I just had a very sketchy experience with one of the companies I've been dealing with for getting stuff for the movie - specifically contact lenses. I've dealt with them before and up until now they've been rather good to deal with, anything over $100 they ship FedEx, 1 day for free - shipping tends to add up when you're buying as much as I have over the last 2 years.
So I ordered some contacts for an upcoming shoot, everything went fine, and then I get an email with the subject "FW: AUTHORIZATION" from the "credit risk" department of the company. Okay, no big, so perhaps something went wrong with the card, I've had a few problems with it not processing right away.
The email just simply said they needed to verify it was indeed my card - despite the fact this is my 3rd or 4th order from them and they have me on their mailing list. Still, doesn't seem like a big deal. Then I read the form they want me to fill and and fax back to them. They wanted me to fill out the entire order over again pretty much, all my card info, how much the order was for and some personal info as well. This seemed a little odd - I still don't see how that proves anything really.
And then I noticed they also wanted me to fax them an image of my driver's license...That seemed a tad sketchy. So I emailed the company, not the person who sent this email and mentioned how sketchy it seemed and if it was genuine. The response was simply "You'll have to fill out the form and supply the necessary information."
That didn't sit very well, and even moreso when I read what the "necessary information" was again - they actually wanted me to fax them an image of BOTH SIDES OF MY CREDIT CARD??? Yeah, that seems totally legit.
Obviously I never bothered with them again after that. Out of curiosity though I asked my bank if this was even anything close to above board - and not surprisingly the response was a rather horrified, "No."
I've no idea what this all adds up to, other then even if it was a genuine request it's way beyond what any person with an ounce of intelligence should be expected to respond accordingly. Had the email response I received even mentioned just what this request was for, or even tried to explain the situation I might've believed it was a reasonable request - although I still wouldn't never supply the info they wanted.
Ah well, so I moved on. It's actually hard to get contact lenses now. A federal law in the US now dictates you supply you optometrists info or get them to supply the order and have a prescription and blah, blah, blah. I guess some of the more generic and cheaper lenses had become a bit of a fad amongst school kids who had no idea swapping contacts was a bad idea. Most of the generically produced ones are no longer being produced, everything is else nearly $80 plus per lens, which I suppose technically puts them out of the financial range of kids...supposedly.
I had to try and find a new supplier. Found one today. Spoke to my optometrist and they said they cold order them for me if it came to it, but it didn't. I was a little put out at first because I was kind of counting on having them for 2 characters left to shoot and thought I might have to do without. But I don't...and I actually got them cheaper in the US then I wouldn't if I'd gotten them in Canada.
So that's it. You can see I've added links to some of my suppliers on the right side of the blog, the folks I was talking about aren't on that list obviously.