Wednesday, September 24, 2008

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Credit Card, No Service

I’m not going to name names, but someone who I live with and who I’m related to by marriage, lost their credit card last week. Unfortunately said person’s card and mine have the same number so I had to call and cancel them and have new ones issued. That’s a 6-10 day process. Why? I don’t know. Maybe there is a plastic shortage, maybe they make them by hand, or maybe they are coming from China like everything else that’s sold in this country.

Whatever the case may be, it’s day 4 and the new cards still haven’t come yet. I was kinda hoping the 6-10 estimate was an extreme case scenario. The kind they give so people aren’t calling every few days to asking where in the heck their cards are.

So what’s the big deal? Why am I writing about this? Well I’m just surprised at how dependant we have become on credit cards. We used that card for everything. Anything that could be charged was put on that card. (don’t worry I pay it off each month – no finance charges for me).

We do this for a few reasons. One is convenience. It’s just easier than carrying around cash or a checkbook (yeah we have a check card but see reason two). Two, I like the idea of using someone else’s money for free for a month. And three, it was a Shell MC. We got rebates on gasoline purchases. Usually around $50 a month. Not a huge dent in the $400-$500 we spend every month on gas but better than a kick to the head by a Donk.

So not having a card for a few days is a lot more annoying than I thought it would be. We don’t keep much money in our checking account. So now I have to figure out a way to pay for a week’s worth of expenses without using credit. No it’s not the end of the world but when you are used to pulling up to the gas pump and using the card to put $100 worth of gas in the van and no longer can, you have to come up with a new plan. Used to buying things online like we are? Opps. Fortunately I had some cash on hand that I keep for emergencies and we did have some money in the checking account. So between the cash and the check card it’s working out.

Plus we had to connect various companies that charge our card automatically every month and tell them to stop using that card. And then we will have to call them back with the new card info when it shows up. Plus all the account information at the online stores we use (most running shoe stores) is going to have to be updated with the new card info too.

This experience makes me wonder if that’s what happened to Lehman Brothers. Did they lose their credit card for a week and couldn’t pay their bills for the week? No money to pay for salaries, office supplies, $10 million bonuses, or even worse Coffee!

I’m still having trouble deciding which card to give to Sam and which one I should keep…


wife said... has been a huge inconveniece!!! OFFER IT UP!!!

Rob said...

hey big mouth, now everyone knows it was you that lost the card. i had cleverly disguised who it was that lost it ;)

KayleighJeanne said...

So does your title imply that you haven't been able to order new running shoes without your card? Can you possibly go more than a week in the same pair?

BTW...thanks for the guide. It is nice to know that I can go to a mass without busting into flames now.

Rob said...

KLJ - If I go more than a week or two without new running shoes, my feet get the shakes.

Just to be safe, when entering a catholic church, dip your finger in the holy water font (little round water holder near the doors) and see if it burns. if it doesn't go ahead in. if it does...go rent The Exorcist for what to do :)

Anonymous said...

I saw no mention of calling on St. Anthony for help. He could have found that card in no time.

You'll have to remember to ask for his help the next time, when *you*, Rob, lose something.

Someone else's wife

Rob said...

Yeah I was at work at the time just tyring to provide for family and minding my own business. The un-named person who lost the card should have been begging St Tony. But I guess Sam – I mean that person – is just a borderline heathen.

Rachel said...

We do EXACTLY the same thing!!! We use one credit card and put everything on it. It get paid at the end of the month. We get rebates back on ours too. For the top 3 things we use it for. Right now that is gas, food, and probably more gas.

I have been in Sam's shoes. Robert knows your pain, Rob. I lose everything. That is what I get for being a QuADD (Queen of ADD) though.

Though, when I lost our Discover card they had the new ones here in 2 days!!

Catherine said...

"You have some cash you keep for emergency?" Hum! interesting. What else ?
1st blog rule, never, NEVER, confide that you get cash for emergency somewhere. Do your children read your blog?

And yes, I think that's quite the same case for Lehman Bros. They lost cards, AND all the stuff, the head also, and they get money for emergency too. Your money! And soon it will be ours. Belgian banks are in a very bad position since. The wave is arriving.
I've worked in banks for many years, and you know what's amazed me : how didn't they realize "they lost their cards" before arriving to this bitter end?