One of my daughters has inherited her father’s proclivity for losing things. It is way more than appearance that is passed on in a genome. If there is something that is to be lost/misplaced/broken she’s my go to gal.
Last summer, while Carmichael mère and père were sunning ourselves in Puerto Pollenca this daughter was basking in Barcelona (crime capital of Europe)’s blistering heat with old school friends.
Of course I warned her. I suggested she use the pristine silk money belt bought for oldest daughter’s time in Africa but money belts, even silk ones, do not look de rigueur on the beach or in a club or anywhere else for that matter. I know that. Honestly, I do.
Thus it came as no surprise that her iPhone was taken from the back pocket of her shorts half way through the holiday.
She has lost/had stolen/broken more phones than I have ever owned. I know many of you will identify with this from one perspective or the other. And to be fair to her, she is not my only daughter with a penchant for insurance claims. No Sir/Madam, no indeedy.
So and because these things tend to happen to this daughter I suggested she get a Post Office Travel Money Card Plus for her upcoming trip to Ibiza.
My rational went so: if and when the card is lost/stolen your exposure will only be the amount on this card, will not affect your bank account and will stop the need for huge parental bailout money-wise. You know it makes sense.
She got one.
It was pretty.
She registered it and transferred funds of an enough but not over the top amount.
“Leave me all your details and I can top it up for you in the week if/when you need me to,” I offered, preferring this online task to another insurance claim. Yes, I do understand they are not mutually exclusive activities but we play an odds game here in Casa Carmichael.
“Oh and text me each morning to let me know you’re still alive, please. A smiley face will do.”
Between you and me, this also lets me know that the phone is still with the rightful owner. Sneaky, huh?
“Where is the rudeness?” you ask. “Everything appears to be going swimmingly.”
You are right and will continue to be right for just an itty bit longer.
On Thursday last my daughter phoned me (from her iPhone – yea!) to ask me to top up her card. A good time in Ibiza is not cheaply come by. She was having a fabulous time, island life was great and her next few days were going to be even greater with a fiscal infusion.
This was her money after all so I was more than happy to oblige. I found the Post Office document, got login and password intel from said daughter and her bank card out of her wallet.
All went well and I transferred her money.
‘Your transfer has not been completed as funds cannot be taken from your bank account’
I tried again. Same result.
I phoned and accused my child of not having money in her account. It has been known to happen.
I tried to use my card but her name was hard-wired into the payment details so, of course my card would not work.
I rang the help line. Cheryl was polite and helpful.
“What browser are you using?” she asked. “Oh no, Safari isn’t compatible with our system.”
Infuriating but by involving Mr Carmichael and his Internet Explored pc I could get this done with, go to lunch and Daughter could get on with getting on in the Balearics.
‘Your transfer has not been completed as funds cannot be taken from your bank account.’
Fearing that all might not go smoothly I had quizzed Helpful Cheryl on the ramifications of Internet Explorer failing to solve the problem.
No, I could not effect a transfer over the phone.
Yes, I was correct in detecting that no other card than the registered card could be used to put funds onto the Post Office Travel Money Card Plus.
Yes, I could go to my local Post Office and put money in but
No, a cash deposit would not go onto her card until the next day and actually I better hurry down there or it might be Monday.
By which time my daughter would be back in Blighty.
This news popped a frisson into my level of both activity and annoyance. I high tailed it to Chorleywood’s Lower Road and the same P.O. that had provided my child with the card in the first place. I was armed with cash and my Visa Card and her Visa Card and every password necessary and known to man.
The Post Office was busy. It seems to do a good trade in currency now so you would think they might know a bit about their product.
And to be fair, others that work there might but the gentleman who served me, and who I believe owns that franchise, did not know very much about his product, did not want to learn and most certainly did not want to help me learn more about the ins and outs of the Post Office Travel Money Card Plus.
I had checked Daughter’s bank balance on to way in so as not to embarrass myself. That has also been known to happen but she was well in the clear this time.
A woman behind me in the queue wished me luck. Did she know something I was about to find out? Hmmm.
Try as I might I could not discover why it was impossible for me to use the card there and then.
“Use the card to withdraw cash and put it onto the Travel Card,” he said more than once.
I explained that I had cash but did not want to persue this route until all other options were exhausted. I asked him to explain why I couldn’t use her card.
“She has to be here,” he responded. “Use cash.”
“The cash won’t go in until tomorrow. Cheryl told me. My daughter’s in Ibiza and needs the money today. If she were here she wouldn’t need your card.”
“I don’t know that,” he said. Quite what he didn’t know does beg the question.
“She’s on holiday,” I said slowly. “That’s why she got your Travel Money Card.” I refrained from including the ‘Plus’.
I wasn’t feeling the Plus vibe at this point.
And then I felt it.
Speaking, I feel, more loudly than the plate glass separating us required he brandished a pamphlet on the Post Office Travel Money Card Plus and said, “Here’s a pamphlet. Read this.”
“No,” I said.”I want you to explain to me,”
He interrupted “Can’t you read?”
It doesn’t look so offensive written down, does it?
“Wooh,” I said taking a step backwards. I could feel the queue moving out of my way. “That was rude.”
His female collogue looked to help and did say something to him but there was no apology. In fact he became more belligerent and ever so slightly louder.
“Yes, I can read” I said slowly “and you are a very rude man and I still want you to explain to me” etc etc etc Useless I know but I felt the need to stand my ground.
I put the cash onto her card.
She got it the next day.
She was fine and borrowed some money from a friend.
But that is not the point is it?
I got to thinking. What if I couldn’t read? There are plenty of adults who can’t. Imagine how that might feel. Should customer service with a side of wanton rudeness be allowed to go unchallenged?