Often I wonder if automation is a boon or a bane. Is it more tension than convenience?
For instance, the credit card – it is a good enough tool to lead you to a fatal debt loop.
It is so difficult to control your spending habits if you get used to the credit card concept, like I am.
Not just the way you spend, but it also becomes a huge task to manage the bills, verify them – check for service charge, late payment fee etc etc, keep track of the last date of payment et all.
And unluckily, if you do have a discrepancy, then the nerve raking pain to go thru the viciousness of the call centre world!
Today, I was making an airline booking for Delhi thru this website called ezeego1.co.in, after the payment was thru I awaited the ticket to be displayed on the screen but all that I get is a blank page with nothing on it except a message reading ‘Your payment is successful!!” – Then began the ordeal of calling up customer support – and hours of waiting – finally they say that due to technical failures, the tickets have not been booked, but the credit card has been charged. Now they will arrange to revert the charges – and no it won’t happen immediately, it will take a couple of days and I need to check back after 3 working days – remember the vicious circle!! And I always wonder why servers’ crash and technical failures happen just after the money has been charged! I think I will never get an answer to this.
Sadly today I also had a long haggling session with the customer care of ABN AMRO Credit card people for some over limit charge they levied on my credit card (I was 100 Rs over limit and they charged me 500Rs more for that!!) – and only when I threatened to surrender my credit card did they agree to reverse the charges!! See, no one wants you to spend less – what a trap this is.
I remember long time back I was using my ATM card to withdraw money and after the transaction, the money did not dispense from the wending machine plus it gobbled my card and to add to the fun, it threw out a slip which said ‘TRANSACTION SUCCESSFULL’!!!
Sometimes I feel like giving up all the plastic cards I have and return to the good old paper money – but it is so difficult to break free from this habit which sometimes does make life easier.
PS. I got a funny gift today, my office reception lady called me to collect a parcel that had come thru courier post, and guess what it was, a pair of pink socks and silver colored chappals!! :)