Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why is it difficult to pay people?

Well today was an adventure in frustration. I recieved a call from the company I was ordering bolts, washers and nuts from, for assembling the racks to hold the solar modules. They had shipped my order (I only ordered it yesterday), but the credit card company had declined the charge. I verified that I hadn't mistyped the number, then I gave them a different credit card to try to bill me on.

I called the credit card company to find out if they could shed light on why I couldn't buy my solar modules yesterday, and why the charge for nuts and bolts was declined, I should have had plenty of credit available. That was when I got to inform the automated system that yes, I really had authorized the purchase for the solar modules, and yes I really did want to buy all those stainless steel nuts and bolts. They then informed me that my credit card was no longer locked out. How nice of them to not inform me that it was locked in the first place! I decided I needed to talk to a human. Once the automated system was sure I wasn't going to talk to it any more, it transfered me to a nice gentleman. He explained that there has apparently been a lot of credit card theft going on. My order that was canceled for a large amount had put the system on alert. So when the smaller but significant charge came through for the nuts and bolts, it was declined. But since there wasn't enough suspicious activity, the system didn't inform me the account was being locked. I have another charge that will be coming through for more parts for the racks. So he made a note on the account that there was an expected large charge, so it wouldn't get locked again.

With that out of the way, it was time to see if I could get the other solar modules for the ridiculously low price on the website. So I called the folks in Arizona who I had bought other parts from, to inquire if I could buy a pallet of modules. They went off to check into that. I didn't hear back from them, so I looked at the website after lunch, and the price was no longer listed. Uh, Oh, not a good sign. I called them back, and they informed me that they could no longer get those panels from the manufacturer, and they would be taking that product off the site. Bummer. Time to talk to the place in Florida to see if they would be willing to take my money and send me some solar modules.

Another phone call, and I am talking to a gentleman in Miami Florida. He looked into my order, and spotted the issue (I later found they had responded to the email I sent to them last evening as well). It turns out that they have been having issues with bad credit card transactions, and are currently not taking credit card orders over $1000. I have to say, that with what solar equipment costs, that has to be making business challenging. I am working on getting money moved to an account where I can get a certified check to send them, or I may see if I can do Paypal.

It shouldn't be this difficult to pay people money!

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