Sunday, January 27, 2019

life lesson: be paranoid with online money.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been getting more involved in the twitch educational community. As part of that I've been gifted, and have gifted, many "subs" (subscriptions) to channels I enjoy. I know from this they last 1 month.

So, last month, I decided to get a sub for a channel I enjoy for myself. 


They auto-renew.

I did not know this.

I do not have enough money in my bank to cover this.

Let me tell you what happened the last time I was short by less than this amount ($4) back in around 2013.

First - The bank hit me with a NSF fee. $30 IIRC. My current bank's NSF fee is $40. 

Second - Paypal hit me with a NSF fee. $25US. They also restricted my ability to buy things online for YEARS after. I always had to have enough money in my paypal balance, and they would not accept a bank link as enough. As I said, this continued for years, and was not lifted until 2016. There were also payments I simply could not make. 

Third - Steam (I was buying a steam game at the time) did a very similar restriction on me for 3 months. I had to have money in my steam wallet to buy any game. Additionally, a time restriction was placed on paypal transfers, so I only got the money in my wallet when it cleared. 

This meant I had to pay $60 for being over by $3. Additionally, I had to wait 14 days to transfer money into my paypal, and another week or so to get that into steam, if I wanted to buy any video games. This meant I needed to know 3 weeks in advance if I wanted to buy something on a flash sale.

Here is the problem now in 2019.

I have no idea how this is all going to go down. 

I've been charged $4 to a bank account that's empty. 

Paypal already took the $3 that was sitting in my paypal balance.

The bank is closed because it is sunday.

I've gone to the ATM and put $5 in an envelope and marked it as a deposit. 

I am thinking of trying to get a paypal transfer from a friend and trying to shoot that into the bank account as well hoping it lands before the payment does.

IF any of that works, it will solve the entire problem.

Next, I've been able to get a friend to spot me $4 on paypal. I now have enough of a paypal balance to make up the payment that my bank does not have. Hopefully paypal will be satisfied with this. IF they are.

If they are not, the Twitch is then told I did not have enough money for my sub. If that happens who knows what they do. They may limit by ability to buy subs or bits; and if they do that it will certainly have an impact on any streaming I'd do. 

Even one of the better case scenarios is that I have an extra unexpected bill of $60 this month. That's a weeks worth of food for me. If that happens it pushes back my streaming by at least a month. 

In short: I'm going to end up screwed in a major way no matter what I do.

The lesson here is to always be paranoid with online money. My assumption that the subscriptions would not auto-renew based on what I've seen others do was wrong despite how certain I was. 

Due to that I might be out $60 or more, and have my plans to stream pushed back my 1, 3, or more months. 

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