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Well that was fun - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 13th, 2013

01:17 pm - Well that was fun

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Get cash from machine, put card in wallet, cross street, walk 20m, check bag, wallet missing.

Go back, check ground, money machine, ask collectors standing there, ask in shops. Nope. Gone.

Call bank, block cards, arrange new cards to be sent urgently which will hopefully arrive before flying out to the US on Wednesday. Arrange alternative plan for accessing money and paying for hotel/expenses if that falls through. Borrow $100 off Dr Wheel.

Go to AA, cancel driver license. Go to police station to report theft. Wallet has been handed in. Found 2 streets over with nothing missing. All I can think is that whoever nicked it wanted cash and the ID of someone who doesn't look like a soccer Mum in their license photo. Oddly, they didn't want my union card either.

Unfortunately I can't unblock any of my other cards so I'm still without plastic of any kind* till they arrive. But my identity still belongs to me so that's cool.

* In NZ, PoS is a big thing. I use cash if I can, but without my card I can't get at it. I am weirded out by the prospect of going to the bank on Monday to try and get some US dollars (or even some NZ ones) without any of my usual cards.

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From:rivet
Date:April 13th, 2013 01:19 am (UTC)
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Gah! How frustrating >:/
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From:ecosopher
Date:April 13th, 2013 01:41 am (UTC)
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Oh,poo.
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From:richdrich
Date:April 13th, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
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They're usually happy to give you (at least NZD) cash against a drivers license at bank counters. Maybe take a passport as well.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 02:05 am (UTC)
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Good call, I'll do that. ;-)
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From:didotwite
Date:April 13th, 2013 04:48 am (UTC)

Yeah

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ID and you can cash a check or make a withdrawal at the actual bank counter.

But that sucks for travel. Any way they can issue a card at one of their branches before you go?
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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 04:50 am (UTC)

Re: Yeah

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I can get a travel debit card if my new one doesn't turn up in time. I just bung money on that and it acts just like a normal one - so it's not a huge deal, just means I have to calculate in advance how much money I expect to need.
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From:pombagira
Date:April 13th, 2013 08:52 am (UTC)
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O.O gosh.... but yay for getting it back..


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From:brynhilda
Date:April 13th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
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OMG, what a nightmare!! At least you got back your wallet.

Mine was stolen many years ago. Two years later I got back my ID. Someone found it deep in the woods...ohmy...hahaha...that was quite scary.
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From:meathiel
Date:April 13th, 2013 04:40 pm (UTC)
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Ugh ... scary. At least you got your wallet back. Hope it'll work out with the money/cards.
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From:helianthas
Date:April 13th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
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What is PoS? </p>

If you need cash while in Oakland call me. I'll PM you my #

Also, when do you get in? Need a ride from the airport?

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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
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PoS is point of sale - computerised transactions in shops where you swipe your eftpos card and put in a pin to pay for something instead of using cash or credit, and it debits it straight from your bank account. You can also use the card to get cash at atm machines.

Most countries use this, I think, but NZ was one of the places where it was introduced early for testing*, and pretty much all shops have it, even casual or temporary ones. Kiwis are often surprised by how much less available it is overseas.

* This happens to us a lot with social experiments and new types of tech - because we're a western nation with a small population, companies try it out on us first to see how it might work in larger countries without taking the big financial risk of rolling it out to, say, the US.
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From:bekitty
Date:April 13th, 2013 08:23 pm (UTC)
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In the US, it's just called debit.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
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So what do they call debit then?
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From:siobhan63
Date:April 13th, 2013 09:29 pm (UTC)
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What do you mean by debit? We call it debit or interac - which is the name of the company that runs the system in Canada.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 10:18 pm (UTC)
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Here, a debit card works exactly the same as a credit card, except it's your own money. So you can use it anywhere you'd use a credit card, like online shopping or paying for stuff when out of the country. Mine's linked to Visa.

An eftpos card works for PoS transactions and at ATM machines, but you can't use it for online transactions and you can't use it overseas. It's more like a stored value card with access to your bank account.

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From:bekitty
Date:April 13th, 2013 10:48 pm (UTC)
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They call it debit too. Which can be a bit confusing.

Generally, you're given the choice to swipe your card as a debit or credit, unless the store isn't set up as a debit card merchant. Most places will be happy to swipe your card as a credit card, even if it's not set up as one.

The other thing is that there's no standardised way to provide ID at point of sale, like we do here by entering our PIN into the keypad. Over there, they can ask for a PIN, or get you to sign the receipt, or ask to see some ID, or none of those. For a country so hung up on identity theft, that just seemed strange to me.
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From:richdrich
Date:April 13th, 2013 11:18 pm (UTC)
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I think that in the US (and UK, mostly) transactions go through the Visa/Mastercard network and attract a fairly high fee for the shop. For this and cultural reasons, shops don't want you to use plastic for small transactions.

In NZ, like tatjna says, it's a separate payment channel (the machines can also take credit cards) and it's pretty cheap for the store, comparable with cash handling. So most places will take a card for e.g. a coffee and a lot of people don't carry cash. There's a 50c charge to the customer, but most banks waive that as part of their package.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC)
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Oh, PS. I arrive on Wednesday at 12:30pm. I can't check into my hotel till 3:30 so if you were not busy and wanted to catch up for lunch or something, that'd be awesome.

Thanks also for your number. I'm gonna try to get a prepay SIM for my phone while I'm there so I can get in touch with people and use the internet and stuff.

I'll make a post on Tuesday about timings and stuff cos there are a few folks I'd like to see while I'm there, you included. ;-)
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From:helianthas
Date:April 13th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
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Wednesday lunch would be great! Which airport do you land at? If it's SFO I can come get you, I live super close. </p>

Perhaps you know these tips already, but in case you don't--> If you have a smartphone, Skype is awesome for traveling. Just load up a little credit on it and you can call phones when on wifi. Whatsapp is also indispensable for texting. I think it's $1 and after that all texts (via wifi) are free to anyone else with the app.

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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 09:07 pm (UTC)
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I am landing at SFO! It was going to cost me a silly amount of extra dollars to fly to Oakland because of living in the boonies of the world, so I figured SFO/BART would work out better.

But meeting you for lunch is better still! <3
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From:bekitty
Date:April 13th, 2013 08:25 pm (UTC)
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Get an AT&T simcard. There's no upfront cost, but it costs a dollar each day you use it. Also, if you use a kiosk to top up, you don't pay state tax.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 09:05 pm (UTC)
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So if I'm there for 5 days, it costs $5 plus whatever calls/data/texts I use?

That sounds ok for a short trip. Any links so I know what I'm looking for when I get there? I was thinking of sorting all this out at SFO.
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From:bekitty
Date:April 13th, 2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
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Yeah. The thing to remember is that you get charged for recieving texts and calls as well as making them. Except I think it's free to call people on the same network as you.

$25 is good for 90 days as far as I remember. I think you can get $15 credits as well, which are good for 30 days or something. I reckon the $15 should be more than you'll need.
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From:bekitty
Date:April 13th, 2013 11:01 pm (UTC)
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There's an AT&T store near the ariport, at a place called "The Shops at Tanforan" which looks like a mall. Possibly helianthas could take you there during your lunch?
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From:helianthas
Date:April 14th, 2013 07:15 pm (UTC)
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There's an AT&T store by me as well; I think you have to buy the phone, too, if your phone is not unlocked. I happen to have one, but it's leant out-- I'll go ask her and find out when I can get it back. I remember a chip being like $20 for the phone plus $1/day but a minimum of days needing to be out on it, unsure. </p>

Tats, let me know the flight number so I can check delays. When you land and are through customs borrow someone's phone and give me a call & tell me where you are; it'll be about 20 minutes for me to get you.

Alternatively, you can take the BART to "24th Street / Mission" and I'll wait for you at cafe Haus with my laptop and you can just meet me when you meet me. Haus is at 24th street and Folsom Street. When you get out of the BART, look for the McDonald's on one corner. Logic problem time: You want to walk so that the McDonald's is on your RIGHT side and across the street, and the Happy Donuts is BEHIND you (and across the street). You will be walking down 24th street from the intersection of Mission Street, going east past Capp St, past So Van Ness, past Shotwell St, and past Folsom St. Haus will be right past Folsom on the left. 6 minute walk.

Any thoughts on where you'd like to go for lunch?

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From:tatjna
Date:April 14th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
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I've no idea where I'd like to go for lunch - probably somewhere that does good coffee cos I'll need one by then! I trust your judgement.

My phone is unlocked.. at least, it's unlocked for here, I am not very up with phone tech but I figure if I take my phone into the shop and tell them what I want to do, they'll sort me out with what I want, right?

Meanwhile, if I print those instructions I should be ok to find you, but bear in mind that if my plane lands at 12:30, by the time I've got through customs and whatnot, then caught the train, it could be 1:30 or 2 before I get to you. I'd hate to think of you sitting there thinking I'm lost or worse, not coming - with me maybe not being able to use my phone. So if you think it'd be easier to meet at the airport, I'm happy to do that. Flight NZ8 from Auckland.

;-) *squee* Excited!
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From:pundigrion
Date:April 16th, 2013 05:49 pm (UTC)
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If it is unlocked for there, then it is unlocked for everywhere and you'll be able to just insert a new SIM without buying a new phone :-)
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From:goddessofchaos
Date:April 13th, 2013 09:00 pm (UTC)
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Oh crap :( At least you did get it back, with everything intact, but that's some very bad timing =/

I would struggle to do anything without my cards as well. I suppose it must still be possible to get money out of the bank without one, but I'm not entirely sure how one goes about it.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 13th, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC)
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Someone up thread said to turn up with a passport, and answer all those questions you set up when you make the accounts about your mother's maiden name and your first pet and whatnot. I'll give that a go tomorrow, but worst case scenario I have some cash that Dr Wheel left me (he's away too), and I can stack some onto a new travel debit card thingy to pay for expenses in the US.
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From:laoke
Date:April 15th, 2013 08:28 am (UTC)
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Assuming that you're still worried about this (which I doubt), I can usually get cash out from the bank with no ID if I match the signature they have on record and can answer security questions.

This makes me a little nervous actually - if someone stole my ID it'd be ludicrously easy to get money out of the bank if you had a touch of social engineering nous and the ability to forge a signature.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 15th, 2013 08:16 pm (UTC)
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I was surprised how easy it was. I mean, I had my passport with me, and was able to tell them detailed stuff about how my accountes operate, but yeah - just basically 'sign here'. Yikes.

Still, a good thing in this situation. I has moneys now.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 15th, 2013 08:15 pm (UTC)
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Me too, thanks! I was surprised that not even my stored-value bus card was missing - they must have only wanted cash.
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From:dragonvyxn
Date:April 14th, 2013 03:55 am (UTC)
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ugh, that's awful. i can't remember which evening we'd thought about hanging out for dinner now! of course some of my family is also visiting so that's hilarious. go timing! thursday i have to teach nosework here in oakland, saturday i'm pretty sure i'm bound to family dinner, but wed and friday are free, and if you're down with an 8pm dinner, we can do thursday. just let me know. during the day i'll likely be out and about with baby/family i suppose. i'll email you my phone #, txt/call/email all easy for me to get to quickly though txt/email is fastest in case i'm busy doing baby related stuffs. so excited to see you!! yay!!
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From:tatjna
Date:April 14th, 2013 08:36 pm (UTC)
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Right then. I have Thursday free at this point, and I'm totally fine with an 8pm dinner, or any other thing you'd like to do. Mostly it's about catching up with you, and I'm happy to work around your schedule.

I'll grab your number and give you a text as soon as I can communicate!

;-)
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From:forestgreenivy
Date:April 14th, 2013 04:26 pm (UTC)
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Oh jeez... what a saga!
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