As a result of the fraud found on one of my credit cards a few weeks ago, the credit card company “charged back” a series of purchases made on the same day as the fraudulent charges. Several of them were legitimate charges that I authorized. One of those legitimate charges was to Amazon.
Amazon contacted me a few days later, asking to get paid. Since it was a valid charge, I provided an alternate payment method and we all moved on. Or I thought we moved on… until last night when I received a notice that my Amazon account was now suspended, pending payment of this same charge (you know, the one that I’ve already paid).
Everything in my account is currently being held in purgatory, apparently – ebooks I purchased, purchase histories, wish lists, ebooks published and linked to that account, including access to tax statements generated by sales on Amazon’s platform. It seems there’s no way known to man to access that material again unless I pay Amazon (for the second time) $225 and assorted cents.
As I commented on Amazon’s Twitter feed yesterday, this isn’t a process to resolve account disputes, it’s good old fashioned extortion. Either you comply with their demands or years worth of your online presence is obliterated.
So I guess I’m at war with Amazon now thanks to their decision to act like third tier thugs instead of one of the world’s largest corporations.
I’m old enough to remember a time when we had an election day in America. On the Tuesday after the first Monday in November everyone showed up at their designated poling place and voted. By 11:00 that night the results were reported on the three major networks and everyone went to bed more or less satisfied that the results were the results.
What we seem to have now is an election month instead of just a day. We have early voting for a few weeks, then we have actual election day, then the batch of ballots that someone finds unsecured somewhere, then there’s the inevitable batch of recounts and legal challenges that stretch out for God knows how long. It doesn’t feel like we’re making progress on this front. In fact I tend to think we’re making the opposite of progress.
I don’t foresee a circumstance that will take is back to a place where we all agree to just show up on one day to register our vote in the local elementary school, or fire hall, or church basement… but I think we should. We’ve overcomplicated the plumbing on what should be a very simple exercise of the franchise. We’ve over complicated it and everyone is busy looking for the perfect way to stop up the drain.
Sometimes the old ways aren’t better because they’re the old ways – they’re better because they’re just better.
Here’s a breakdown of three recent charges on my debit card…
– DirecTV = $170.15
– Direct Insurance = $168.75
– AT&T prepaid cell phones (3) = $87.93.
The problem is mainly that none of those charges was actually mine. So, currently I have $1 in my wallet along with a debit card that is deactivated. I have a police report that I can pick up tomorrow afternoon, and Bank of America looking into the situation. Fortunately, they were nice enough to credit my account after I filled out an affidavit and faxed it back to them this morning.
I talked to a “fraud specialist” with AT&T this afternoon who was able to tell me that the charges were made by someone using the name “Jackie.” They declined to give me any more information about the individual until I fax them a copy of the police report. So, Jackie, hear this… I’m coming for you. And when I find you, I’m going to latch on like a bulldog and make your life absolutely miserable. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to loose months of frustration on a singularly deserving target.