Sunday, May 27, 2007

The credit card company knows best

An interesting story in the Post today about credit card companies. Consumers definitely have a love/hate relationship with them. The individual stories are very telling in the Over the Limit section.

That brings me to my recent experience with one of my companies. Thursday in the mail I got a replacement card. The one had I was about to expire. No big deal expect for the fact that the number on the card had been changed.

This is a card from Bank of American. I have two cards from them because recently Bank of America bought out MBNA. So I had to figure out which card was being replaced. Again no big deal. Then I read something in the letter that was sent to me by Bank of America:

To ensure uninterrupted service remember to update this information anywhere you use your credit card for automatic payments or purchases, including Online Banking, and provide it to the appropriate merchants. [bold was in the original]

I don't use this card for any such purchases but then I started thinking about it. What at huge pain in the ass if I did use the card. I didn't ask for a new number and was only informed that a new number had been issued when the card arrived. I started thinking about all the places you might have to go and change this information. First I thought well what if I paid all my utilities with the card that would be: gas, electric and water. Then other household type items: internet, cable, local and long distance telephone and then the cell phone. So without thinking very hard I'd come up with 8 places that I'd have to go and change the information. How nuts is that?!

Then I started to think a little more what about on-line accounts like Amazon or BMG or MacConnection or the Kennedy Center. Further let's say for instance you charge all the magazines you get and they auto re-new so you don't have to deal with all those bills in the mail. It's very possible there are places the credit card number could be that you'd only use rarely and might not think of.

This morning I called up and cancelled the account.

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