I always thought that, in this life we learn a lot more from bad experiences, not just the good ones! Yesterday I bought some goods from a known online shop. I’d always payed the bills through Paypal and never had any problems whatsoever. Always fast, always reliable, smooth service. Due to a problem with spanish vat not being charged to me, portuguese citizen (EU laws, oblige) I received an email saying that I had to pay for it and the merchant, gently, giving me an URL saying that I could just click on it, follow the instructions and the process would come to an end. Ok, nice, happy, happy, joy! Clicked on the ClickandBuy link, it got me to a page where I had to fill a registration form to complete the process. Ok, name, address, phone and credit card number. Allright, no big deal, very reasonable. Filled up all the information and clicked on the ‘Register’ button. After some seconds, bang! ClickandBuy registration service says that something is not right with my credit card information (the same one that in the same day I used to pay for other services) and to check my inbox for some instructions regarding this authorization process and approval of my ‘on hold’ account. This was the mail I received:
Dear Mr. Marques,
You are already using the clever and secure payment ClickandBuy – thank you very much for relying on this intelligent solution for payments on the Internet.
Unfortunately, we had to temporarily bar you from the use of ClickandBuy. This could be for several reasons, e.g., we might ask you to contact us regarding the address, bank or credit card data you entered.
So, please contact our service team at
+351 707 781 718
for information about the reason for this temporary barring.
We would be happy to activate you again as soon as possible for the use of ClickandBuy and hope for your understanding.
Hmm. I’m already using the clever and secure payment ClickandBuy. No, I’m not. Actually, I can’t register with you because you’re saying that I have “some” problem that is causing this and I have to reply to this mail or call a 707 number (not a 800) to just follow your instructions. Ok, I’m in a hurry, you even have a number in Portugal to call from, let’s see. Phoned ClickandBuy and the nice lady answers the phone with a perfect spanish accent. Oh, and no portuguese talking. English will do, no problem. After some minutes I realized that I had to send a copy of my passport (yes, my passport) and my credit card by e-mail or fax to ClickandBuy just to authorize and authenticate my account. Hello? Are you nuts? Send my passport data and the credit card to a fax number or even an email to you, in clear text? I couldn’t believe this, so I asked if they could send me another e-mail with the instructions that I had to follow. So, here it is:
Dear Mr Marques,
Thank you for contacting ClickandBuy and for your message.
Unfortunately the only way to unblock your ClickandBuy account is by filling
out and signing the attached form. Please send it back to us either via email
or fax with a copy of your passport or drivers licence and credit card (front-
ClickandBuy fax#: +49 (0)221 – 26 01 189
Please understand that this is a security measure intended to protect you and
your account from fraudulent use. We apologize for the inconvenience caused by
This is pure nonsense. This is bloody stupid. ClickandBuy is worried with the fraudulent use of my account and they ask me to send all my personal details *and* credit card information via email in “clear”? Or fax it to a German Number, from Portugal, at my expenses? No, thanks. See, ClickandBuy, you have to learn a lot with Paypal. Say, for example, their method of authentication of new user accounts. After the registration, you just have to click an email to authenticate a new account. If you want to upgrade your account to a verified one, depending on your country, Paypal charge your credit card or make some transfer to your bank account. Along with the transaction description saying something like PAYPAL you have a code that if you access your bank account records, you can just c&p on paypal and bingo, you have a verified account. Very smart, very easy. Secure. This is one of the million reasons that Paypal is the king of online payment and has about 100 million accounts.
So, after burning 30 precious minutes of my time I sent an e-mail to the merchant asking if it was ok to pay this by Paypal, because I didn’t want to deal with burocratic ClickandBuy again. The answer was: yes, of course, no problem. So, after that, it took me no more than a few seconds to send the money to the merchant.