living internationally

I haven’t lived in the same place for more than a year in a long time. I live in the UK now, last year was the US, the year before the UK again. In this day and age, people hop all over the globe, it is relatively easy and though not cheap, many people can still manage to travel occasionally. The world is getting smaller as it becomes easier for people to flit about the place.

What I don’t understand, is after all this, how banking internationally is still a royal pain in the ass. I needed to use my American card for this weekend because that is where our money was. Usually it is in our British account, which by the way, is supposed to be an international account. We pay extra for it to be international. But it isn’t. It is a big fat lie. So, I go to use my American debit card and the machine says to me,  this card is not recognized. Booo. Fail. So for the afternoon we had to use my American credit card, which we never use, because, who wants to use a credit card when you actually have money set aside for your plans?!

We get back to our bed and breakfast and I ring my mom, just to say hi, tell her we got down to Plym alright and that we are veiwing flats starting at 10 a.m. the next day. She is livid, not with me, but with my bank. The Fraud Department has called her twice, wanting to know if I lived there. Which, I do, technically. Or at least, that is the permanent address my bank has. Unfortunately, they called when my little sister was home and the automated machine asked her, Does Jenifer Ford live here? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no. She pressed two.

So my mom gets home, gets back on the line with the Fraud Department and lets them know that yes, I am out of the country and that I am trying to use my card. They aren’t having any of it. They say I must be the one to call. So my mom shouts at them because I am in England and it isn’t that easy to pick up the phone and talk to the bank, especially since I am currently in Plymouth. But they don’t really care. There are secret security questions I must answer that she doesn’t know the answer to (this is a lie).
So, I am trying to use Skype and wireless internet to get a hold of my bank and let them know that yes, it is me trying to take my money out. Now, I know what some of you are thinking, It is pretty normal to let your bank know that you are travelling internationally. Yes. Yes it is. I did this when I moved. I let them know I would be living in England and still using my card infrequently. I watched them make a note of it on my account. This is why I am annoyed. So, even though I have a pretty poor connection I get through to the fraud department. I am prepared for every security question they throw at me since my mom said it would be a lot.

They asked me two. Both of which my mom knows the answer to without having to look up. I feel real secure.

That is it.

ARRGH!!! Next time I just told my mom to pretend to be me. She has all my information including my mother’s maiden name. I am pretty sure one of my security questions is, who was your childhood bestfriend? I think Mom can handle that.

So then we go to pay the deposit and they won’t take my American card because the expiration date is in the wrong format. We have to take out the cash and deposit it into the British account because the letting agency won’t take cash. CASH!
And now I have a notice from my credit card company telling me there has been suspicious activity on my account, since I had to use it because I couldn’t use my debit card. But, I have to call to fix it.


Next post? The flat!

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