Well, it doesn’t really matter because not much has changed here since my last post way back in August. Well, the leaves have changed because summer is long gone and autumn is in her death throes. It’s actually been quite beautiful, I love the yellow and red leaves blowing about the city streets like confetti. Bleah, my writing has not much improved has it?
Anyway, I’m not going to try and catch you up on everything in one fell swoop. First, it would be boring as hell. And second, after my long hiatus I expect I’m down to literally one or two faithful readers and they probably can guess what’s been up. But thanks Jenn and Susan and Nomad for checking up on me. I actually had a couple of other acquaintances ask what happened to my blog and expressed some remorse that I was not posting. As did my mother. So, I may never have had many readers, but damn those few of you are loyal. I did miss my little blog more than I would have imagined and I am resolved to post with some semblance of regularity now that I have her back. I know, promises, promises.
For those curious about why my account was suspended so long I’ll share that story. Even though it makes me look stupid. It was really all just a misunderstanding. Here’s how it went down:
Way back when (late August, early September) I happened to check my credit card statement. I only do so periodically as I am lazy and disorganized. And it is actually not a credit card, it is the debit card for my checking account. So, I see this charge to “West Bend Web” for $172.80. And by God, I never even heard of West Bend Web and I damn sure didn’t make a purchase from them through PayPal.
So, I marched on down to my bank (which is actually a credit union) and in my outrage filed a dispute and canceled my debit card since someone had obviously stolen the number somehow.
About a week later I get a letter from the credit union saying they had notified PayPal of the dispute and had provisionally credited my account in the amount of $172.80. Ok, so far so good.
A couple of days later my blog was suspended. What’s up with that? I went to the help page at Blogs-about.com (my blog host) and initiated a claim ticket. I started this blog in December 2004 so I figured I was paid up until December (I pay annually) and besides, I had never gotten a bill. It took several days for Blogs-about to get back to me with the news that PayPal had rescinded my payment in the amount of $172.80. Oops!
Turns out, I had been on a month-to-month basis until August 2005, and then switched over to the annual payment. Not that I remembered doing that. And it also seems that I set this up as an automatic payment, which is why I never got a bill. Well. Geez. So, I’m stupid, ok?
And then began the nightmare of trying to reverse the events my ignorance had set in motion. First, I went back to the credit union and said “my bad, West Bend Web is the name Blogs-about uses for billing (no, I don’t know why, but that’s what caused the confusion) so, please withdraw the dispute.” A few days later I get the letter confirming that the dispute was withdrawn and advising that the $172.80 credit was being reversed. Ok. So, I figure PayPal would remit the money to West Bend and I would be back in business. Nope.
After waiting a few days, I went back to Blogs-about and asked what was going on. They said PayPal had not remitted the funds and I should contact them for the status. Trust me, if you have never navigated the Byzantine world that is PayPal consider yourself fortunate.
Since I had made a disputed payment claim, they had blocked my account. To reinstate my account. I had to jump through several hoops. One of which involved FAXing my credit card statement. Except I had canceled that account. The other involved FAXing a utility bill from the address on my account, which is in Virginia. And as most of you know, I live in Korea these days. And oh yeah, PayPal has no record of the $172.80 being remitted by my bank.
So, I found a phone number for the PayPal folks and actually talked to a real live human being. I explained the situation in detail and the kind female voice on the other end of the line was very understanding and promised to see what she could do.
A couple of days later I received an email from PayPal explaining in step-by-step detail what I needed to do to reinstate the the account. And yes, it involved a credit card statement for an account that no longer exists and a utility bill from a place I no longer reside. And no mention whatsoever of the $172.80 that was withdrawn from my account. Hmm.
So, I emailed the woman at the credit union (in San Diego) who had handled my initial dispute and got an “out of office” reply indicating she was no longer employed there. I then emailed the contact address at the credit union explaining the situation and got a form letter reply with a dispute form attached. Yeah, that worked out well for me last time!
So. I decided to try and work an end-around. I registered for a new PayPal account (which required me to use a new email address (only one account per email address apparently). To establish a new account PayPal bills your credit card $1.95. When that charge appears on your statement there is a four-digit number. Then you send that number to PayPal and you are verified and can make purchases. This took about a week.
So, with my new account in hand I paid for a new subscription at Blogs-about. And waited. And waited. And wrote the help desk. And wrote the help desk again. And then in the wee dark hours of last night, my blog as if by magic reappeared.
Meanwhile, I have no idea where the $172.80 currently resides. I’m wondering if the woman at the credit union took it with her. Assuming PayPal has the money, it will be placed in the account I can no longer use because I can’t verify I am who I say I am.
So, after all this hassle all I’ve got to show is a blog I’ve paid twice for and this crappy post. Well, I’m not done fighting to get this resolved but I’m pretty much exhausted at this point and lord knows what havoc I will wreak by filing a new dispute with the credit union. Stay tuned for more of my exciting life.
Ok, I also need to bring you up to speed on my dart life and happenings at the office. But we will save those posts for another day. I have my Korean lesson tonight and I have not studied since the last one. I’m learning verbs these days which I think may be a key ingredient to me speaking in actual sentences someday. I have an amazing vocabulary consisting of fruits, animals, seasons, body parts and the like, but practically speaking, it’s not much help in conversation with the natives. Although one night when a Korean guy called me a hippo I said “do you mean hama?”. He was quite impressed with my grasp of the language. Well, hell, I can order beer and ask where the bathroom is in Korean. Really, what else do you need to know?