My friend of Wandering Gnomad recently wrote about having to fix her laptop while teaching abroad. The gist of it is that simple things like fixing a laptop under warranty, or ordering clothes online are 1.5 times harder.
Although she is in a different country than I am, I’m can confirm that it’s true for me too. Simple things are unnecessarily difficult and it’s frustrating. Sometimes you work this angle, that angle, the other angle and still come out fruitless.
One such example is ordering online. Now, I am blessed to have a mailing address that is considered a US address as well as a local Korean address. I can receive mail and packages as if I was in the states (almost). But every now and then, merchants graciously inform you that your order qualifies for free shipping, however it does not qualify to this particular type of address. You’re forced to pay extra. I don’t like it, but I can live with that as long as shipping doesn’t cost more than my order. The kicker is that often times, they will just say “Some items in your cart cannot ship to your address.” Great. So some things can ship, and some can’t. What does that even mean?
I’ve found myself almost literally flipping a table because of this. Sometimes, the little things you enjoy or find comfort in cannot be found while living abroad.
Another example is accessing and updating information on your US online accounts for certain websites and credit cards. Online account theft and fraud is so prevalent in our digital era, so I do appreciate it went websites have extra security measures. What I don’t appreciate is when I verify everything about my identity and account, and they still insist mobile text verification.
My US number has been inactive for over six months. If I want to change to my new foreign cellphone number, I must first verify with my US number to access my account. What? Or in another case, you’re able to jump through all the hoops, they let you change your phone number but cannot accept a foreign cellphone number.
Here’s another one: I need to change the address to my credit card account because I no longer live there and mail forwarding seems to have stopped. BUT! I must first receive a letter in the mail to verify that I am in fact the person requesting the change. Meanwhile, I have verified every piece of information regarding the credibility of my identity over the phone. How the heck am I supposed to receive a letter to an address I no longer live at? The point of updating my address is to receive mail at the proper location. I’ll never be able to verify this account to update my address.
You’re probably wondering: Why didn’t you do this BEFORE you left?
If you’ve relocated abroad, or across the country even, you tend to have a lot going on. Despite the best efforts, some things inevitably slip through and you have to work on it when you are sane again on the other side. I’ve moved 4 times in the past 6 years. And despite the experience, something ALWAYS slip through and you kick yourself for it later. All you can do is take care of it the best you can when it comes up.
What’s a girl to do? Sometimes all I can do is laugh. Take a shot of Patron and laugh it out and move on.
Have you experienced anything like this? What are some of your frustrating “verification” experiences?