Friday night, better get some cash out. Cash machine tells me it cannot perform the task at this time ‘please try again later’. I try again three seconds later, same message. ‘Damn Co-op cash machine’ I mutter to myself – from the stares I receive, maybe a little to loudly.
I pick Chris and Alex up from school, park the car close to the bank and try their machine. Same message, only this time it says to speak to the card issuing bank. Bank is closed, I’ve got £5.00 in my purse for the week-end: damn, damn, damn.
Back to the car, the boys want their sweets. They are only allowed to buy sweets on a Friday, they can eat it any time they want – Of course it’s all gone by the time they sit down for dinner.
We buy their sweets and one for Daddy they say, and get back in the car. At home I take a good look at the card and wonder if it has expired. Haven’t received a new card and if you read it the British way: month first and year after it doesn’t expire before next month. Have they too become Americanized? I dig out my relay phone (I try not to use it much as the calls are so expensive) and call the bank.
Even via text I can tell the guy is irritatingly cheery. I go through the ‘security’ check – hope they vet these relay people properly – I’m not due a new card yet. But why can’t I use it? There’s a fraud ticket on it. Do I want to speak to the fraud department? YES! The conversation is painfully long and slow, but basically someone had cloned my card and the bank blocked it.