Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cal's Straight Talk -- It Pays to be Paranoid

A small, but interesting thing...I went online to pay my Citibank card and noticed they have suddenly changed the layout of their site. Previously, it was a simple procedure -- you accessed your current "statement" and clicked to pay it if you have it on bank draft. Now, you have to go through several steps to get your actual current statement.

First they show your current "balance" with the pay button to click -- meaning charges since the billing cycle ended that aren't due yet. If you don't look closely, you don't see that it's not really your current statement. If you click the pay button out of habit, you will realize too late that you have paid "in advance" or "forward" on your charges. On mine, the difference was about $200 -- so if enough customers make that same mistake, Citibank gets money not due yet. Let's say that even 10% of their customers make that mistake -- Citibank would be upping their "cash flow" considerably.

It pays to be paraniod....they all have their little tricks.



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