If there is anything Americans love, it’s when big banks make decisions for them. For example, some Citi customers recently looked at their credit card bills and noticed that the bank had already checked off the opt-in box for some sort of security service called “Watch-Guard Preferred” at the low, low price of $5.95/month.
The L.A. Times’ David Lazarus goes into details about the service, which is intended to offer protections if your wallet is lost or stolen. Basically, it offers you cash to replace lost items, a cash advance and credit monitoring. But it also comes with a litany of catches and conditions, like “Watch-Guard Preferred may modify or terminate any benefit upon notice.”
Additionally, the service isn’t actually provided by Citi, but by a third-party company. So why would Citi just go ahead and opt people into someone else’s program?
Well, they didn’t quite exactly do that, a bank rep explains.
See, while the box may be checked, you would still need to sign belox the X. All of this is apparently explained in an accompanying insert — better known as the crap that usually goes straight into the shredder.
Lazarus points out that the pre-checked box is right next to where the customer fills in the amount being paid, meaning some people might think the opt-in signature line is where you sign on the payment stub.
He asked the bank why the information was on a separate slip of paper instead of being printed right then and there, and Citi responded thusly:
We apologize that some customers may have found this message confusing, and are always listening to feedback as we work to ensure that it’s clear and simple for customers to find the information they need.
The bank says it won’t be mailing out statements with pre-checked boxes in the future.
Citibank has you checked off for security service [L.A. Times]