Sunday, January 27, 2008

Care for some cheese with that whine?

So, I had hoped to write about my adventures this past week, but I'm angry and frustrated at the moment and I need to vent.

I haven't been able to do much here in SF that costs money because I have been waiting for unemployment and school financial aid funds to come in. I finally received some financial aid money earlier this week. "Great," I thought, "At last I can do something fun this coming weekend." Well, those plans went down the crapper.

My roommate Fernando has been shopping around for a laptop, and found one online at that he liked. Before he left Brazil he had purchased what he thought was a kind of prepaid debit/credit card, safer than cash for traveling (since so many places won't accept travelers checks anymore). However, there weren't enough digits on the card to be able to use it to make purchases online. Turns out that in the US it can only be used at ATM machines. He asked me if I could order the computer using my debit card and he would give me the cash to deposit into my account. Sure, no problem. (He ended up having to go to several ATM machines at different banks, since each had a withdrawal limit, costing him $50 in fees).

I deposited the cash and placed his order with Amazon on Thursday. He ordered the computer and a DVD box set. He paid extra to have them shipped the next day so he could use the computer over the weekend. On Friday morning, before I left for class, I noticed that Amazon was trying to charge my account twice for the $1,300 computer. This resulted in me having a negative available balance. I had to go to class and didn't have time to worry about it, but I figured it would be adjusted Friday evening when the bank did their posting.

Fernando received an email on Friday morning stating that they had shipped his DVD set, but not the computer because there was a "problem with the credit card." I couldn't access my bank account information nor contact Amazon Friday after class because the Wi-Fi at my hotel wasn't working. Grrrr.

Now it's Saturday, and the Wi-Fi at the hotel still isn't working. I'm at the public library right now, where fortunately I can connect to the Internet. My bank account still shows two charges for the exact same amount--$1,313.11--pending against my account. This means I have a negative available balance, which means--once again--I'm broke for the weekend. Even if I could contact Amazon, my account won't be straightened out until after Monday.

No, I did not hit the send button twice when placing the order. If that had been the case, Fernando would have received two confirmation emails when the order was placed, which he didn't. Additionally, the full amount of the order--$1,362.95 for the computer and DVDs--would have been charged twice. However, only the computer price is being charged twice, since the DVD charge of $49.84 came out of my account on Friday.

I know it will be taken care of, it just sucks that I'm spending another weekend in SF with no moolah. And now every other little problem that comes up is magnified in my mind. For example, our room was cleaned on Friday and the old towels replaced with a new bath towel. Yes, singular, one towel. There have been two of us staying in the room for 3 weeks now, and we've always received two bath and two hand towels. So Friday evening when I discovered this I asked for another bath towel, only to be told that the housekeeping staff was gone for the weekend and the front desk didn't have a key to the towel closet. I let Fernando use the bath towel Friday night since he was going out to a party at his school and wanted to shower. I ended up drying myself this morning with the tiny hand towel.

Yeah, I know, it wasn't the end of the world. But for me it's irritating on top of everything else.

OK, I've finished whining. I better do my schoolwork for my online classes at CR. Fortunately I can do it here at the library.


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