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I just had a very frustrating experience involving fraud and e-commerce.  But it is not what you think — quite the opposite.  I went to buy an electronic good via a well-known Benelux online store, using a major credit card I have not used for a bit.  Should be simple, right? As I can verify who I am and I have the card in hand.

Opened an account with the online store, placed the order, went to pay.  Would not accept the credit card. Then I received a fraud account activity mail promptly from the card provider.  Great, I said.  Thanks for checking  – yes, it is me.  Ah, go ahead and try again, said the card provider.

Placed the order. Order was accepted.  And then about midnight, as they are getting ready to load my order, the online store cancelled my order.   Because it is my first purchase with them, I must use a debit method, not a credit card method, to establish a secured relationship to avoid fraud. Even though the order was placed and accepted.

So I see this message, and get both parties online (separately).   The card company apologies and says please, try it again, do not worry, you were not yet billed and we are sure they will accept the card.   The vendor says yes, try again, but without the credit card.  And I lack the cash buffer in the account right now to do a debit payment.

So I am now without the object in question, but hey, no fraud!  And no shopping or customer satisfaction either.