Card drama has left me long­ing for dis­guise

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

I KNOW you like to hear when I’ve messed up but I had such an em­bar­rass­ing ex­pe­ri­ence last week I wasn’t sure whether to write about it.

It re­ally was ex­cru­ci­at­ing. More cringe-mak­ing than the time I nib­bled a den­tist’s fin­ger be­cause I thought he said ‘bite’ to me, rather than ‘light’ to his nurse.

It was even worse than the time I reversed into a po­lice car – and dam­aged it – and they had to call in spe­cial of­fi­cers from Hen­don be­cause one of their ve­hi­cles was in­volved.

It all started off so in­no­cently. Mr F and I, who was still re­cov­er­ing af­ter three weeks in hos­pi­tal, were set­ting off to get a bit of air and a cof­fee.

I stopped for news­pa­pers and to fill up with petrol – just half a tank – but when I pre­sented my visa card, it was re­jected.

Not con­cerned, I did it again, but the same thing hap­pened. Maybe my card was dam­aged?

So, I pro­duced my credit card, en­tered my pin, and up it came again: NOT AU­THO­RISED, TRANS­AC­TION CAN­CELLED.

To make mat­ters worse, the man be­hind the counter tried his own card to check the ma­chine, and it worked. By now the queue was grow­ing so I slunk back to the car and asked Mr F, who had been look­ing for­ward to a re­lax­ing cou­ple of hours, to bail me out. He paid with his card, no prob­lem.

“It’s a sex­ist ma­chine” I cried. No-one laughed.

We fell into the near­est wa­ter­ing hole where I phoned San­tander. The Visa debit man said no trans­ac­tions had been re­quested and there­fore noth­ing had been re­jected.

The credit card per­son – a very bossy woman – said it was be­cause I had a new card (I hadn’t) and any­way, surely I’d no­ticed that the old one had ex­pired? (it hadn’t and doesn’t un­til the end of this month).

I tried both cards out in Sains­bury’s cash ma­chine – all fine – so went back to the petrol sta­tion, tried buy­ing stuff I didn’t want just to prove a point, and this time it worked nor­mally.

The ma­chine was ob­vi­ously not anti-women; just anti-me. How­ever, there’s an army of peo­ple out there who think I try to buy goods with a col­lec­tion of can­celled cards.

Oh, the shame …. I’m go­ing in dis­guise in fu­ture.

Email bmail­bar­bara@gmail. com

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