Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Amex.....Its a Love/Hate thing

We’re at it again ladies and gentlemen! The New Kids are coming back!!!!

Well, not BACK, really. But close enough! There are no stops in WA or OR, so we are Canada bound in April!!!

We contemplated which shows to go to for quite a while. It was up for great debate….obviously we are going to Victoria BC…should we go to Kelowna too? I make that drive every year, we can handle it. The possibility of flying down to Atlanta to visit our friend Shana was discussed and debated.

In the end? We decided to only do ONE show for the spring tour. Last year we got totally spoiled by VIP and can’t imagine going back to regular seats again…which makes the prospect of adding additional shows that much more complicated (read: expensive). Look at us! Responsible decisions!
(lemme just add though in the interest of full disclosure- we reserve the right to completely deteriorate into impulsive 12 year olds at any moment and buy VIP to Kelowna if they happen to still be available on a day when we are feeling especially high on New Kids)

So Victoria it is! And BOY are we going to make this trip worth it. We have plans…..many MANY plans, which I will gladly share with you after our adventures are over. I told my dad exactly what our plans are and he told me I scared him a little.

Vacation days from work? Secured.

Hotels researched and booked? Well….the decision has been made, no res. YET.

Babysitter? Check!

Bitchin’ NKOTB earrings and necklace set circa 1990? Got it.

3 VIP tickets for me and the Girls? Well….kinda……

We decided that since we are only going to 1 show, we needed to make it count. We need to be online and click the buy button the MINUTE they go on sale. Front row baby!

The tickets went on sale last Friday. The entire week we debated. Who would be doing the ordering? Who has the fastest mouse finger? Dry runs were completed so we would be familiar with the process. Back up plans were in place in case that person for some explicable reason passed out at his/her desk….or got called into a meeting without notice.

None of us had the cash to purchase the tickets upfront and nobody had room enough on any one credit card to purchase all 3 tickets. What to do? No worries!! This is exactly what I have my trusty Amex for! You know….the Amex Gold card I got last year specifically for the purposes of buying New Kids tickets before the general public? It’s my backup card I only use when I have the funds to pay it right away, since dem be da rules.

So it was decided, I was ordering. All day I was getting email and text reminders. I woke up to HAPPY NEW KIDS DAY! on my phone. And received constant countdown reminders in my email. 3 hours to go! 90 minutes to go! Etc.

I logged into the website and I knew that I was racing a lot of women for these tickets. The venues are smaller, there is probably less VIP’s available and this time around everybody knows that VIP is offered, whereas last year it wasn’t common knowledge. My hands are shaking with excitement and nerves. I tried my best not to screw up. Got through the ordering process 1 minute after they went on sale. Clicked BUY and voila!

CREDIT CARD DECLINED!

What??!!! That can’t be right. Hit back and reentered the number, clicked BUY and declined again.

Full-on Panic mode. Tried again, declined again.

I called the vendor assuming it must be something wrong with their website (they have a history). “It’s not an issue on our end- it’s with your credit card”

SHIT! Called Amex. The response I got was “you have not used your card in the past few months and so you will need to prepay this amount in order for it to be authorized” WTF? This is my backup card! The card with no limit! The card I only use when I need to, and when I can afford to pay it immediately!

Then it sunk in…we’re screwed. All day I had been stressing about getting front row. Front row. Front row. It never even crossed my mind that we wouldn’t get tickets AT ALL!

Devastation.

I called Missy- she was in a meeting.

I called my dad to see if he had enough room on HIS card. He didn’t answer.

I called my sister, she didn’t have enough room.

So now I am crying at my desk. It’s been an hour since they went on sale and there is nothing we could do about it. We all will have cash the next week, but by then we will be SOL- no VIP’s…. not even decent tickets will be left. And when I said we have plans…I mean really elaborate plans. How can this be happening?

I finally talked to Missy who was surprisingly calm and OK with us potentially missing the concert. Although, I think mainly she stayed calm because I was freaking out and if we both freak out- nothing could get done. She DID take her life in her hands though by calling her mother and asking to borrow her credit card for a week. Her mom hung up on her, and I am pretty sure she might have been locked out of her house when she got home.

We have a friend at Amex. Missy called her to see if she had any pull. She didn’t but suggested I demand a supervisor.

So I did. I talked to one guy for a little while- why do they make you work so hard to get to a supervisor? I held for a while and finally got on with a supervisor. She told me again, that I would have to pre-pay the amount.

Listen woman- if I could pre-pay it, I would just use my debit card to purchase them in the first place and I would have gotten FRONT ROW!

I might have sounded a little hysterical.

She kept trying. Can you pay half of it up front? No.
A little bit of it now? No.

I don’t understand WHY I am being punished for not using my card- isn’t that the responsible thing to do? See what happens when you are responsible? Nothing good comes from that. (Kelowna anyone?)

Apparently your credit limit is NOT unlimited; it’s based on what you spend. I am not sure how that works or how they explain allowing me to charge thousands of dollars to it the first week I had it. And how me paying those thousands of dollars off within 2 weeks isn’t proof enough to allow this transaction to go through.

To be fair Mrs. Crandy was very nice and sympathetic to my dilemma.

After I told her there was no way for me to pre-pay the amount today, but that I would happily pay it the following Friday, and even throw a little extra in for a “Mrs Crandy bonus”- she started working on it to see what she could do. She decided to allow the charge and set up automatic payment for the following week. THANK GOD!!!

She puts me on hold. By this point I am doing a happy dance….which can sometimes be confused with the pee-pee dance, but this was definitely happy.

When she comes back- she sounds scared. I need to work on my phone etiquette I think.

“Um….Miss Conlon??? It’s not allowing me to push the payment date out. I can only do it for today”

I was on the verge of losing it completely.

She told me that since I was so willing to set up the automatic payment, she is going to allow this purchase to be made- but I have to promise to pay it the following weekend as we discussed….I may have promised a few other things as well.

She clicked a button, I clicked BUY and we had our tickets!!! We didn’t get front row, probably not even the first 4 rows but we’re going. And the moral of this story is to appreciate what you have. I went from determined to get front row to happy we even got tickets to begin with in a matter of 2 hours.

AND at least when David’s little sister has to explain why her first name is Mrs and her middle name is Crandy, she’ll have a good story to tell.

4 comments:

  1. Funny.....but not so funny!!!

    Sarah...you write the BEST blogs ever and I am glad we are going.

    I think it's only 66 days to go, right?

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  2. Oh man, what a story! I briefly considered Victoria, but the hubby would never understand, plus, although I have ticket money, I don't have travel money at the moment. So, no spring tour for me. I am holding out for at least two summer VIP concerts. So, I'm hoping the guys come a bit closer! Have fun at your concert. I'm sure it will be just as fun if not more fun than last year!

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  3. Oh my God I was about to cry as I read this story. I was all anxious and crazed as you probably felt at that time. Glad to read the "happy" ending although first row and back stage would have made it much happier I'm sure.
    Have a great time!!

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  4. I have to say....Amex is getting a little crazy with all this BS! I had 2 nts free at the RZ through work for Ft Meyers...but thanks to Amex lowering my limit to $500...I CAN'T DO IT! I work for the company too...it kills me! Maybe they know something I don't and I am going to get fired. Bad bad...

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