Monday, December 12, 2005

Well, that buzz didn't last long

You ever do something really stupid?  And then you're sitting there looking at the undeniable evidence that you've just done something really stupid and you can't quite get out of it.  (And you're looking frantically for that button that says "No!  I didn't mean that!")

OK, here's the thing.  I wanted to order something online for my dad.  (Yeah, mom, it's that thing we talked about.)  And I saw it on the merchant's official site for a certain price.  And I saw it on amazon for about $4 more.  And I thought, well, there's free shipping on amazon -- so I really have to see how much the merchant charges for shipping to find out which is the better price.

So I made like I was going to order it on the merchant's website, in order to get to the "summary of charges" page.  But to do that, I'd have to give it all my info.  And I didn't want to type in my name and address and phone number and email address.  So I typed "test" in every line, except I put a 9-digit California phone number in and, where it wanted an email address, I made something up like "test @" (not the actual address).  Then I clicked ahead and they said shipping was only $3.  So it was the better deal and I was going to buy it from them.

So I went back to the previous page and changed all the info, giving it my real name, real address, real phone number, and real email address.  (They make you confirm the email address so I gave it my real address twice.)  Then it went ahead to the billing page and I gave it my real credit card number and it said, "Hey, are you sure you want to buy this?" and I said, "Yes, absolutely," so I hit the button.

And then it said:  "OK, we've processed your order."  And it listed my billing address and my shipping address (all correct) and the email address of "test @"  ACK.  And it said, "We've sent an email confirmation of your order to "test @"  DOUBLE ACK.

Of course, they have no live human being at customer service this late at night, so I sent them an email.  But, right now, the nice dude who has the screen name of "test" (again, not the actual screen name) has an email waiting in his box confirming his order of a thing he didn't buy.  And the email might also have my address on it.  Perhaps my telephone number.  And (excitement) my credit card number.

It probably won't.  Most email confirmations I've received from other companies just list the last 4 digits (for security).  And it's possible ... maybe even likely ... that "test" will see the email, know he didn't place this order, assume that it's spam and just ignore it.  Also possible that "test" is a perfectly nice guy who won't steal my credit card info and identifying information and go on a spending spree.

On the other hand, I'm sort of holding my breath till tomorrow when the merchant (hopefully) sends me a copy of my order confirmation and I can find out exactly how much information got sent to "test."  For all I know, I'll have to spend Monday on the phone with my credit card company, cancelling the damn card.  During the holiday season.  When I've been buying all these presents.

Oh damn oh damn oh damn

Edited to Add:  Account duly cancelled.  I tried to look at my account online to see if there were any unauthorized transactions, and I got caught in Password Hell.  (You know, when you forget which password you used, so they ask you your security question, and it's "what street did you grow up on?" and you moved when you were seven, so you're not sure which street you gave them when you signed up, and then they block your online account access.)  So, I called them up and asked them to just give me a new card number.  You know, better safe than totally freaking out. 

Of course, when all of this went wrong yesterday, I was in the middle of my online holiday shopping -- so I'd put about four transactions on the card.  The nice lady on the phone said they'd only received two transactions from last night so far -- one of which I'm sure was me and a second which very well might have been me.  (She doesn't have the name of the actual merchant; she just said, "a clothing store."  I didn't buy anything from "a clothing store" last night, but the amount of the charge sounded an awful lot like one of the charges I did make.)

This shouldn't be too much of a hassle.  She said that the cancellation goes into effect now, so everything I charged last night will actually go through (even if they haven't processed it yet) -- and, in about a week or so, they'll send me a copy of the final statement and an affidavit I could use if I need to dispute any of the charges.  So if our buddy "test" tried to go on a spending spree, I'll be able to get those charges cancelled.

I still feel like an idiot, but at least I'm an idiot with a new credit card number.


hewasolddog299 said...

And, my dear lawyer, you aren't printing out confirmations of your purchases why?

helmswondermom said...

You know what?  I thought *I* was having a bad day --   apparently I wasn't.
(Hope it all gets straightened out.)

rgwindland said...

Arggh! Only during the holidays, right?? Rhonda