Sunday, January 5, 2014

Google Wallet Fail

Okay, I ordered one of them new fandangled Google Wallet physical "debit" cards because I wanted to look cool.

It arrived in the mail about 10 days later, and I promptly transferred some money to it from a prepaid VISA rebate card I just received from a drunken PSU purchase I made several months back at Newegg.  I set my purchasing PIN on the Google Wallet website and I went forth into the actual world to convert my virtual Google money into physical goods at the nearest Costco.

Silly me: I had this mistaken belief that since Google is one of the most forefront technologically advanced companies this world has ever known, surely my upcoming transaction at the cash register would go off without a hitch.  Nope, my shiny new Google Wallet physical card is unreadable and the purchase failed.   Of course, the credit card terminal had no problem reading my PNC debit card, but this was no way to impress the cashier.

I left dejected, only to try later that night at a bar.   The cool bartender took my fancy order of Grey Goose & Cranberry and I promptly handed him my Google Wallet card.  He was so impressed, told me this is the first one he's ever seen, and went to swipe my card.  FAIL again.  I curse Google under my breath, and ask the bartender to type in the entire card number to try to process the purchase that way.  Success, but wow what disappointment...

I know the problem: for some reason my magnetic stripe on my new card has lost its magnetism.  Okay, simple enough, I need to cancel the card and order a new one.  Looking on the Google wallet website, I easily find the "Cancel Card" option but it's silent on whether I can easily order a new one after doing so.  So, I call a friendly Google Wallet representative, (855) 492-5538 for those who may be wondering, and I expect to be greeted with the most knowledgeable technologically astute representative of all time.  Silly me: wrong again.  She barely understood the English language (understandable), she wouldn't listen to my clear description of the problem with the magnetic stripe, kept trying to solve a problem I wasn't having, and refused to transfer me to her supervisor when I started to get irate.

During an irritatingly long 5 minutes on hold, she must have finally talked to someone nearby who understood how credit card terminals worked, and told me to cancel the card online and I would then immediately be given the chance to order a new one.  Sheesh!  Why couldn't the website have just told me this to begin with?

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