Diana the Valkyrie

Credit card problems

Card cancellation

If you try to cancel by cancelling your credit card, that might not work. That surprised me too, but what happens is, I don't know about the cancellation, because your bank doesn't tell me, I continue to bill you, and for reasons I don't understand, some banks accept a billing on a cancelled card. All this applies, of course, to any service you sign up for, not just mine. I think that even a year later, they might still accept billings on a cancelled card.

So if you decide that there's just too many problems with your credit card, and you cancel the whole thing and get a new one, watch out for this issue. Cancelling your old card and getting a new one might not have the effect you wanted. I don't know how to get a bank to *really* cancel a card. Let me know if you find out.

Billing name

My billings are done as "INTERNET PRIVACY LTD CHESHAM GB", or possibly something similar to one of those - I don't have control over what your bank puts on the statement.

I don't use a billing service such as iBill or someone like that; I control it all myself. This makes it easier for me to sort out an problems that arise, because there's fewer organisations involved in the billing.

Billing amount

US residents

If you live in the USA, then almost every time, the billing will be exactly what you expect.

Occasionally, you'll see that my billings might not be the round number you were expecting. Suppose I want to bill you $10.

The billing is done by me taking the $10 and converting it to pounds sterling (the bank needs that, because it's a British bank), using the latest published exchange rate. Then they do the charge in pounds, and your bank converts that back to dollars to bill you. If the two banks use slightly different exchange rates, it comes out different.

Gift cards

If you pay using a gift card, then the billing might be more than you expect. That's because the gift card bank sometimes add a fee to the billing, and they don't tell you that it's their fee, the statement makes it look like it's me that billed you the extra. I think that's very shabby. You can read more about this practice and in Consumer Reports you can see some of the fees they charge.

Non-US residents

If you aren't in the US, I bill you in UK pounds. I work out the amount by converting the dollar billing into UK pounds, and bill that. Then, you bank will convert the amount to Euros, yen, or whatever your currency is, and that's what you'll be billed.

Billing enquiry

If you ask your bank to find out about a billing, then you might not expect what happens next. What happens, is they fill in a standardised form that goes to my bank, and my bank writes to me. By the time I get it, it's a request to send a copy of the signed sales slip, or any other signed documentation. Of course, I don't have that. So the next thing that happens, is they claw back the last billing, and tell me they've done that, and tell me not to bill the card in future.

Obviously, if there's a billing on your statement that you don't recognise, you're absolutely right to ask what it's for, query it, and possibly challenge it. But before you ask, you should try hard to remember what it might be, because if you can remember, then that will save a lot of hassle all round.