Day to day musings of a cat minder/ sitter in North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne . For details of services go to

Welcome to CatMinders

Welcome to CatMinders

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Today I have been mostly fighting ...

.. with Pin Numbers...

which I know is a losers game . I might as well catch a flight to Atlantic City and stand and feed the machines there with all my worldy goods.
Its my sanity I've been losing these last few days though, but I am pleased to report that so far at least I have kept my cool with the call centre operators who keep ( politely ) giving me different pieces of advice thus leading me into this fine mess.

Initially I received a new credit card .
My last one lasted three years. Great . This one saw my through my recent trip to the States, thank goodness, and just as I landed back , it expired. No matter , the new one was in the bag , and the sticker attached advised that it was ready for use. Oh no hang on . It just needed to be "authorised". And thereby hangs the tale . Of woe. Mine . No one else seems remotely bothered.
I duly rang the number to be told someone had " already authorised the card" Er no . " Could I have authorised the card and forgotten ? Er no . I know I have senior moments etc but I didn't do this . For one thing I was in Another Country ....
I tell her I haven't authorised the card and this concerns me . Who has authorised the card and what does this mean? She says Oh not to worry and moves swiftly on -in her head to her next call , and tells me just to use my card with impunity . I hesitate but realise I am not getting any joy here . Also - who am I to worry if she doesnt want to .
I go off to live my life .

It is a few days before I have a chance to live my life according to the credit card. Petrol . I fill my little tank , thinking my thoughts, which are mundane and weary , place my card and apply my pin and bingo .... I am Reject. The boy smiles and says I can try again . He is used to ladies of a certain age making errors. I know there has been no such error and think immediately of the Imposter who has for Sure and  Certain Thing Fraudulently obtained my account and card and changed my pin with his Wicked Ways . I whip out another card as my card is rejected again and pay for my petrol and race home as fast as my C1 will carry me . I am into the house and screaming abuse and demanding assistance to catch these fraudsters . D hurries onto the internet recognising that any plans he had for the evening are up the spout until this is managed , and in minutes I am speaking to Fraud at NatWest .

Your Pin is now Unblocked says the young man patiently , as I babble about fraud . He does not think fraud is applicable here but does not explain why or why not .
Now , he says , I must go to a Nat West machine and change my pin number .
Phew I think . thats easy . Now I can get my old pin number back .

I promptly forget this and head off to a gruelling week of Other Commitments . Well , not so very gruelling but I need some excuse to explain how it was that I forgot to change the pin .

In fact next thing I did was try to use the card again .

Oh dear says the nice young woman with the lovely hair in the Christmas present shop .
Are you buying this for your daughter? She will love it? But I think there might be a problem with your card you know . Its saying the pin is blocked .

I stare at the machine and my hands feel cold .
I'll tell you what I say to her .
I'm just going to take this card out and give you another one.

I head straight to the bank and to the ATM at NatWest . In goes the card . Pin Services . I just know I've messed up . Pin Number ? It asks me . Now which pin number I think , since my pin number is blocked and then unblocked , but now reblocked . Hm. I try my pin number and follow the directions for unblocking .... Your Request is Denied .

I am very unhappy .

I head home .

At home , would you believe , a letter from the bank containing a new Pin Number . In my defense , as I know I shouldnt have used the card without trying to make the change first , the young man at Fraud never told me a new Pin would be sent out .

So , back I head to the Machine, feed in the card again , and this time , put in the new number , after applying my spectacles and stepping away from the queue to work out how to rub off the backing paper off the pin number . Finally I am back at the front of the queue . I change the pin number as desired , back to my old one . Request declined , contact your bank .

Argh .
I drive home , keening quietly to myself .
At home , as I speak to a young woman this time she explains that if I feed my card back into the machine again , she will talk me through the process . " I am back at home now " .... and explains its a two part thing . I have to Unblock the pin . Take the card out . Start again . Then change it .

OMG . I drive back to the machine .
Pay to park again .
Specs out .
Card in .
Old pin .
Unblock pin
Card out .
Card in
Change pin .

Sucess ??
Who knows  .
Now I have to buy something and we will find out .

Last night I thought I heard someone crying in my house ? I wonder now if was me ?

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