The insularity of the USA

Before anyone thinks otherwise, this is not about politics! Its about owning credit cards, and phones not registered in the US, and trying to use them over there! I know, I havent got a mobile phone anyway, but…

The first time I discovered this anomaly was a few years back, when I was trying to slyly buy a small thank you gift for Kate, for the way she’d treated me that week. I knew one of her favorite stores, because we’d visited one in a mall, so I had the advantage there, but…I went online to arrange a gift card to be delivered to her home address, only to discover that there was seemingly no way to use a UK credit card on the site, as it rejected firmly a postcode, as a variation on a zip code. So I contacted their customer service, and yes, you’ve guessed it, unless you had a US registered credit card, you couldnt use it!

The next time this faced me, I was trying to top up my little AT&T cell phone over the phone, and the automated system wouldnt accept it without a zip code! Fortunately I managed to get through to a human, and he managed to do it, by using the zip code 00000! So the next time I needed it, to order in food in my LA apartment, I tried that trick, but no go! So I had to ring through the order, and that worked fine!

But yes, this time its not the card thats the issue, its the lack of a US cellphone. Yes, I have one, but the Sim Card expires after 90 days, and its more like 500 days since I last used it. So yes, I’m going to need to get a new one after arrival, but I knew that. Anyway, in the past, I’ve been able to book my shuttle out of LA airport, into town online, with Prime Time Shuttle. Unfortunately, like so many websites, they’ve changed it recently, and now you need a US cellphone number, to get an activation code, to make a booking. Yes, fine, unless you’re an International customer, and then…rolls eyes! I suppose they wont lose that many bookings, because most users are North American, but…thankfully Supershuttle arent as demanding, so I’ll probably book with them. The other option is to be online with my friend in the US, give them her mobile phone number, she pass me the activation code, but seriously…?

USA, there’s a big world out there you know, beyond your shores, though Trump, and his cronies might like to wish otherwise. Well, other than Russia…Sorry, I said no politics, but…yes, frustrating.

Of course, if someone wants to pair up with this old lady, and give her a US address of her own…Just dont tell Donald just yet lol!

Right, video moment. No, absolutely nothing to do with the blog! When I was a teenager, a ‘different’ US group called Sparks burst on the scene, remarkably, over 40 years later, they’re still going strong, and indeed will be issuing a new album shortly, and supposedly doing a world tour. Would I love to see them, especially in LA, their home town, you bet I would. Shame I probably wouldnt be able to use my credit card to do so, even if I got the chance! This will be their new single, as quirky as ever!

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These boots are made for walking

No prizes for working out the song, though there might be some for the artist, assuming you dont check the categories of course, lol!

Had a very pleasant surprise this morning, dont worry, I’ll keep the story short.

About 9 years ago, or so, I spent a long while in the US, and obviously I was using credit cards as an easy way of paying for things, though I was paying my bills, as far as I know (given the whims of US bamks) paying all the bills on time. Cant be 100%, someone was feeding me the info,  given I couldnt be sent statements in the US as I was moving around. So all fine as far as I’m concerned.

However, when I get back, I get letters saying that for ‘administrative reasons’, my credit cards were being stopped. No other reason given! I assume it was late payments or something, but anyway… Either way, i got by over the years, paying cash for most things, and using friends cards when I needed to, mainly ironically for paying for future holidays lol! The last couple of years I’ve been using these new pre paid currency credit cards when away, well, because hotels like a card imprint more than anything else, but agreed they are handy.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I needed a new pair of boots for the summer, my fleecy winter boots will be far too warm for Seattle, or even August here lol! Got a discount voucher in my email box (yes, I have these things sent, shock horror) this morning for some company called  Fifty Plus, rather apt for me. More amazingly I found a pair of ankle boots, in a colour I like (tan), my size (size 8 UK, pretty large in female sizes over here), and at a very reasonable price pre discount, even better when you apply them (just under £10, $15-16 I guess?). And hey, guess, I’ve got just enough left on my Canadian $ pre pay card to buy them.

Yes, the funny thing, a couple of minutes after I type in my details, I’m being offered credit! Hey, I’d forgotten what that was like lol! So anyway, I gave them 5 minutes or so to see sense, but they didnt seem to want to change their mind. Of course, what it might be is that I’ve changed name since then, moved home many years ago, so it probably doesnt tie up. But that means I have no credit history whatsoever at 54! Hey!

No, I’m not going to abuse it, no chance of that. I’ll pay it off straightaway with said card when the statement appears. Nor will I be applying for any mortgages lol! But hey, for the first time in nearly 10 years, I’m getting credit offered again, nice feeling.

Alright, the song is obvious, and relates to the purchase, but no, its not Nancy Sinatra, though some might wish it was lol

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb7icyVTAj0