Well, I was almost going to ball up my frustrations into a Core opinion article on the uselessness, and therefore bleak future of online shopping after our experinces in the last 5 weeks or so.
In fact I still should, because the issue was never resolved.
Gene, as mentioned in an earlier entry, finally bit the bullet by deciding to buy an iMac, and chose to order it online via the Apple Australia web site (and her Westpac-using credit-card).
After 5 attempts, apple still were refused the transaction. There was most certainly money enough in the account for the transaction. The first problem, it seemed that (unlike the majority of this debt-driven, consumerist society) Gene didn’t use her credit card all that much, and rarely for $1800-odd amounts.
So Westpac hit the skids on the process on the transaction, and rang here to confirm that it was her who had made the order. Calls came from their regular dept and their “Fraud Squad” (this makes me laugh, they give a few employees the title of `squad’ – ha ha ha!).
Gene says – `yes, it was me – it’s okay’ – and perhaps in this modern world of online credit card fraud – this process happening once may be okay.
It happened again (and each time, for some reason apple got to take out one dollar, but that was it) – and each time apple couldn’t do it – their Sydney office would ring here and say `err, there seems to be something wrong, are you sure you’re not overdrawn?’ – but no – and then a call would have to be made from here (during business hours ie. the expensive ones, back to sydney to say `okay give it another go now’) – and all this racked up some considerable phone cost.
This happened FIVE times. Gene was about to give up and say -well bugger it – i just won’t get one … which of course left yak feelin’ rather disappointed.
It seemed that the cause of the problems was that the process of apple withdrawing the money didn’t physically happen in Australia – it happens in the UK, which in itself is kinda odd, but because of this – when amounts over a certain limit are requested form overseas locations, that’s when little alarm bells go off in the west-spac “fraud squad” office.
Five times …. fuckin retards.
Anyway – if this is happening to even a small percentage of customers – and it is – infact A Lot of customers – then shopping online in the global market doesn’t really stand a chance.
So yesterday, she rang the geelong apple store, and lo and behold! – ofr once they actually had a computer in stock, as opposed to say, the last three years of iMacs being on the market, when the response would’ve been, `we can order one from melbourne, it’ll be here in a week’, which goes against the woman’s “I want it now” nature – hey can ya blame her?. She explained the whole situation, thus demonstrating her fiscal ability to procure such device, and of course they were only too happy to help…