Apr 192010

I got the new issue of the Gypsy Journal wrapped up yesterday, so today we’ll make a run to Flagstaff to drop it off at the printer. It’s about 120 miles each way, and while we’re in the “big city” we’ll stop at Sam’s Club to pick up some supplies. This is our Eleventh Year Anniversary Issue, and it sure feels good to reach another milestone!

My granddaughter Destiny had her own milestone yesterday, when she turned three years old. We had cake and ice cream, and wondered again where little ones get so much energy! Here’s the birthday girl with her cake.

Destiny birthday cake

And here’s a picture Miss Terry took of my daughter Tiffany and me. You can tell that she didn’t get her good looks from her daddy.

Nick and Tiffany 2010 2 

We have never liked the day/night shades that come on most RVs, and since a couple of them need restringing, we decided that rather than deal with that, we’d replace them with wooden blinds. Miss Terry has spent a lot of time online comparing options, and over the last few months we had stopped at several home improvement stores to see what we liked and what fit our motorhome.

After we left the birthday party, we stopped at Lowes and placed an order for the blinds, which should arrive in about two weeks.  We chose Lowes because the pricing was comparable to Home Depot across the street, but Lowes gives veterans a 10% discount. I appreciate that, and try to spend my money with stores that support our troops and vets.

When I handed the clerk my credit card to pay for the blinds, it was declined. Huh? No way. I told her that there must be a mistake, so we tried it twice more, and the card was declined both times. That’s really embarrassing. I used a different card, and the minute we got back to the Winnebago, I called my bank to see what the problem was, since I knew I had the money available.

After shuffling me between a couple of different customer service representatives, they told me that yes, my account is in fine standing, but they had declined the charge because our billing address is in Nevada, and this was a “large purchase” in Arizona. “We do this to protect you,” the young lady on the other end of the phone told me.

This has happened to us before, and it really ticks me off. I always feel like telling them that I’m 57 years old, I spent more time in uniform than they spent in high school, and I’m heavily armed to boot. I can look after myself, so stop protecting me!

I pointed out to the young lady that the name on my account includes the words “RV Travel Newspaper,” which might imply that we travel, and that we frequently make “large purchases” from Arizona to Florida to Michigan, and points in between.

Once we got that resolved, we had a quiet evening at home. Miss Terry gave the new issue a final proof reading and I made the changes necessary, then we had a light dinner and I posted a travel story to the RV Net Blog while we watched a movie on the Hallmark Channel.

Thought For The Day – Closed minds always seem to be connected to open mouths.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  12 Responses to “Stop Protecting Me!”

  1. That credit card thing-y happened to us once in Florida, Nick. Our billing is South Dakota. She told me that when we are going to be traveling “away from home” we should call in to the CC company and tell them so that they are aware we may be charging something elsewhere. At that point, I told her to get a pencil and paper, then I read off our itinerary for the next month. That pretty much shut her up and we haven’t had any trouble since.

  2. Home Depot also gives the 10% discount to veterans…… Our credit cards (Wells Fargo & Cabelas Visa) always call us and ask us if we just made a large purchase at such and such place. I appericate it and it has never slowed us down. We still spend money like its going out of style! LOL

  3. Hey Nick, going back a couple of days to “You made what” you had a picture of a yellow school bus upside down on another yellow school bus. This is the website that is being promoted on teh school bus.



  4. We live in Kentucky. One of our credit card companies called when we charged purchases in Oklahoma. Our other credit card company did not call when charges were placed from Arizona, but I had an e-mail alert set for anything over $100. I was able to cancel that card and get a new one and was not responsible for the charges which were not ours. The only place I had used that card in the past six months was to make a campground reservation on-line and pay motorcycle insurance on-line. It would embarrass me to have the card declined, but at least would not have to go through the hassle of identity theft. Can’t win!

  5. You should be thankful they try to protect you against ID theft but they should use a different approach. I like the one Mike McFall mentioned. I had a case of ID theft where some scumbag inmate in a Missouri prison got my Debt card number and ran up $1000s of dollars in long distance phone calls. It was a pain in the A_ _ to fix. When I drove to Alaska last Summer, the first time I used my card in Canada, my bank sent me an email saying they put a freeze on it until I called them. I didn’t know I was supposed to notify them ahead of time I’d be traveling. As Ray and Len always say “Safety is the best policy”!

  6. We called the CC company to tell them in an hour we would be charging $2000 for a new computer. When we got to the store everything went OK. We had both tried to buy a TV at Walmart a week or two before and were declined so that’s why we prenotified them. Haven’t had a problem lately after telling them we travel ALL of the time. They do call after the purchase and inquire if we had made the purchase.

  7. We once bought a stereo system after hours on a Friday. The bank itself was closed but their security company was on the ball. They talked to the clerk on the phone and made him say Dave matched his picture on his driver’s license then they made Dave answer security questions. I like that system.

    My least favorite living-on-the-road story is when Sprint cancelled our air card contract because we were roaming.

  8. Personaly we like the security systems our bank uses. We had the same thing happen the other day. The machine was not working and they tried three times to get it to run. After the third time it was refused. embarrassing yes, but we did not mind. We knew that there was enough money in the account. The pain in the rear came when we called the bank as instructed and it took twenty minutes of dealing with a stupid automated system who could not understand that we wanted to talk to a human. When we were finally able to get a human on line it took about three minutes of her questioning us about the charges and of course she had to go over all the recent ones to get it straight. She apologized for the inconviece we were caused. I would not want to become a victim of ID fraud. Our band is aware that we travel a lot.

  9. I wouldn’t mind it so much if they would at least be honest about what they are doing. The entity being “protected” is very much NOT the customer. All the BS is entirely for the card issuer’s benefit. It really frosts me when they give me that glib BS about protecting me.

    We had an absolutely awful ordeal last winter when apparently somebody stole a block of credit card numbers which included mine. We were in Arizona at the time, in an area with no cell service. My credit card company cancelled my card and issued a new one, which of course they sent to my mailing address which was nowhere near where we were at the time. The first I knew about the whole fiasco was when some end-of-month auto-charges started bouncing. Trying to deal with the voice mail systems that won’t let you talk to a real person and always want you to leave a callback number when we didn’t have cell coverage was a genuine treat.

  10. Hi Nick,

    We periodically get calls from our credit card company – it’s annoying and embarrassing to have something denied when you know it’s not really a problem, but I figure it’s a trade off between being cautious or identity theft. The times we live in…

    As far as replacing the day/night shades w/blinds – you’ll love the blinds. Larry figures he changed each of our day/night shades at least three times over the course of six years. About 2 years ago, we swapped to custom made wooden blinds, ordering them from http://www.americanblinds.com/ – no regrets at all. What we did do tho, after trying a couple of them with the fasteners at the bottom to hold them in place, was to not use the fasteners at all but put velcro strips – we found it easier to use. When we travel, we fasten the blinds to the velcro. I don’t know how noisy they are because we’re in a fifth wheel but I’d rather do that than having them swing freely or pull them all the way up. Another benefit is that we noticed they help insulate from the heat and cold, especially our rear bay window that used to have vertical blinds.

  11. Nick, Lowes does offer a military discount to vets on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and the 4th of July. The other days the discount is only offered to active, retired and disabled veterans. Some employees may not understand the discount. Here it is explained. http://www.nationalguard.com/news/2010/feb/10/lowe-s-supports-the-military-with-discount
    All the best. Bob

  12. We have a couple of different bank account but basically use the USAA bank. They have never refused a purchase but they have called a couple of times to check that it was us. They have also replaced our credit cards numerous times; like whenever some idiot at DOD loses their laptop with all our SSAN info. We always thank them; who needs ID theft!

    Not on topic but you might be interest to learn that USAA has changed it’s policy and is now open to ALL vets. It’s a great company; I’ve been insured with them for almost exactly forty years! Their bank is pretty cool too – they are centered around military people who may be deployed so dealing with someone in an rv is easy for them. For example, if you take pictures of the front and back of a check and email it to them, they accept it and deposit it in your account. No, I’m not a spokesperson, just a happy customer.

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