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Tuesday, December 6, 2005

The “Lazy Customer” Tactic

My friend, Jeff, noticed that Bank of America has a (new?) credit report service he hadn’t previously known about. One would think that the service could be very helpful and cost-worthy, considering they already offer completely free checking and online bill pay (no, I don’t mind the direct deposit requirement). But, this is one to steer clear of. I’ll let Jeff’s own words explain:

Bank of America has a credit report service that I never saw before. Would be nice if it was free, but it’s not. On top of that, it’s a web signup and phone cancel service. Sad that they have to resort to those kind of tactics to make money off this kind of service. The cancel service phone number even has “hours” of operation. But I suppose it’s only natural for them to behave that way. It’s from a bank who makes most profit from people just being lazy and letting things just sit, or forgetting a payment, etc.

Also, it’s $130/year if you don’t call to cancel. Ouch!

Hmm, I guess they do offer other options besides the annual subscription. The service I was linked to from the online banking only offered the $130/month. But it is a trend these days to have easy signup and difficult cancel.

The last time I got a credit check, I used one of the big three credit services directly, only $9 I think.

It doesn’t make sense from a consumer’s perspective why you can sign up on the web but can’t cancel on the web. I suppose they might need to make arrangements over the phone on how to return the remainder of the year you paid for, if they bill it that way. But beyond that, the only thing I can think of is to try and get you not to cancel—personally over the phone—like those stores where you order everything on their web site, but they won’t complete the order until you call them on the phone and talk with a sales person.

» Posted by ALBj at 03:20 PM (ET)
Category: Musings

Comments

This kind of situation is made worse by the fact that when you do call, they get down-right nasty with you if you don’t accept some of their other offers or refuse to listen to their spiel on why you shouldn’t cancel.

I’ve noticed the same behavior with department store photo studios such as those in JC Penny or Sears. If you buy the basic package, they do everything in their power to try to push additional purchases on you, turning a $30 coupon deal into a multi-hundred dollar package.

» Posted by Queue
December 8, 2005 09:41 AM

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