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Unusual credit card policies, Netflix, mice and woodchuck dilemmas

September 23rd, 2012 at 05:12 am

I watched my first Netflix movie last night. (See below for a recommended movie.) It has been several years since I enjoyed Netflix, and it was like hanging out with an old friend.

Anybody happen to know the maximum number of movies you can rent in a month if you watch the movie same day you get it and return it the very next day?

I'm guessing 6 to 8, but I'll be perfectly happy to have 1 a week.

I am perturbed by the Amex Premier Rewards card. The final charge of $180 needed to hit the $2,000 spending target has been held up in posting on my account online. The charge was made 4 days ago. I called about it and I believe she said she saw it was "pending." She also said that the bonus rewards aren't awarded until 6 to 8 weeks after you earn them!! This is so unlike other credit cards where they post them to you account immediately, or at least as soon as you pay the bill. So I guess I'll have to wait a while.

The other thing I REALLY disliked and thought was rather strange, is the due date that shows on my monthly Amex statements. I have noticed on each of the two previous bills I've gotten that there was a span of only 6 days from the date I received the bill to the due date.

Credit card reform laws require giving the consumer at least three weeks to pay it.

So since I had the rep on the phone, I brought up the short timeframe, and she said, oh, that's not a DUE date, that's just a "suggested" date for payment. The actual due date, she said, is 4 weeks later.

Well, HELLO. How is the customer supposed to know that? doesn't mention that anywhere on the statement. Is this misleading, or what???? I don't know about you, but I like to know exactly when the bill is due. Not when it's "sorta" due, or, God forbid, overdue, but the Exact Date It Is Due.

A recommended movie (the one I watched last night, which was very touching and sweet):

Kinamand (Chinaman) Subtitles
A middle-aged Danish man who happens to be a plumber is divorced by his wife after many years of marriage. He's become boring. Depressed, he starts to eat all his meals at the Chinese place across the street from his apartment. One day the pipes burst at the restaurant while the Dane is eating there and, since he's in the business, he repairs all the pipes for the owner. He's just a nice guy.

They get kind of friendly; he's there every day, after all, working his way through the menu. Soon, the proprietor asks him if he'd be willing to marry his sister so she can stay in the country. He agrees to do it for $8,000, the exact amount he's got to cough up to pay his wife in the divorce settlement. The woman's family stages the entire wedding, complete with photos, which they plan to use to prove the marriage is legit to immigration officials. The Danish man goes along with it all. He doesn't say much, but you can see he's got a good heart. He finds himself falling in love with the woman. And that's all I'm going to tell you!

I actually have a bit of work today, from the IT director at the private school. It's more than the usual email or two he wants me to edit; this is a proposal of some sort, several pages long. I will actually be able to charge him my going rate, which is $40/hr for editing. ($50/hr for new copy). I've had a work relationship with him for over a year now, but editing an email here or there that could be just 2 sentences long, well, I didn't start out charging more than the time it took me to edit it, which wasn't much, so at most it amounted to $20 a week. I probably should have established a minimum fee, but I didn't.

Actually, I just had a good idea. I could propose he pay me a small weekly retainer fee and in return I'd edit unlimited emails. It would create a regular income stream and I think would be better for me since there are often weeks he sends me nothing to edit, plus I could avoid the tedium of adding up very small dollar amounts and billing him for it. Not sure if he'd like the idea. What's the incentive for him? Would he barrage me with so many more emails that I'd be working for nothing? He doesn't usually send me many, maybe 2 or 3 a day at most, and usually just 4 or 5 a week. And sometimes I'm not always here to turn them around in a timely fashion.

The cats have been working overtime catching mice in the basement. I hate it because they love to bring the live mouse upstairs and chase it around, and then I don't want to walk around barefoot anymore or touch the cats when they sidle up to me. And it always happens at night, when I don't want to have to chase cats chasing mice.

If I can get them to run down the basement with it again, I often just close the door the basement and leave them with it until they start scratching at the door. Sometimes I'll find a dead mouse down there or sometimes, it's nowhere to be found, which means it got away and may crawl away to die somewhere later and then leave a lasting stink.

Either way, very distasteful to deal with, but if I DONT let the cats catch the mice, like if I blocked off access to the basement at night, well, I shudder to think about the mice population explosion that could take place.

I used to set lots of traps all the time,and I think I really start doing that again, although that, too, is an extremely distasteful business. Who even wants to handle a trap with a dead mouse in it?

I'm also limited in where I can place the set traps since the cats could really get hurt should they sniff or step on one and it snaps.

It's an old house. Who knows how the mice are getting in. Is there a hole in the outside foundation somewhere? I really have no idea.

I'm also not helping matters by having 80 lbs. of bird seed in the garage. I know rodents can smell that, and even though they can't get into the containers, I imagine it draws them in. But I really enjoy feeding the birds all winter. (Sadly, I found a dead sparrow inside the caged triple tube feeder yesterday. I don't know why it died. It was halfway through the cage. Was it stuck there? I don't think so, but who knows.)

Which brings me to yet another critter...the big fat woodchuck preparing for winter in his cozy little den about 50 feet from the house. It's a great spot, totally camoflauged by tall stilt grass, an invasive grass over a foot high now.

It's an area I eyeballed in early spring while saying to myself, I should plant grass there and then keep it mowed so it doesn't get so overgrown. Then I never got around to doing it with all the other stuff i have to do.

I noticed the woodchuck a month or so ago and never got around to a proven effective method of getting rid of him that did not harm him but encouraged him to move on: used cat litter dropped down his burrow. Now that a frost is just a few weeks away, i was having a tough time bringing myself to do this so late in the season. It's getting chilly at night, and what if he had trouble finding another suitable location? Once the ground freezes, he'd be out of luck, I think.

So I decided to let him stay the winter and then boot him out in the spring. they are voracious eaters, worse than deer in many respects, but I hadn't seen any damage by him. Until yesterday, when I noticed he had indeed been munching on my mums, now in bloom, and some autumn joy sedums, a prized plant. Grrr.

I am still so undecided about it all. The ground won't ACTUALLY freeze probably for another month, so he COULD still dig out a burrow somewhere else. and if he turns out to be a she, then I just may regret the free pass til spring.

What to do, what to do.

12 Responses to “Unusual credit card policies, Netflix, mice and woodchuck dilemmas”

  1. snafu Says:

    We've had experience with our cat bringing home mice from a big field when we lived on campus. We set-up mousetraps in places we figured the cat couldn't reach like beneath fridge, behind stove drawer & bookcase. We retained all plastic bread bags in an empty tissue box to use for mouse disposal in the same way we use doggie bags for doggie doo pick-up.

  2. starfishy Says:

    ah, mouse season in the northeast! have you ever tried d-con covered mouse traps? (http://www.d-conproducts.com/traps/ultra-set.html) they are more expensive then the normal kind, but so much easier to set and to release the dead mouse. they are also reusable. i don't like to throw mice away because of odor - i dispose of them in an outdoor wooded area so they can compost naturally.

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Starfishy, i have heard about them and should look into them. I think the higher cost might be worth it.

    I don't ever put dead mice in the trash, either, i just fling them into the woods where I know I'll not go!

  4. PatientSaver Says:

    Oh, sweet, they're even available at Amazon where I always earn gift cards. Plus, being covered, these traps are great if you have pets around, one of the reviewers pointed out. I'm sold! Getting 3! Thanks.

  5. Monkey Mama Says:

    "the bonus rewards aren't awarded until 6 to 8 weeks after you earn them!! This is so unlike other credit cards where they post them to you account immediately"

    Actually - they all say 6-8 weeks. Chase is particularly fast - the others sometimes wait one more billing cycle. I don't think even AmEx actually made me wait that long. I hope the charge goes through - I think it's likely the rewards will be on your statement.

    That is interesting about the "suggested due date." Rolleyes

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I hope those covered traps work!

  7. crazyliblady Says:

    I don't think there is a max on the number of movies you can watch in a month, but for example, if you are on the 1 at a time plan, you will not get another movie until Netflix receives the first one. For us, when we send one back, there is a about a 2-3 day delay before we get the next one.

    I sympathize about the mice. I had them in one house I lived in due to lack of maintenance issues. A door on the back side of the house hung so crooked in the frame that mouse (and other things like spiders and roaches) just came right on in.

    That is interesting about the suggested due date. You should file a complaint with the federal trade commission.

  8. PatientSaver Says:

    Crazylibrarylady, this is the one at a time plan, and so my question really is, what's the maximum # of DVDs anyone has ever rented, given that, as you said, there's a 2 or 3 day delay on thier part. Just curious...

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    When I had the one at a time plan (and was watching movies steadily..) I think I averaged 5 a month. However, I have heard that if you're doing that on a steady basis, that the "turn around" time may mysteriously increase. I ended up dropping the mailed plan because I started keeping some movies for 3 or 4 weeks++ before watching them, so it lost it's value for me.

  10. carol b. Says:

    I think if you can get rid of the woodchuck easily, I'd do it. Your garden is too nice and they eat too much!

  11. starfishy Says:

    cool that you can get the traps on Amazon gift cards! i love them - use them all the time. and i was thinking that they would be safer for your kitties, too, since they can't get near the bait or snap mechanism. if they hit them and set them off, they will be scared, but not injured. good luck!

  12. Dido Says:

    Yes, given the time frame with the turnover, my experience (back when I had the mailed DVDs) with Netflix was 6-8 movies in a month, if you were watching them immediately and returning them the next morning.

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