Friday, May 20, 2011


Before we left Canada, we called Visa to let them know that we would be in France for a year. We have heard stories of people on vacation who suddenly had their card cancelled because Visa deemed their vacation to be irregular activity, and we didn't want it to happen to us.

We are going on vacation with my sister and her family next month. We will be staying in mobile homes in a campsite by the beach. My four year old nephew, Jack, has been looking forward to his two weeks off school since February. I booked and paid a deposit for both families 2 months ago but the final payments were due this week. I made both final payments by Visa one after another. A few hours later, I got a confirmation email that the our mobile home was fully paid for, but no email about my sister's.  I emailed them to ask about it.

At dinner that evening, Connell mentioned that his Visa card was refused twice during the day. We didn't think too much of it. Yesterday, my card was refused in the grocery store with a cart load of groceries and only 40 Euros in my wallet. I tried to take out cash using my Canadian bank card but the machine in the grocery store wouldn't accept foreign cards. I couldn't pay with my French bank card because I don't know the pin number. (I must actually open that envelope). So I asked could I return items until the bill was below 40 Euros. There was a lot of grumbling from the man in the line behind me. I can only assume he wasn't French. I chose what I wanted to give back and eventually left the store.

When I got home, I at least had the satisfaction of calling Visa to yell at them. It seems that having two payments so close together to the campsite was flagged as irregular and a stop put on our cards. I tried again to make the final payment for Jack's mobile home and this time got the confirmation email.

Visa, you were lucky this time. Don't mess with Jack's time off school again.

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