CJDaily's Blog

August 27, 2009

I think his name was Abdul… all I know is that he saved me.

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 10:37 pm

I’ve been in a big fight with Paypal for the last few months.  I don’t shop on Ebay all the time, but I’ll go through little spurts of finding things online, and then maybe stop for a year or five.  So the deal was, when I’d originally signed up for my Paypal account it was so long ago that I forgot the email address and password to log on.  Nothing I typed in helped, no combination of old email accounts and passwords unlocked anything.  And I’ve used the same user-names and the same passwords, or variations of those passwords, for a long time now, so it was frustrating in the utmost to keep getting a big fat DENIED when trying to log on. 

Thinking, “No big deal, I’ll just create a new account,” I ran into my second problem.  I only have ONE credit card.  Just one.  So obviously I’d used it when setting up my original Paypal account.  When I entered all my new information, plus this credit card number, it told me that credit card was already in use in a Paypal account and could NOT be used again.  And I was all frothing at the mouth like, “Yes!  I know that, thanks!”

Selecting the “I forgot my password” option did not help–as it needed my email to send it to me.  The email account I obviously could not recall, as it was rejecting all the old ones I offered it.  So I had to do the unthinkable.  I had to ask my sweet and loving boyfriend if I could use his Paypal account.

Being the gem that he is, he told me lovingly that his money was mine and I could use his account whenever I pleased.  Now, some women out there might be thinking “SCORE!” but before you get too excited, let me point out that this is not like being handed Daddy’s credit card.  When you purchase something on Paypal, it immediately SENDS YOU AN EMAIL.  An email to THE CARDHOLDER. 

In other words, it sends your boyfriend a notification of everything you buy, at what time, and for how much. 

OBVIOUSLY NOT A GOOD THING. 

(Not that I shop a lot.  Ahem…)

Anyway, I had to resolve this, and quickly.  I used Jesse’s account once or twice, always making sure to let him know beforehand so he didn’t call his bank in a panic.  But now with him saving every penny to buy a house, my days of potentially unrestricted spending are at a standstill.  So tonight I did the unthinkable.  I CALLED Paypal.

(This story will now be told in the first person, as I constantly switch over to it without even thinking about it.)

I actually brave the customer service help-line.  A line that is answered by an aggressively perky recorded voice who demands that I type all sorts of things into my phone so she can “identify” me.  And since I’ve mentioned that I don’t KNOW the information associated with my account anymore, I’m sure we all know how that went down. 

“I’m sorry,” her voice echoes mechanically for the third time, “I was unable to identify you.  Please enter the phone number you have associated with your account.”

I give up and press zero, hoping for a human.  Undeterred, she starts a new line of questioning.  “If you would like to purchase something/add a bank account/reset your password/accept a payment/beat your head against the wall, please press the following numbers.”  Since there is no number option for “Please just help me with my complicated problem!” I jab zero again.

She sounds decidedly chiller now that I am refusing all of her pre-recorded aid.  “If you would like to speak to a customer service representative, please hold.”  Yes! I think in triumph, just before she adds smugly, “You call will be taken in the order it is received.  Your estimated time on hold will be ten minutes.”  I think I hear her call me a clueless bitch just before the elevator music clicks on, but I don’t even care.  I am going to talk to a human about my problem that is too specific to be numerically punched into my phone.

I pick up a book and start reading, with one hand holding the phone up to my ear.  The tinny music is backed by someone (a male recorded voice, maybe the emotionally abused husband of the evil recorded lady) advising me of the awesomeness of using Paypal, and also how my problem could probably be solved by hanging up and going to their website to fix it myself.  I’m not even joking. 

This guy, who sounds kind, but sad, like his marriage to Evil Recorded Lady is falling apart but dammit he loves her anyway, this guy is telling me that after all my hard work getting past his wife’s recorded clutches, just to hang up and go to the website.  “Nobody’s really here to help you,” is the defeated  subtext of what he’s saying.  He sighs and lights a cigarette, staring off into the distance.  “Only you can help yourself.”

I refuse to let his attitude bring me down.  It’s been five minutes and I’m still going strong.  I tune out his melancholy and keep reading, studiously not looking at the clock.  What do I care how long I sit here with the phone to my ear?  I’ve got nothing but time, man, nothing but time.

Then, magically, I hear it.  The music stops, there is a brief pause, and then a fuzzy, far away sounding voice with an accent straight out of Slumdog Millionaire says,”Mzzzah muzzzag Paypal, mmmzurkah?”

“Um, huh?  Hello?” I gasp breathlessly.  I sneak a look at the clock, triumphant that I held on for almost twenty minutes, refusing to hang up on my dream of an account of my own.

“Hello thank you for calling Paypal, how are you today?”

“Um, I’m fine thanks.” I stammer.  “How are you?”

He hesitates.  I guess nobody ever reciprocates on that one.  Or maybe nobody ever makes it past fifteen minutes of the elevator music and Defeated Recording Guy’s depressed anthem. 

“I am very fine, thank you very much,” he says.  “Can I have the phone number associated with your account?”

“But I don’t know what it is!” I burst out, and then start spilling my guts to this guy who is sitting in a call station somewhere, probably Dubai.  I confess I have no clue what my phone number, email or password is, only the credit card number and could he PLEASE help me cancel the old account and let me open a new one, or he will be dooming me to a life of shopping under my boyfriend’s watchful eye.

At first he seems a little confused.  But for someone whose primary language may not even be English, he does a great job of reassuring me that he is going to do everything in his power to help me out.  I give him everything I DO know about the account, which is precious little, and he does a commendable job of not reaching through the phone and smacking me when I answer all of his questions with “Well it COULD be this email address… but it could be this one too… oh and that password had “cupcake” added to the end of it, but only when I used it on Ebay… or on Tuesdays…”

Finally, we have victory,  He deletes my old account, which belonged to an email I didn’t even remember having, and a password I didn’t even bother inquiring about.  He sounds like he is sweating profusely, and is a little apprehensive when asking, “Have I helped you with all of your Paypal needs for today?”  I’m sure he’s expecting me to say something like, “Well no, I need you to find one more account but all I remember about it was that the card I used was lavender, and it was raining the day I signed up…”  I assure him that he has been most helpful and I am forever in his debt. 

I also tell him if he should run into Evil Recorded Lady by the water cooler, to tell her I said to suck it!  I win!

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