Amazon Payment Fiasco

I’ve had my first negative experience with an Amazon purchase experience. This is an actual Amazon issue, not a problem with one of their vendors. Which is impressive, given how often I shop on Amazon and how many years I’ve been using them. The issue was resolved, but it was still a thing. Here’s what happened.

I’ve been on Lady Ronn to upgrade her camera for a while now. The Canon Rebel she’s been using is nice enough, but it’s not professional quality and if she’s really going to go for this photography thing she needs something else. Her instructors agree. So, after much brow-beating, badgering, and bullying, I finally got a decision out of her. Which is all I was really waiting for; an excuse to spend gobs of money.

I loaded my Amazon cart up with camera equipment and made my purchases. Which went pretty much as I would expect. Flawless. Except that an hour later I received an email letting me know that there was a problem with my order, the purchase had been rejected, and I needed to change my payment information. Okay. That was my bad. I used the Amazon Store Card and the limit on that card wasn’t enough to cover the cost. I should have used my credit card, but I hadn’t thought about it. I don’t spend sums of money like this very often. And here’s where the problem starts.

There is a handy button on my order to change the payment source. And I have three sources to choose from, but it doesn’t matter which one I choose. Everytime I make a change it won’t take. The screen loads and indicates that the payment source has been changed to the Store Card… which is not what is supposed to be happening. I fought with that for 10-minutes before deciding that it didn’t matter how many times I repeated the process it wasn’t going to change. Because it didn’t!

My next idea was to raise the limit on the Store Card. So, I go to the website, request the increased limit, it gets processed immediately, badda-boom, badda-bing, and I go back to my order page and try again. It still says it has changed the payment source, but it still isn’t changing anything. It’s also not registering the new limit, so it’s still failing. Another 10-minutes of trying to make that work… didn’t.

At this point I was annoyed. Trying to find a customer service number for Amazon did not improve my attitude. Finally, I found a link to a text window that offered me a callback to resolve my issue. And that call was almost immediate, the lady on the phone was helpful and pleasant, everything seemed to be resolved. She told me that I’d get a message if there were any other problems. So I went to bed thinking things were fixed. Not so much.

I checked the order details when I woke the next morning and saw that the $8 screen protector was now paid for and shipping. The camera and the lens… not so much. Change payment source, please. Head explodes!

After cleaning up the mess and digging a bit more into the payment links, I found a place to “retry” a payment type. In case you fat fingered your numbers or made some sort of error while entering a card. With one click I was able to refresh the payment attempt, recheck the card balance, and complete the purchase. Success.

The camera and lens showed up today, but the process of getting them here was not a particularly positive one. Sorry for the long rambling rant. That’s my story. Later.

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Sorry About That. I Got Hacked.

a redirect hack… dammit!

Saying I got hacked sounds worse than it really was. Some code was inserted into my site that was driving the traffic away to some garbage sites. I have cleaned my code, removed some unused files, and generally straightened things up behind the scenes.  I would have caught it sooner, but I haven’t checked the site in more than a week. My Bad.
Should be all better now. No thanks to BlueHost.
First thing I did when I noticed everything going to was being redirected was go to my hosting service, BlueHost, and ask for some help. They offered no help. They offered to sell me a 12-month security package for $49 a month. Perhaps had they fixed the problem and then tried to sell me something I would be less annoyed, but that’s not how they played it. They went from “hello” to “give us money” about that fast. Color me less than impressed.
It took me about 5-minutes of googling and another 5-minutes of work to fix things. So, I just saved myself $588 that I was never going to give them. For that kind of money, I’ll give up this whole website thing and find another hobby.
Anyway, I fixed the redirect and the site is back.

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