I’m sure they meant well

I just got a telemarketing call from the organization that calls itself “Americans for Balanced Energy Choices”, asking me if I would like to join their organization for free and they won’t even ever ask for any donations. I don’t know if I’m the only one, and I certainly hope I’m not, but anytime a “non-profit” organization calls and is not looking donations or some sort of financial transaction all sorts of red flags go up.

So I asked the polite man to repeat the name of the organization and did a quick google search and ran across their website. Don’t bother going if you haven’t clicked that link yet it doesn’t have any actual useful information about who they are and what they want to do with my name on their little “member” list. Skimming content while asking the polite man who funds the organization made his answer pretty obvious even while he was saying it: The Power, Oil, and Coal companies. I did find it even more interesting that when pressed he didn’t have any names of any of these companies. Nor did he or his supervisor have any information about where they had gotten my contact information or why I had been selected to be a “member” of their organization.

Unfortunately they were blocking their inbound number so I couldn’t do a reverse lookup.

I apologized to the polite man for telling him that he could tell his overseers to go fuck themselves.

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When the system mostly works

I just got off the phone with a very nice person from the Wells Fargo Fraud department who wanted to ask me some questions about some apparantly suspicious charges that were trying to come through on my checking account. Apparantly some nefarious person was attempting to buy software from Germany!

Oops, that was me.

And I had been becoming increasingly frustrated with the purchase attempt since I was pretty sure that I had been doing everything exactly correctly but for some reason the charges kept getting declined.

On the one hand I actually am kind of happy that they are being proactive enough that not only where they stopping the charge but they even called me within four minutes of my attempting to do the transaction. That’s near-realtime monitoring in action folks, and now that I’ve had a nice conversation with the guy I submitted the exact same information and it went through with no problems.

OTOH – So what if I was trying to buy software on the internet through a company that exists in Germany? I did an identical transaction with this company a little over two years ago, and a similar transaction with another company every two years for the past 6 (Grisoft, makers of AVG Anti-Virus, my currently mostly preferred AV suite). There is a point where I should be able to use my own funds in a global market without my financial institution being an irritating obstruction. That is alleviated somewhat by getting a fast response from the instituion in question by a real person who then made it not a problem but I wonder really how much I should be satisfied by that.

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