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Thursday 2 August 2007

Egg must die! [Lurks]

So you have a credit card, right, and the idea of them is that you type some numbers into web sites and you can order things. It's a way of paying. It's quick and convenient and that's why you use them and how they managed to cream 2.5% off the top to the shops. However today I tried to order something and my card was declined. The phone rings, missus picks it up and it's some automated Egg thing. I don't make it to the phone in time and it rings off.

Odd. I check my details and submit again, denied again. Alright this aint cricket so I call up Egg only to be greeted by this new blight upon the service industry, the voice recognition automated system. This actually does a good job, to be fair, of recognising my irritated monotone but it still takes three times longer than had a human being just gone through the security stuff.

I get through to a human being eventually and apparently it's just some security thing which has randomly decided to decline the transaction. Despite the fact I've bought stuff off them before many times over the previous years. She fixes it, I say you don't mind if I hang on and give it a go. I do, it works, fine.

But it's not fine, not really. I appreciate credit card fraud must be pretty high and they look for ways to minimize it but if I have to call up for fucking minutes at a time just to order something, I may as well pay some other way. All of these developments have been shoveled onto me, wasting my time, to save them money. You reckon I'll see anything back from that? Lowering of interest rate? Will I buggery. I signed up to these guys years ago when they were 9.9% but now they charge 70% more interest than they did back then.

They just seem to think they can fuck me over bit by bit and now I can't even use a web site to buy something without having to go auto-retard voicemail hell. Enough is enough I say!

I need a new credit card. Anyone recommend something?


  1. No mate. I try to debit everything straight out the current account and have convinced myself there are no good credit cards to be had.

    Jumping on bandwagon...  any recommendations on an online savings account?  Don't need another current account, rather somewhere with a strong rate of interest that could double up as an emergency source of cash.


  2. I've been using the Barclays e-savers, mainly because it's convenient, works off your existing Barclays account and can be accessed using the same login etc. It's quick and efficient transfering money to and from. I can't remember exactly what the rate is on it at the moment though.


  3. Barclays quite legendary for shit interest rates though eh? Like all high street banks.


  4. Righty I decided to act on this so I used Money Supermarket's credit card comparison tool and ended up settling on a Virgin card. Bottom line is the interest rate is 15.9%, a straight 20 points less than Egg. However I got a 0% balance transfer for 15 months. 3 months interest free on purchases and purchase protection insurance which strikes me as being rather handy. Not only that, you get 10% off a load of Virgin services such as Virgin Wine, which is something I could see myself using a lot from now on.

    The crazy thing was it must have taken me less than 5 minutes to apply, digging out all the things they want to know and all that jazz. Then at the end it just said waiting for a couple of seconds and "you're in!" and promptly gave me a £10,500 credit limit with notice that the card is on it's way in the next week. That's crazy and just a little bit scary that credit is available so easily now.

    But still, productive and worth doing I think. It's handy to be able to jump provider so easily.


  5. My two top choices for travellers are the Nationwide Classic Visa if you use it abroad a lot, and Marks & Spencers &More Mastercard for travellers who like to pack cash when they travel.

    Nationwide don't stiff you 2.65%+usage charge when you make a purchase abroad. Almost every other card does (barring Saga and the Post Office one), and you'd be surprised how it mounts up. I saved £10 on 3 days in Norway, a two week holiday with car rental, hotel bills and meals etc. and you could save yourself a packet.

    M&S &More allows you to order foreign currency online, on the phone. or in the few stores that have bureau de changes. Now, get this, they treat the currency transaction like a store purchase so you get up to a 56 day interest free loan on your holiday money.


  6. I use northern rock for my savings in the UK and at home here in Ireland..

    Credit cards are evil, and like Beej I only use debit cards now. Visa Electron is teh win, you are only spending money you have right now :)