Using A Security Breach As An Upsell Opportunity?

from the shameful dept

Danny Sullivan has a blog post blasting Citibank for how it handled a security breach, requiring him to get a new credit card. Apparently a vendor where Sullivan had used the card had a breach, meaning Citibank sent him a new card. But did they tell him which vendor it was so that Sullivan could avoid doing business with them in the future? Of course not. But much more insulting is that when he went to activate the new card, Citibank tried to upsell him on a credit check offering. As Sullivan notes, shouldn't Citibank be offering that to him for free? It's probably cheaper than having to send out thousands of new cards every time a vendor screws up. Of course, when Sullivan points that out to the person on the phone, the person at the other end says "we're just the activation department, you'd have to talk to customer service for that." Of course, if they're just the activation department, why are they doing sales as well? I'm sure the big banks will claim that these sorts of sales processes work in that enough people are suckered into these high margin upsell offerings, but wouldn't it be nice to have a bank that actually treated customers well?
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Filed Under: security breach, upsell
Companies: citibank


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  1. icon
    Paul Stout (profile), 20 Oct 2009 @ 6:23am

    Re: Re: Re: A Solution to Credit Card Problems that Works...

    If someone is financially challenged due to low pay etc., then the absolute last thing they need, or should want, is a credit card. The high interest rates, which will be very high because they're likely to have a low credit rating, will eat them alive and make a bad situation even worse. It comes under the heading of 'false savings'.

    Unfortunately, people in either of the situations you mention are also the same people who the credit card companies aggressively court, knowing they're quite likely to over-charge a credit card. Good Lord, my own son started receiving credit card solicitations the day he turned 18, and this was a kid still in school with basically no disposable income at all.

    Over my 21 years in the USCG I was constantly counseling kids to save money and avoid expensive contracts on a young mans fancy, usually way too expensive upscale cars, motorcycles, or stereo systems. I was lucky if 1 in 10 paid attention and bought what they could afford, and do without if they couldn't. Most were in constant debt because they were more interested in buying 'right now' instead of budgeting towards a future purchase with cash in hand. Instant gratification instead of common sense!

    I guess for most folks, especially young ones, it's hard to think about that 'down the road' age of 65 (67 these days I guess). It does require some will power.

    I was lucky as a kid in that one of my Dad's constant mantras was financial responsibility, and putting away each month to prepare for retirement. Fortunately for me, I was smart enough to follow his advice.

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