23 July 2007

muggle's technology stumps me

First something fun:

Doris Dumbledore and I were stuck on the moving staircase last night. As we sat there, wondering what we were missing for dinner in the Great Hall, she told me about a wand quiz she had read about in the Daily Prophet. I couldn't resist. Here's the result.

My score on The Harry Potter Wand Test:

10 1/4", Yew wood, Veela core

"A yew wand signifies a wizard of great wisdom and intellect and is very useful in transfigurations. The veela hair as a wand core means that you are slightly unpredictable but very powerful."

First Year's stumbling with the Muggle's systems:

Hogwarts Deputy Headmistress has paired Sally-Anne Clearwater, of Gryffindor, and I up for this term. I was very excited and decided to order my Gryffindor fiber right away. With my owl out hunting and not being allowed to use magic outside of school, I bravely chose to use the Muggle's ordering system of the internet. Since Gringotts doesn't do transactions in the Muggle world, I decided to use my Paypal account, which I know Madam Milkin will accept.

With confidence, I logged on to the site I was ordering from, hunted down the colorways needed, checked them into the "cart", and proceeded to checkout, choosing Paypal as the preferred form of payment. This is where the trouble started.

"Incorrect Email"...no, I've used only this one. I tried two more times. I tried another email account (yes, I have several, all for a different use/reason) even though I knew it wasn't the email I use for Paypal. "Incorrect Email". I tried a different route: I pretended to not remember my email. Paypal asked me for personal information, which I gladly provided. "Incorrect account number." What? What do you mean? I know my credit card number! Thinking maybe I typed it in wrong, I tried several more times. Nope. I went back to Paypal, entered my email, and pretended to not remember my password. I am told I would get a message through my email on security questions, followed by my password. I looked at my emails thinking Paypal sent me an email (I know...but I have hope that the electronic systems intuitively know what I want and will have mercy on me). No emails. Maybe it takes time, so I went about doing some laundry, knitted a little, and came back to the computer. I logged on to my emails. No new emails from Paypal. No personal security questions. No password. Well, let's just wipe this clean and get a new account. No. The system won't let me create a new account because I have a perfectly good useable account already. Big bright red letters formed in words tell me this. What's a knitter to do?

New tactic: I called Paypal (this is not a toll-free number, folks) and got a laundry list of choices (all recorded voice). Do I already have an account (speak clearly into the phone and say "yes" or "no")...yes. Using the keypad of the phone, key in your phone number. Done. Did I forget my password? Yes (why not...). The automated voice tells me to go the the computer and follow the directions to receive an email about my password. Yes, I think to myself, but that doesn't work. I try ignoring that request and press 1 for more options. At this point, my memory is fuzzy. After several tries at circumventing the now-annoying automated voice, I am given an option of staying on the line for "customer service" (what was it up to this point, I am asking myself). Another computer voice tells me I may be recorded. Yes, please record this so that future customers can maybe avoid this dilemma. The nice guy on the line (yes, yes, a real person) walked me through, quite patiently, (like leading an addled geriatric up the stairs), all the processes I had already tried. I kept telling him the email address was wrong in his system. I held my cell phone to my ear with my shoulder (not the most comfortable position) and went through each step he wanted to try with me on the computer. After twenty minutes, two email addresses and three credit cards later: "You're email is missing a character." No, it's the same address I have had for over three years. "No it is missing a character." How could that be? I get email. I log onto it regularly. Finally, he says, "You are missing an exclamation character." Huh? There is no such creature in my email address. After a few more rounds of this conversation, he says "Let's change your email." Yes, here we go. The screen prompts me for the last four digits of the credit card number. I will spare you the long and sorted conversation pieces. In the end, the credit card numbers I thought I would have used, were not the one I used on Paypal. After many tries, the last credit card numbers I put in worked. With a phone call on my land line to verify who I was and a few codes put into the Paypal system, I gratefully thanked the guy on the phone. I changed my email to the correct address, changed my password, and recovered from "cauliflower ear" for being on the phone so long.

I returned to the fiber site, to complete my transaction. The site had said all items put in your "cart" stay there (basicly forever until you delete or order). Nope. I had to go back through, find the fibers and colorways, re-ordering them. This time, Paypal *ding* worked like a charm. I now await for Muggle mail in the large brown trucks to deliver my package of goodness. Gryffindor colors will soon be on needles.


Sally-Anne said...

Wow. So much work on socks that haven't even gone on the needles yet. Your recipient appreciates this.

S. A. Clearwater

Sally-Anne said...

I sent you a private email a few days ago to the HSS2 yahoo account. Did you ever receive it?


Rowena Acromantula said...

I've just done the wand test & bought a lovely willow & phoneix one.
Too be honest I've never done anything like this before & I'm really having fun :-)