it’s being sent to my webmail which, miraculously, I can actually access this morning (very unusual, I forward it to my gmail for this reason). Of course the password reset link isn’t there. Where is it? Who knows? Who cares? So now I have 2 Skype accounts both with £10 credit on and neither of any fecking use to me whatsoever because I can’t get hold of the banking people to request my new pin.
There is another point to this rant. I’m a stay at home mum. I also run 2 businesses as well as getting back to work as an actress. We are now 65 minutes into ONE item on my to do list. This is normal. I now have an hour and a half before I have to get in the car and spend an hour in traffic to fetch Alfie home from nursery. I still haven’t showered or done any exercise or answered any emails. It would be easy to blame all this on the risible internet connectivity we have here in Myanmar, or indeed my addled mum of two brain and 40-something technophobia. But you know what? Technology really is slowing the world down. FACT. And causing unnecessary frustration and stress on a daily basis. Nice.
I go back to the Halifax page to check if I somehow got the number wrong. Of course it’s over 10 minutes since I checked it so I have been logged out. Great, groundhog day here we go again. The number is correct according to Halifax, Skype tells me it’s invalid, probably because it’s an 0845 number and I’m calling from abroad.
One hour and 10 minutes down. Achievements? One Skype account credited with £10. One blog post written. Yayy to me. I’m going for a shower.