Why Do I Have to Know Stuff?

imageLast Thursday night, I received a text message and an email from a credit card company alerting me to a card-not-present transaction. This is a card that I use a lot at restaurants but not often for shopping so I set this alert feature up just in case I lose the card or leave it behind ‘cuz I’ve done that – several – times.

I once left a credit card at my local restaurant on a Thursday night. I returned, as I often do on Saturday to get some take-out food. They were waiting for me. When the food came, I reached for the card and realized it was gone. I didn’t realize that several members of the restaurant staff were watching from behind the corner. As I began to panic, the bartender told me that she had my card. I was relieved. People were laughing, but I hadn’t lost my card and my wife didn’t have to know I had left the card somewhere…again. Of course, now she knows.

Anyway, back to my story. I get this alert and I go a little bit bonkers. It was a $20.19 charge at the iTunes store. $20.19? iTunes? Me? No. No no no, that does not happen, not without me being aware of the charge.

While I was adjusting to that bit of news, Bam, another iTunes charge for $4.03. Then, before I could even ramp up to a full panic, BAM, another iTunes charge for $3.02. What the heck was going on?

imageOf course, $20, $4 and $3 weren’t major league attacks on my finances, but still, isn’t that how they do it? They being the nogoodnicks that steal your identity and put you in the poorhouse. They chip away at your life savings with a long series of under-the-radar transactions, the kind that don’t trigger the fraud detection systems. The alerts I was getting weren’t telltale indicators of fraud, they were simply the result of my asking to always be notified.

I use iTunes so infrequently that I had to log into a different computer to even get to my account. Then I had to look into my password manager, because I had recently changed that password.

If those two statements are confusing, in a mutually exclusive kind of way, let me explain. I don’t use iTunes very often, in that I don’t buy a lot of music. I use my AppleID a lot because I develop software for iPhones and iPads as part of my job.

Of course, once I managed to log into iTunes, I had to go where no me had ever gone before – my Account history. While I was trying to find that section of the iTunes Store, I was also logging into my credit card account and trying to find all the recent transactions. Nothing was happening fast enough – The voices in my head were all: “come on, come on, I pay for super-fast Internet access, I need information NOW!

This is where I wish I was one of those great writers who knows how to bring readers to the edge of a crisis and then let them down gracefully into a solution. Of course, this may not seem all crisis-y to you since it’s my credit card that’s been stolen, but my heart was pounding.

Until I realized that:

  • image$3.02 – MLB At Bat
  • $4.03 – Apple Cloud Backup
  • $20.19 – The book on Swift programming I downloaded to my iPad

In fairness to me, I bought the book three days earlier and I didn’t actually remember ever linking this particular credit card to my iTunes account.

Yes, in fairness to me, I forgot critical information about how I spend my money and I forgot my own recent expenditures. That’s my excuse. I’m a little clueless about this stuff. I told you, I’m not the details guy in our family, I handle the strategic decisions. I don’t balance the checkbook, but if our house ever declares war on Canada, you can bet that that will have been my decision.

Monday, at 10:00 am, I got three email receipts from Apple: MLB At Bat, iCloud, and my book. My first thought was that I should have received those receipts sooner. Why should my credit card company know about my expenditures before I do? I know, I know, I bought the book and I signed up for the services but that was days or months ago. Seriously, I signed up for MLB At Bat over two years ago! Do I have to remember everything?

It struck me that in not-that-many-days gone by, I would have been spared all the angst and fretting because I wouldn’t have known about any of this. It would have been spend-and-forget as usual. I would have gotten my book and my backup and my baseball. The charges would have silently landed on my account. Apple would have gotten their money, and my wife would have paid the credit card bill in a couple of weeks.

Ignorance was bliss.

60 thoughts on “Why Do I Have to Know Stuff?

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  1. Glad to hear this happens to other people besides me. I usually only had one charge at a time that I forgot about that caught me off guard though…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Did they seriously charge you for something you bought over two years ago? I would hand over all your credit cards to your wife…Oh, I would have totally busted up at the bar. Good thing they were watching out for you, though. Funny post in spite of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, it’s just me Lois. MLB is a monthly subscription. That $3.02 gets paid every month. I signed up two years ago, I just forget every month. I am glad you enjoyed it. And, now you understand why my wife pays the bills :)


  3. It happens to me too. And it even happened to me with apple pay. The first time I used it I wondered what the message was on my screen about a credit card charge. And I just did it! Oy I feel your pain lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. AHAHAHA @ war on Canada :D
    I have been the victim of theft. Someone used my card to purchase large amounts of fuel and a slushie in Montreal. Since later that same day, I used my card at the Ft. Stewart commissary, this sent an alert and my bank called me.
    “Mrs. Mottern, were you in Montreal this morning?”
    Sadly no. I was hot, and I didn’t even get a slushie and my van won’t even hold 50 gallons of fuel. My account was immediately rectified.
    BUT! Months later, I had a $10.49 charge from Target online. Ya know why, Dan? Ya know why? Cause Sassy’s rash guard was on back order, and I had to wait a month for it to ship, and they don’t charge you until you ship. *facepalm* I forgot.
    You are not alone :)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damn, if I was hot and someone stole my credit card and bought a slushie, I might go hunting him down. I can imagine your heart rate jumping when you saw that charge from Target. I also get that when I buy something from “The Tool Store” but my wife asks “did you buy something from “Bob’s Online Enterprise?” cause the charge doesn’t match the website I visited. Thanks for dropping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve noticed the Apple store is not prompt in putting its charges through. That was so three-days ago. It has gotten too easy to spend. I remember before ATMs, running out of cash. Zip, no more till the bank reopened. Thank God those days are gone. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment Brenda. I still use cash more than the average person, or the average young person but I do like the convenience of buying on demand. The purchase action on that programming book was so seamless that I’m not sure I remember “buying” it. I remember wanting it, downloading it and reading it.


        1. That’s (normally) me too. I keep a list of music I want to buy. I go out now and then and buy 8-10 songs and I’m done. Obviously, I wasn’t paying attention, which isn’t that hard to believe.


  6. Loved all the B’s –
    book and my backup and my baseball.
    and the bliss….
    and speaking of that – it is moments like these when we use up all of our B-vitamins and get a little stressed – glad it all worked out D

    Liked by 1 person

      1. ha! I do not think b-vitamins are the cause – although I have heard that thjis kind of incident can zap you nutrtionally. Like the energy rush of thinking you were hacked and the whole body goes into alert mode – which of course our body is designed to handle – but for some people who are nutritionally depleted – well too many small things like this can add up and start to take a toll on their adrenals and actually there whole system. I guess in the last two years I have just become fascinated by how synergestic our bodies are – and one of the top 20 things I have learned is that a good B-complex supplement is just a wise ting to add to one’s life.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. yes – but I do have a few tips on b-vitamin supplements. first, do not get one that has a flshh free niacin. niacin (or b-3) has a special property for helping the body detox and rid stuff – and the flush free maybe cater to comfort – but it robs us of the cleansing (even if very subtle) and also too much of flush free kind is not good for liver (whereas the regular has no side effects. Second, when it comes to B-12 – the better b-12 is the methyl one – still exploring all this but it comes to absorption and just like not all calciums are created equal – the b-12 that is methlycobalamin is superior – which of course you can explore for yourself. and I really like the Jarrow “B-right” formula – 100 caps last a long time.

            :) – anyhow, the last thing (which I know most folks know) is that the b-vitamins work best when taken with food and when taken as a team (complex of all the b’s) and can be especially helpful for times of stress or bodily healing.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. yes, the blissful ignorance of times passed. all of this technology which is to make our lives quick and convenient, has often the opposite effect. but it makes for a great tale!

    ” I had to go where no me had ever gone before” haha loved that

    remember that nearly extinct thing called cash? we all knew where the money was and when and where it went. oh, but technological advances.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember cash (I still use cash) and I remember taking the checkbook to the hardware store, having negotiated a spending limit before leaving. Thinking back to the time before ATMs, buying stuff sure was different. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment :)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post. I am excited to know that you involved somewhere in the development of software for iPhones, although, I am not an Apple device fan. Would love to use it, but they come at a really high price, not many can afford here. I usually never use a credit card, but I had to buy it once for PayPal registration and verification and I had a really bad time with the bank authorities who were adamant that I made a transaction and bought items on PayPal. How stupid? I met a branch manager who said – You bought something on PayPal. I was like are you qualified to hold this position or you just bribed your way in, because one can buy through PayPal, but PayPal is not eBay. I got that matter sort out and got rid of that card and thankfully I am at peace with cash transactions.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha ha. I have a caustic tongue and I can literally kill with it when I am mad. I give a damn about who’s in front of me. I was very courteous and kind earlier, I explained him that PayPal is not a shopping site and it was just a verification process to see whether my credit card was legit, but no, he was adamant that I bought something online and that’s what they charged me for. So I asked him to give me a proof that I bought something. He won’t do either and repeat the same line over and over, that’s when I lost my patience.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. In a world of passwords and usernames [and we should update them constantly] – it’s no wonder we forget these trivial things sometimes. Okay – did I rationalize it enough to excuse you and me for always forgetting? :roll:

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A couple of years ago, I ordered a $.99 game on my tablet for my grandson. A few months later, we noticed several $.99 charges along with larger ones all from the same gaming company in California. The credit card company researched it, and we had over $600 in charges that we had not initiated. We had to cancel the credit card, get a new one and set the tablet up not to process purchases. I chuckled at your forgetting your purchases because my husband reviews the statements and receipts and there is never a month when he doesn’t have to ask me about a purchase and it causes my head to spin trying to remember. :-)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry about those charges, but knowing that it does happen makes me feel better about panicking. My wife has caught false charges on our credit cards and, in some cases she has had to slog through a long process to get the bank to fix things. I’m very glad that she is there to go over all this stuff because I’m not sure I would be so good at the task (OK, I am sure…I wouldn’t be). Thanks for the comment Judy.


  11. This has happened to me. My righteousness builds only to figure out the charges are mine. It’s a humbling experience, but, you sound infinitely more organized than me. Glad it was not fraud.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, no kidding. Hub, my parents and I have all had to replace credit cards several times; fortunately without much hassle or further ID theft. It’s quite amazing how those algorithms used by credit card companies catch & flag the inconsequential fraud items vs the small items we forgot we purchased!!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Ha! I don’t envy you the jolt you must have felt when you thought fraud was afoot, but hey, if you’re going to have something on auto-pull, at least it was for baseball. (Go, Orioles!) The thing that gets me are the ones that renew annually, like virus-protection software, or a domain-name fee. I’m glad they send email reminders ahead of time, or I’d definitely be in fraud-detection mode for a frantic few minutes. Good post, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul. I love MLB At Bat Paul. It lets me listen to Pirates games via the Pittsburgh radio announcers. It renews monthly. I could save a few dollars if I cancelled in November and picked it back up at spring training but I let it run so I don’t have to go through that process again.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. You had a case of CRS, huh? I could see myself doing the same exact thing, Dan. The memory is bad. What’s more frustrating, though, is having the credit union issue a new debit card and then not follow through on the promise that I could keep my pin number. They are getting a call tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the right acronym Mary, thanks. The ATM promise would make me angry. I had two ATM cards gobbled up by the machine (because I drove off without taking the card) but that managed to keep the pin. give ’em hell.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Haha that made me laugh. I’ve done that so many times. I’d see my bank balance back when I was a student or when I’d started to work, and see it was shockingly low, so I’d immediately assume someone had cloned my card and panic. Then I’d actually look at the transactions and realise that — oh right! they’re all my purchases…
    Saying that, we got our credit card cloned recently, and then again our ATM card, so I have become quite paranoid about checking these things. They take out lots of small amounts so that you dont notice but it adds up to quite a lot! Hate it when that sort of thing happens, it makes you feel so unsafe…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. *sighs* I will never, ever get used to the way things are now. I have one credit card that has the lowest limit possible (so that any would-be thief will be pretty disappointed with the piddly amount he has to play with). It is for emergencies and online purchases from ebay and Amazon only. I refuse to bank online (I’ve never even used an ATM — always do my business IN the bank branch), or have any store card of any kind. Keep your “rewards” people, I’m paying cash. I’m going to be a cash-only girl till the day I die.

    But you’re going to declare war on Canada!? You best watch yourself, Dan, ’cause now I’m watchin’ YOU. O_o Though, the gov’t is currently in the process of phasing out cheques, which upsets this old fashioned girl greatly, sooo… maybe I’ll be fighting on your side!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry Wendy, you are safe for multiple reasons: 1) Your approach to modern commerce is very close to my wife’s. I think the only reason she uses an ATM is because the tellers mess things up so often. 2) So many other things you do are like the way my wife does them that if I lined up against you, she’d be on your side. She may come help you fight Canada to keep checks. 3) I’m not going to tangle with a woman who has been wielding a big-bar chainsaw since she was 12. I know who to attack. 4) I was only going to attack for access to beer.

      Liked by 1 person

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