Online shopping hassles

Online shopping hassles

You wouldn’t believe the hassles I’ve had this past week to order parts for my latest upgrade.

Credit crunch or no, I like to shop around for computer parts to get the best deal; after years of experience in the computer trade I have an aversion to paying full or even average price for parts.  Given a large order for quality components, even allowing for addition carriage costs, the savings can be substantial – like £600 less for the monitor!

And this is where I hit the first post of several posts. The last part of the order wouldn’t process. Strange but not a problem, I used another card and it went through straight away.

All orders initially confirmed by email. Good, good.

Next morning the parts from and another supplier arrived. Great.

Gets to about dinnertime and I’m wondering where the rest is. By tea time I’m ringing around shouting at people.

Turns out by using ‘Googlecheckout’ it can add a day or more to the processing. The dealer didn’t actually get the order until the Friday, so ‘next day’ delivery is the following Monday.

The rest of the order, placed via, was apparently declined, though I only found this out a few days later. Turns out – as is right and proper – all the unusual purchasing activity ran up a red flag with the banks and they put a stop on my cards in case of fraud.

Then I get an email from Googlecheckout, date stamped the 27th, saying there had been a problem and if I still wanted it to reprocess it – by the 26th at the latest.

Fed up with Googlecheckout and having problems with one of my debit cards not getting authorised (despite sufficient funds) I used Paypal – and it declined, three times. What had happened was in setting up another bank account (within the same branch) they moved the Paypal details thinking it was a direct debit (don’t ask me!) and Paypal obviously took exception to mismatched bank accounts and threw a wobbler.  This also resulted in my regular payments for the web server etc getting cancelled.

Over the course of time, probably due to the dollar rate and supply and demand, card I wanted (Nvidia 295) had gone from a £365 web special to as much as a staggering £495. Dabs still have it for around £420, but no stocks, long delays and, in the case of the Gigabyte card not even an ETA.  Also goes to show the savings that can be had by shopping around. Gave up in the end and changed that graphics card to the GTX 285.

So, fast forward to the present day and most of my cards are getting flags by the bank, with them ringing me to raise the concerns and the online banking systems declining orders because, for some reason (a server fault at the banks end I believe) the SecureCode validation wasn’t working right for me.


Did not help matters that when I went online to look up a few things that Mastercard’s own website had such a blatant spelling mistake – in huge red letters no less – that I had to do a check that it was actually the bank and not a spoof site.

It is spelt ‘participating’, if you missed that. I know I make many typo’s and never proof-read enough but this is a hobby site, not a global banking corporation promoting online security. Out of curiosity I entered the spelling mistake into Google. Seems a common error! :

Results 110 of about 55,600,000 for parcticipating. (0.21 seconds)

That and I couldn’t even check things due to server errors. Being cautious to the point of paranoia I did ring Mastercard direct and the lady I spoke to couldn’t get into it either, blaming the server and recommending I try again in 15 minutes.

Finally sorted it today – I hope – but it had me tearing my hair out a few times.

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