Inauspicious Start for Oracle Cloud Sign up

I heard via word of mouth and Twitter that Oracle Cloud was offering a Free Tier (with permanently free services [for now]). The always free services looked enticing enough:

AMD and ARM and object storage!

The challenge was, “Who can afford ‘free’ services?” Time is worth something. But I can always make use of another cloud server to run experiments on.

Problem #1: Email confirmation didn’t go through

Self-explanatory, but, yes… I checked my spam and all the auto-sorting tabs. The email confirmation link that’s only good for 30 minutes didn’t deliver in a timely manner. Second attempt, the email showed up immediately.

Problem #2: Password Too Strong

My first 30 character randomly generated password didn’t pass the test:

I think I met the requirements??

Problem #3: Wouldn’t validate my debit card

Maybe there’s a payment glitch right now? Maybe I don’t have enough in the account for a “free” account? Worse… the “try again” link makes you start over from the very first step of creating your account.

Problem #4: Declined my credit card

After going through 2-3 times with a debit card, I tried with a credit card. Maybe I needed five figures of available credit for a free account? This is Oracle, after all.

Upon resubmitting, I’m back to “Error processing transaction”

Aha! Moment

(b) in the above error message was the clue that eventually led me to the right answer… VPN (still US-based) was active, which possibly set off alarm bells with the payment processor. I’m in now and ready to try some VMs!