Have you ever tried to make a payment with your credit card that is a bit on the high side of things but still well within your limit? I do that once a year when I get my hosting invoice from Wiredtree. Well, to be precise, Wiredtree tries to charge the card directly. Still, it never works. This is the second year in a row where I get the information that payment could not be processed and that my hosting bill is overdue.
First thing I did last year was to check in on the site to verify that my credit card information are correct. Which they were, not a huge surprise considering that I have not used or changed the data in one year's time. Next thing I try is to make a manual payment on the Wiredtree Grove website, with the same result.
I get the dreaded authorization failed error on the page. That's bad, considering that delays in payment of the invoice could mean that the server Ghacks is running on could be taken offline by the company until a payment clears.
So what can I do? I call the Mastercard hotline in my country where I have to wait a good ten minutes or so before I have to go through a ridiculous authorization process (card number, name, birthday, address, three digits of the linked bank account number). I then get the following explanation (every year, actually more often as I sometimes buy expensive stuff on the Internet, have to call them all the time).
Mastercard has an automatic fraud detection system in place that blocks payments that break a pattern or look suspicious. My payment to the web hosting company Wiredtree is apparently looking like a fraudulent payment. The only possible explanation that I have for this is that it is a four-digit payment to a foreign country. The service agent offers to disable the fraud protection for the next 24 hours or 3 days so that I can make the payment.
I'm curious and want to know if there is a way to whitelist select companies, but that is apparently not possible. The system is also not capable of learning from past year's payments. I mean, I pay the hoster once a year at the same time. Should not an automatic system be able to come to the conclusion that the payment is legit if it happened in past years as well?
I ask the agent about options. The only option for me to make sure that the automatic payment gets through is to call them a day earlier to remove the automatic fraud checking for three days from the account. That's ridiculous, don't you think? To make things worse, you have to pay for that call.
Have you ever had problems with your credit card and online payments? Let me know in the comments. Oh, and hosting for Ghacks is paid in full for a whole year, so no worries in this regard. Until next year, that is.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.