AT&T knows it needs to step up if it wants to be taken seriously these days as a wireless provider, so it’s been beefing up 3G coverage, rejiggering data plans, and of course ramping up the speed at which it leaks your private data to strangers. In fact, according to multiple reports from AT&T customers, the company has managed to pull off the neat trick of logging customers in to strangers’ accounts today during the iPhone 4 pre-order fiesta. See? You no longer have to wait until you’ve got the device in hand to worry about privacy issues. [More]
Citibank Freaks Out Customers With Weird 7-Day Rule On Withdrawals, But It's Not As Devious As It Looks
Some Citibank customers recently received notice that the bank reserved the right to require 7 days written notice before authorizing a withdrawal on checking accounts. (It’s also on page 23 of Citi’s Client Manual [PDF].) As you can imagine, this freaked some people out. A Citibank rep quickly moved to clarify the rule, and he pointed out that it’s actually required by federal law for certain types of accounts, and it’s not unique to Citibank, and they don’t intend to enforce it. [More]
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo got Citibank to agree not to implement its new monthly fees on formerly free checking accounts, at least for some customers. If you signed up for one of Citibank’s EZ Checking or Access Checking accounts between January 1, 2009 and November 5, 2009, the new monthly service charge will be waived until this time next year. If you’re one of those customers, there’s nothing you have to do–you’ll get a notice in the mail from Citibank. [More]
Last month, the Huffington Post launched a campaign called Move Your Money that urged people to support community banks. The idea is that by moving your money to a community bank, you can help put the “too big to fail” banks on a diet so that they get smaller, while at the same time help a local bank remain competitive. The NPR program All Things Considered took a look at the campaign over the weekend, and talked to some experts about whether it’s worth making the switch. [More]
Stephanie just encountered a Chase CSR who I’m pretty sure will never fall victim to social engineering, and who would likely be unbreakable in a courtroom cross-examination, too. Of course, in Stephanie’s situation this just means that the CSR refuses to help her in any way at all, which isn’t the kind of thing you hope to find when you call customer service. [More]
Even if you always look for skimmers and hidden cameras when you use an ATM, you still might be a victim of identity theft if the ATM is later sold on eBay or Craigslist. [More]
When Campbell changed his phone number with Sprint earlier this year, the company immediately assigned his old number to a new customer. They also gave that customer full access to Campbell’s account.
David closed his Chase credit card account instead of accepting a rate increase earlier this year. That should have been the end of it, but it turned out Chase later went ahead and increased the interest rate anyway.
Wachovia has a new financial product called Way2Save that automatically moves $1 from your checking account into a high interest personal savings account every time you make an electronic bill payment. Susan tried to maximize her contributions by making a lot of little bill payments, but Wachovia cut off access to her funds without notice and triggered an avalanche of penalty fees. Now she owes over $5,000 to her credit card companies, far more than she would likely have ever earned through Wachovia’s complicated savings program, and of course Wachovia is denying any responsibility.
Bank of America got so fee crazy last week that it applied a $10 overdraft fee to Christopher’s account even though it wasn’t overdrafted. I went back and forth with Christopher to try to figure out what BoA could have done to trigger this, but as you can see from the screen cap below, he only had two debits on the day of the event.
PayPal has locked Jessica’s account and won’t release her funds until she pays off the negative balance in her other account. That’s fine, except that she doesn’t have another account. Whatever they linked her to, it’s not hers. Of course, this being PayPal, they won’t give her any information about the other account. She can’t even access it to see what the balance is or who it belongs to.
When Wally first got his Capital One credit card, the interest rate was 12 percent. Then they raised it to 22.9 percent. Now they’re going to raise it again—the day after Christmas—to 25.9 percent.
William wrote to us this weekend to point out how little Microsoft does to fight phishing attacks on their hugely popular Xbox LIVE network. It’s unfortunate they don’t take this sort of crime more seriously, since so many kids—who by all rights should have less experience with phishing—are on Xbox LIVE. Below is what two different Xbox CSRs told William when he contacted them to complain about phishing attacks.
We’re no longer indignant about Amex’s weirdly lax security policies anymore, we’re just confused. Why would a major credit card company cold call new customers and insist they give up bank and address info over the phone, or email sensitive data to strangers? Or, we just learned, demand that you use a lame password that isn’t case sensitive, is only 6 to 8 characters long, and can’t contain special characters?