Naturally, I can' sleep when I need to be rested the most. One of my fellow co-workers has taken the week off, so I have to do the work of three people: his job, my job, and the job of the person that has been there nigh a year and still can't figure out which end is up. If I were smart I'd be backing up my data now, but then I couldn't procrastinate about that tomorrow.A Dream Come True Turns into a Nightmare
No, I didn't sleep with a hooker and get AIDS. I purchased a 60 GB Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen Extra, one of the best first-gen (and dare I say all time) MP3 players ever made. I've wanted this puppy for years. stormreaver
has been pressuring me into purchasing a 20 GB MP3 player from him. This of course I cannot do as I have more data then that and so I gracefully declined the offer on the off-brand MP3 player. I was really excited about bidding on this item as I had been salivating over it for years and recently discovered that Creative is no longer manufacturing nor supporting the device any longer. I had watched two go for $122.50 a piece. Granted they were used, but when the item was first put on the market, they were in the $250-$350 range.
I found an auction that had several days to go on it, placed a modest bid and planned to wait out the crowd until the last few minutes of the auction. Come to find out, there was a bidder with a feedback score of 0 (that's "zero" for those of you in Texas; it means he had never bought anything and no one had anything good to say about him). In each auction, he had kept bumping the price up; I noticed this too late. The auction was set to close at 1955 CST, July 4th. That morning, he had finally broken my bid of $90 with a bid of $91. Smiling to myself, I let this sit all day knowing he was an asshole. What I didn't know was that he was a bigger asshole then me.
My plan was to hold out as long as I could before making a killing bid as he had been inching things up a dollar at a time throughout the bid. With exactly five minutes left in the auction, I place my bid. He outbid me immediately (it wasn't an automatic bid; he was sitting behind the keyboard watching this thing.) So I outbid him. Then he me. So on and so forth. With fifteen seconds left in the auction, I placed my final bid and won the auction for $120. Not bad. Granted, it was the $71 the auction had sat at for two days with my name on it, but I did get the item for below what the other two auctions had and it was my country's birthday, so I was going to celebrate.
As you may know, I've had a lot of financial trouble here lately. What you may not know is that I've been working two jobs for the past three months and have really knuckled down and denied myself so I could dig out of my hole. I could afford this purchase if I split the payment between cash in the bank and the little bit of credit I had on a card. Immediately upon conclusion of the auction, I went to do precisely this and learned a hard lesson with bitter tears: don't do business with Paypal. I now hate them more then I hate Best Buy and I refuse to walk into that store.
Paypal does not allow you to make an Ebay purchase with multiple funding sources. I looked and looked for this option on their website and even spent half an hour on the phone with them listening to some girl chatter away in Engrish giving me solutions to problems I did not have. Upon assessment of the situation, I decided that since there was enough credit available on the card, I could charge the entire purchase and then immediately make a payment on the card for the amount that I was going to pay out of my account in the first place. No big deal, right?
Now, knowing that I have read Howton's Botswanan Minister of Treasury
and laughed him to scorn, what do you think happened next?
I filled out the information and clicked "Pay". Instead of getting a confirmation page, I got a "thank you for your money from your bank account
, sucker!" page. As a proud Opera user, I used my mouse gesture to go back to the cached version of the previous page. The area for selecting where the funds were going to transfer from
was at the bottom of the page that one has to scroll down
to for interaction! While there was money enough to cover the charge, there wasn't money enough to cover the charge plus all the legitimate transactions I had pending.
I called Paypal and listened to more Engrish. The only solution they offered me was to have the seller refund the money as they could not cancel the transaction once it had been initiated. The seller did so within ten minutes of my sending him an email. Of course, what takes Paypal less the a second to obtain takes them days to give back. Now mind you, this all occurred on the Wednesday the Fourth. Over the weekend the money left my account--right as those legitimate transactions were coming through. I could see that they were going to bounce the account and there was nothing I could do about it. Besides, the bank would charge me the fee, pay for the transactions and I'd only be out $38.
Or so I thought.
It turns out that the bank charges $38 for every transaction that clears the bank with insufficient funds. As the money involving Paypal left and came back, no less then five (5) $38 overdraft charges were applied to my account, meaning I can't pay bills that were due this week more specifically Thursday. Guess when I get my next paycheck? Ring ding to the guy in the back who answered Friday
Of course, I didn't know that I was going to get dinged for each item, I thought it was just one fee. This is the same bank that closed my credit card account without notifying me first. Despite having a checking account with them for three years without bouncing a single check as well as getting a card with them that I have always paid on time and well above the minimum monthly payment, the bank only thought it was worth it to remove on charge. I'm willing to lay a dollar to a doughnut that had my last name been Fuentes, not only would they have refunded every overdraft fee, I might could have made some money on the whole deal. Of course it's possible that something hasn't cleared yet or that the bank will charge me another two or three rounds just because they can. Thankfully, Reggie
is a great enough friend that he lent me $100 to get ahead of the eight ball.
Let's recap: an MP3 player that originally cost me $120 wound up costing me $120 (original price) + $152 (overdraft fees) + inability to make credit card payment +$39 late fee on said card + $39 over limit fee + $100 from Reggie = $450 + psychological and emotional damages. That thing had better work like a charm with nary a problem for years.
I now feel like a fool for being in a worse position then Howton when he chequed in with the Botswanan Minister of Treasury. I considered Bogarting his title If I Were Smarter, This Would Be Easier
. I swear, there's a tax on the creation of wealth. Tony Montana got it right when he said "You know what capitalism is? Getting' fucked!" It's just too bad I didn't have a tube of Cherry Flavor Anal Eaze.