Sunday, January 20, 2008

Day Two - The Fiasco

We started out the day feeding the babies, then I needed a real breakfast so we headed to a restaurant that offered a $2.99 breakfast with eggs, sausage and pancakes. Of course, we ended up with a $10 bill and figured out that they could charge $2.99 for a big breakfast because they charged a fortune for small orange juices and coffee.

Next we headed to the store to get a bus pass. I reached into my bag to get my wallet...and it was gone. Gone? How could it be gone. I quickly mentally retraced my steps. I remembered paying for the breakfast. The what did I do? I set the wallet down. Where? The table?

First, B. and I emptied my bags onto a towel to make sure the wallet wasn't tucked under a diaper or spare baby shirt. Nothing. We looked in the stroller seat, the stroller basket, pulled out the baby blanket. Nothing. So I ran down the street back to the restaurant while B. watched the babies. At the restaurant, nobody had seen the wallet. It was definitely gone.

I went back to the store, and we all returned to the hotel so I could begin calling my credit card companies. We sat in the lobby where I could access wifi if I needed and B. read to the babies and kept them entertained.

I started off calling Wells Fargo where I have my business account. I had to cancel both a credit card and a debit card. To say that Wells Fargo was NOT helpful is a total understatement. I told them my predicament and asked if they could help me. They had to confirm my identity, of course. I gave them my name, my company name, my social security number, and then they asked me for the amount of my last deposit.

I wracked my brain trying to remember the last deposit I made. I could only remember the second to last deposit and told them the approximate date and the amounts of 5 or 6 checks that I had deposited.

"Because we failed to identify you properly, we can only cancel your credit card and issue a new one."

"How long will that take?"

"Five to seven days."

"Is there any way you can send me a card at my location so I can at least get food. I have a baby with me."

"Because we failed to identify you properly, we can only cancel your credit card and issue a new one."

"So you're telling me that you can't do anything at all to help me out? I've been a business customer since 2005 and I'm stranded and you can do nothing to help me?"

"Because we failed to identify you properly, we can only cancel your credit card and issue a new one."

I asked to speak with her supervisor, and by then I was near tears because I was so angry. In the meanwhile, I had B. run up to the room and get my computer bag where I was hoping I'd find my check register that listed the last deposit I had made. Sure enough, it was there.

I asked the supervisor if she could please verify my identify again so she did. I answered all the usual questions, then she asked the date - January 17 - and amount of my last deposit. I gave it to her, straight off my register.

"That is incorrect."

""What do you mean that is incorrect. I'm looking at my register right now. I can see the date and amount I made the deposit."

"I'm sorry, that is incorrect."

Furious, I accessed the the hotel lobby wifi and went into my Wells Fargo bank account. It turns out that even though I made the deposit on the 17th of January, it must have processed on the 18th because online it said the 18th.

I explained this to her.

"I'm sorry but you gave the incorrect date."

So Wells Fargo basically cancelled both cards and did nothing at all to help me.

"Have a nice day," said the supervisor as we hung up. Bitch.

Calling Capital One was a completely different experience. I explained my situation and after identifying me, she immediately went into Help Mode. Bottom line was she arranged for an emergency card to be Federal Expressed to me to arrive Tuesday (it was Sunday) and also helped me make a payment on the card by phone to make sure I had sufficient funds available on the new card to take care of us while we were in Hawaii for the week.

"I hope you can enjoy your trip," she said as we hung up.

Bank of the West could do nothing but cancel my card and account for 15 days until I could get things straightened out when I returned home.

I finally called my husband to give him an update and explained how both B. and I ran back to the restaurant as soon as I realized my wallet was missing, and how B. and I searched the stroller. As I said that, I felt the stroller and felt something in the folded up shade. I unfolded the stroller shade, and there was my wallet!

All we could do was laugh. For the next two days, B. would have to "support" me and baby, paying for everything until my emergency card arrived.

After the entire morning was wasted on credit card company phone calls, we headed upstairs to our hotel room and ate leftover noodles. Then we put the babies back in their strollers and headed to the other end of Waikiki to take them to the Aquarium. We let them play on the fenced-in grassy lawn behind the Aquarium for a while, wistful about sunshine and green grass as we thought back to the cloudy skies, snow covered ground and freezing temperatures back at home.

After the aquarium, we took the babies to the small strip of beach behind a man-made breaker. The water was calm and not very deep at all. Both GG and NG enjoyed their first ocean "swim."

Dinner was a little open-air Mexican place = La Cucaracha - at the top of a flight of stairs, so we lugged the strollers up and luckily had help carrying them down the stairs from other patrons as we left.

Exhausted, we returned to our hotel. It has been a long day.


IYan Writer said...

Sorry to hear about the wallet problems, but don't let it get you down - have fun!!

AK Alter Ego said...

What a bummer of a morning, glad it wasn't truely missing and the hassle that comes with it.
Enjoy the sunshine.

vamommy said...

Wow, sorry about the credit cards. But how could you take your child on a trip without having at least a grand of cash in your wallet? Cancelled your credit cards thinking they were lost/stolen is understandable. Their are credit card registry services that you can pay for that give you loss notification service protection. I worked for one of the biggest and that was 15 years ago. But the biggest red flag as a fellow mother and blogger is when you stated that upon your cancellation of your Cap One your had to make a payment to make funds available for this trip!? Say what?! Girl, why are you taking this trip? No big bills in your wallet, gotta pay credit lines off just to use them - hello??? We have 17 credit cards - over the past 6 months I have paid all off but 6, and those are down to a cumulative total of $2500. We just bought a new car and paid cash for a used truck. 401K and Roth are healthy!!! What are you doing go to HI?

tautz said...

Hey vamommy, take it easy on our mommy babyfruit. Sometimes you just gotta get away and get some sun, even if money is tight. I know I would if I lived in the Yukon freezing my booty off.

Mommy Babyfruit, hope you NG had some fun and warmed up even for a bit. Welcome back.