The Checkout

Plastic with Parental Controls

Two years ago, MasterCard introduced a Hello Kitty debit card targeted at girls ages 10 to 14.

Now, it's offering the Allow Card, "a Prepaid MasterCard designed for Kids ... and the parents who love them!"

So the Web site tells us.

The card's target audience, by the way, are kids as young as 10, and as old as 19.

According to the press release that came our way yesterday, it can do wonders such as help younguns "get a grasp of their allowance and finances, establish a better sense of trust with their parents and learn valuable life lessons, while still giving them financial independence."

You would have thought it was a paper route.

Let's run down the features -- and the fees.

For starters, parents have to sign up for the card. Once that happens, the kids can register so they can enter MyAllowLife, where they supposedly receive virtual lessons in financial responsibility. (I wouldn't know. I couldn't get in without a card. Registering, by the way, includes offering up address, date of birth, and phone number. When asked if the company was abiding by federal rules on collecting personal information from kids under age 13, spokeswoman Ann Noder replied they can't register until their parents get them a card.)

Probably the biggest draw for moms and dads: the 35 parental controls.

(Well, really, it's more like a dozen. Not sure why 35 seemed like a magic number but MasterCard seems to have gone for the most impressive one it could. Many of the controls are standard issue such as "replace lost of stolen card.")

Among the less than standard controls: Parents can dole out money daily, weekly or monthly. They can keep their children from spending money at certain merchants or from withdrawing money. And, of course, they can see what their kids spend their money on.

As for the fees:
Despite the Web site's prominent claim that "YOU WON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT OVERDRAFT FEES, INTEREST FEES, LATE FEES," there are fees.

(One quick complaint: To learn about the fees, you have to go to the cardholder agreement, the link for which I found after clicking on the not-so-prominent "legal" link at the bottom of the screen. Upon opening the agreement, I found the lettering so tiny I had to print it out and blow it up on a copy machine to read it.)

* A one-time activation fee of $20.
* A monthly maintenance fee of $3.50
* An ATM withdrawal surcharge of $1.50
* A 50 cent fee to talk to an automated customer service agent
* A $4.95 flat fee, if you want to talk to a human being.
* A bill pay fee of $1.
* A $15 fee if you want a paper statement
* Escalating fees depending on how much money you "load" on the card from a credit card. They start at $2.50 for amounts between $20 and $100 and go up to $50 for amounts between $1,501 and $2,500.
* If you or your child overspends, you're liable for the "shortage" and "any applicable shortage fees." Noder didn't respond to a question about what the difference is between shortage fees and overdraft fees.

A colleague of mine signed up for a Visa Buxx prepaid debit card for her teenage daughter. She and her husband are fans of the card, mainly because they can keep an eye on what their daughter spends money on -- most of the time. They can't always count on what the statement tells them because their daughter once in a while charges items for friends in exchange for cash.

Plastic -- educational for everyone.

If you're not sure whether your kid is ready for a credit card, you can have them take this Bankrate.com quiz.

Which do you prefer for your kids? Cash or credit?

By Annys Shin |  November 17, 2006; 7:00 AM ET Credit Issues
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Comments

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Credit cards for kids? BS. My 16-year-old son, provided he earns his allowance that week, gets $40 in cash. Cash is more tangible; you can readily see it dwindle down as you spend it, and the reverse if you save it. Kids can relate to this better. In my opinion, credit cards are something parents are supposed to teach their kids about, not necessarily provide one for them.

Posted by: CPS | November 17, 2006 8:45 AM

So it "builds trust..." by letting you spy on your kid and track his/her purchases! There's a lesson kids .. you have NO privacy anymore. Welcome to the 21st century.

That list of fees is the most bizarre and disturbing thing I've ever seen .. an automated operator fee??? A FIVE DOLLAR live operator fee??? A BILL PAY FEE???????????????????????? That worries me immensely, as I can only assume this is the test ground for fees we'll start to see across the board. Despicable - the issuer should be ashamed, and anyone who agrees to any of those fees is nuts, they need to let their kids learn about finances from someone else ..

Posted by: WOW! | November 17, 2006 9:08 AM

I agree with the first two posters. It is absolutely insane to give 10 to 14 year-olds credit card access to up to $2500! How is that teaching them financial responsibility? Who is going to pay for this? Their parents, that's who. What it's teaching these spoiled, affluent wretches is that they can spend, spend, spend and someone else will pay the bills. A wonderful preparation for life, right? Get a grip. Make them work for whatever they get. Giving a credit card to a kid is like giving them a loaded gun.

Posted by: Southern Maryland | November 17, 2006 9:35 AM

The card I am getting for my teen is pre-loaded. So no it will not be $2,500. The reason I prefer this to cash is she is now old enough to fly on her own to her summer program and is with this program for two weeks. For food, etc in the airports, equipment repair, and the one shopping trip it is more cash than one would like to carry. As I can add more money through the web I can limit her before she leaves and if an emergency arises I can add more money easily. As I have electronic access to her bank account as well if she wants to buy something that I am not subsidizing it also is easy to get her her own money when she is away.

Posted by: A mom | November 17, 2006 10:25 AM

I forgot to add - it is a differenct card (through USAA) so the fees are not what are listed with the card discussed in the blog

Posted by: a mom | November 17, 2006 10:27 AM

"There's a lesson kids .. you have NO privacy anymore."

Guess what? Neither do adults.

As for the ongoing list of fees, read the fine print on your own credit cards. They nickel-and-dime adults to death too.

While I agree credit cards for kids is NOT a good idea at all, they may as well start early learning some of the hard lessons of being an adult.

Posted by: Alexandria | November 17, 2006 10:36 AM

We gave our daughters, now 16 and 19, a Visa Buxx card when the turned 14 and believe that it has generally been a good decision. It was very useful for our oldest daughter on trips to Panama, Europe and Australia since you cannot always count on finding a working ATM. We loaded allowance money once per month and had a very good understanding where they were spending their money. It was very useful if they wanted to catch a movie or go out to dinner with a group of friends.

Our youngest daughter does a lot of babysitting, making about $100 per month, 50% of what she makes going into her bank account with the rest she can keep as cash. Our daughters need to pay for their own gas, so the Buxx card was very practical for this type of purpose as well.

Now that our oldest daughter is in college she has a checking account and debit card, but there is no reason for a teenager to have a credit card.

BTW, the Mastercard fees are outrageous (I think that we pay $10/year for the Buxx).

Posted by: Lester Burnham | November 17, 2006 10:39 AM

I am a little surprised you were not charged a "Reading Fee" when you clicked the link for the legal bs.

My son is 12. His siblings range in age from 28-36. None of them have ever received a credit/debit card from US (legal definition of "US" = "Parents") and we see no reason to start now. None of them have credit problems either, and three of the four adults are homeowners (i.e., work for a living).

All of the kids received an allowance based upon the work around the house they performed. No work, no money. They also were rewarded for their grades ... $5 per "A", $3 per "B", with an extra $50 for straight "A"'s. The 12 year old is the only one to earn the bonus but all of the kids were very happy with the arrangement.

That money was theirs to spend on fun stuff (only legal stuff tho). Things like clothes, food, books, etc., were paid for by "US", because that was our job.

Privacy is another issue. The kids always complained they had no privacy. Maybe a little true, but the kids didn't do drugs or alcohol in the house (they weren't entirely angels and made a few mistakes) and no unwanted pregnancies occurred on our watch.

Maybe if all kids had less privacy and more discipline at home they would be better equipped for the real world when they move out. 'Cause once you hit 18 years of age and are out on your own, mommy and daddy won't be required by law to bail you out.

Posted by: What's Next? | November 17, 2006 11:15 AM

To clarify these are not true credit cards - they are debit cards - they are limited by how much you put on them. If you only put the child's allowance on them you are not giving them any more money than if you handed them the cash

Posted by: a mom | November 17, 2006 11:43 AM

what happened to just providing the kid with a credit card as an authorized user to yours and then you don't have to worry about the fees? you can set the limit and then they are able to use it. this also helps them establish credit. i have a credit card (not visa) when i turned 14. we were not rich at all. i used it when i went shopping for clothes, etc. my mother provided me with cash for the movies, skating rinks, etc. no debit cards. they can be dangerous without good management skills.

Posted by: latonya | November 17, 2006 11:51 AM

Wow!!! Those fees are absolutely outrageous!!! Who in their right mind signs up for this bs? Why not a registered user on an adult credit card with say a credit limit of $300? Or a bank account with a debit card?

Posted by: Elle | November 17, 2006 12:00 PM


THE SECRET HISTORY OF OSAMA

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info
WWW.onlinejournal.com

The Globalists and the Islamists:

Fomenting the "Clash of Civilizations" for a New World Order

Index
Part Two:

The British, the Middle East and Radical Islam

Introduction

As the American government, led by the Bush Administration, fights its so-called "War On Terror" with plans to invade and overthrow Iraq, America's steadfast ally in this endeavor continues to be the British government of Tony Blair. The following study will take a look at the history of the region that America has become entangled in, a region that used to be, and to some degree still is, almost entirely controlled by Britain. Is this current "War On Terror" truly a war to bring freedom to the region and to promote traditional American ideals, or is it a power-play to solidify global American hegemony? And what does Britain have to gain?

Britain appears to be our greatest ally but it must be understood that British geo-strategists are the masters of political manipulation and subversion. Even as the physical British colonial empire was declining in the first half of this century they were already building the framework for a completely global empire based on the legacy of Cecil Rhodes utilizing the resources of the super-capitalists and financiers of New York and London. These elites may be predominantly British and American in nationality, but they reject democracy and the American Constitution and work against the best interests of British, American and international citizens. By studying the history of the Middle East, and the elitist manipulation of it, we can perhaps predict what is to come after this last final push of the American Empire.

--

I. Britain Takes the Middle East

II. Britain and Egypt

III. The Overthrow of Iran's First Democracy

IV. The British War Against Nasser

V. Islam Turns Against the West

VI. Afghanistan, Pakistan, the ISI and the BCCI

--

I. Britain takes the Middle East

As documented in F. William Engdahl's book A Century of War - Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, Britain's interest in the Middle East was piqued when her leaders realized that oil would replace coal as the energy source of the future. At the turn of the century Britain had no first-hand access to oil and was dependant upon America, Russia or Mexico for her supplies. This was quickly understood as an unacceptable situation and through intrigues involving British spy Sidney Reilly and Australian geologist and engineer William Knox d'Arcy Britain was able to secure drilling rights to Persian oil from Persian monarch Reza Khan. D'Arcy paid what amounted to $20,000 cash for rights to tap Persian oil until 1961, with a 16% royalty from all sales going to the Shah. The British company that Reilly persuaded d'Arcy to ally with then became known as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which was a forerunner of the mighty British Petroleum (BP).

However, even with a supply of Persian oil, Britain was losing the race to secure Middle Eastern oil reserves to the Germans. In the years prior to World War I Germany had enjoyed an astonishing economic explosion and this was helped by her alliance with the Ottoman Empire which allowed her access to their vast reserves. In 1889 the Germans worked out an agreement to finance, through Deutsche Bank, a railway from Constantinople into Anatolia, and later in 1899 the final agreement for a complete Berlin-to-Baghdad railway was signed.

The British made sure that this rail link was never completed through the use of her ally Serbia, which stood in the middle of the German alliance that included Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. World War I is commonly understood as sparked by the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand by Serbian assassins. Serbia did play a key part in World War I, but the conflict was not simply a result of this solitary event. The truth is that World War I was fomented by the British so that they could control oil, foreseen by their geo-strategists as the world's most important emerging resource. (1)

In 1916, at the height of World War I, the British worked out an agreement with France, Italy and Russia known as the Sykes-Picot Agreement that carved up the Ottoman Empire into Western colonies. This secret agreement created the arbitrary boundaries of what are today the countries of Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Kuwait. Britain would control the oil-rich Persian Gulf through Iraq and Kuwait and would also receive Palestine and Jordan. France would receive Syria and Lebanon, Italy was promised parts of Anatolia and some Mediterranean islands and Russia was to get parts of Armenia and Kurdistan.

During the war Britain diverted more than 1.4 million troops from the Western Front to fight the Ottomans in the east. While the French lost 1.5 million dead and suffered 2.6 million wounded in the trenches the British gained victory after victory in the Middle East. After the war ended the British continued to maintain over a million troops in the area, and in 1918 the British General Allenby found that he was the de-facto military dictator over almost the entire Arab Middle East. (2)

For the rest please go to:
http://www.redmoonrising.com/Ikhwan/BritIslam.htm

Posted by: che | November 17, 2006 12:07 PM

> Upon opening the agreement, I found the lettering so tiny I had to print it out and blow it up on a copy machine to read it.

Next time, use the text zoom feature of your browser to just enlarge the text on your screen. In Firefox: View > Text Size > Increase -- or Internet Explorer 6: View > Text Size > Larger (or Largest).

Posted by: Joe | November 17, 2006 12:51 PM

I agree with "a mom" above. And I have the USAA card formy kids. It's not a credit card, but a pre-paid spending card. I load their $10 a week and they are required to keep a minimim balance of $50. If it goes below that, they get nothing. If I see the balance is $100 or more, they get $15 that week.

It's helped them learn the real world.

Posted by: mickster | November 17, 2006 12:53 PM

I had a credit card, joint with my parents, when I was about 16. It was my responsibility to pay, but my mom opened the bill. I'd hd a checking account and ATM card since about the age of 13. All that meant that I didn't go to college and sign up for $20,000 in credit availability, because I had some and knew what I'd be getting into.

What I don't really understand is why there's a need for these special cards and for it to be the parents' money. I plan, if the basic system is the same when my daughter is old enough, to get her an ordinary debit card for her own ordinary savings account, and teach her how to use it responsibly.

Posted by: Financially literate as a youngster | November 17, 2006 1:38 PM

I gave my son a Buxx card at 13 and it worked very well, as others have said. He learned how to manage a balance and was very prepared for a school trip to Spain where he didn't want to carry cash. I switched him to a checking account with debit card at 16. It took me visits to 6 banks, but we found one that would open a joint account (him and me) but would print the card and checks with his name only. His summer earnings were direct deposited and he used some to open a Roth IRA. He pays all those odd school charges like yearbook with checks and I reimburse monthly on agreed items. When he goes to college next year I will have no worry about his basic cash management abilities. I can't imagine a teenager whose first experience is with a credit card that some bank tempts him with during orietation week at college - that is the invitation for a bad surprise.

Posted by: a dad | November 17, 2006 1:46 PM

I don't see why these cards are necessary. At sixteen I opened a joint checking account at Suntrust with my parents, giving me a credit/debit card, that was my account but they could check online and have all the control offered by these special kid's cards. The best part is that since it was linked to their accounts there was no fees. What is so wrong with this system? It works well and I would like to think it helped me learn how to manage my money without buying into one of these expensive cards.

Posted by: that guy | November 17, 2006 2:35 PM

I agree that giving my daughter a Buxx card several years ago has made a big difference in her money management skills as a college freshman. While I have online access to her bank account (primarily to facilitate transfers out to a money market account), she seems to be limiting her out of pocket expenditures to around $40/month. We pay for most direct school expenses (i.e., books), but personal needs from Wal-Mart or off campus eating are on her.

Would I be OK with her getting a credit card? Probably, but the only need would be to establish a credit rating since it does not provide any benefits over what she already has.

Posted by: Lester Burnham | November 17, 2006 2:59 PM

Both my kids had VisaBuxx cards in high school and the early years of college. I had their weekly allowance transferred automatically to the card, (so it kept me up to date- no arguments about "you owe me 5 weeks of allowance" since I used to lose track), and it also had the flexibility of being able to add money on the spot from my computer, so if I need the kids to pick up groceries or make some other purchase, I could just transfer the money needed. It was also great when the kids traveled separately from us on Girl Scout/Boy Scout/orchestra/band trips; much better than travelers checks. And it was a way of tracking their travels across Europe as I saw charges at the McDonald's in Paris, the McDonalds in Rome, etc. (even though I had sternly warned "no beef" in Europe, since mad cow worries were at their height then.)

Unfortunately, my bank discontinued VisaBuxx, so now the kids each have a checking account, but I am a joint owner, so I can monitor on-line (before that we had a few expensive scrapes with overdrafts).

The tricky thing with debit cards is getting kids not to rely solely on their on-line "balance" but realize that any checks they have written but not posted should be deducted from their available balance (and some debits post temporarily and then vanish until the actual transfer comes through, so there can still be surprises).

Posted by: Lindy | November 17, 2006 3:12 PM


For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info

http://www.democrats.com/node/11065

Dodd Moves Quickly to Neuter Bush's Torture Bill

With talk of a rapid minimum wage increase and the beginning of real Congressional oversight of the White House already promised when Democrats take over the Senate in January, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) will take another step in the right direction today. Dodd will introduce legislation to amend the recently-passed Military Commissions Act of 2006 -- aka the Bush Torture Bill, because of the powers of detention and prisoner abuse it affords George W. Bush -- in an attempt to make it look like a law that actually represents the United States we all know and love.

"We in Congress have our own obligation, to work in a bipartisan way to repair the damage that has been done, to protect our international reputation, to preserve our domestic traditions, and to provide a successful mechanism to improve and enhance the tools required by the global war on terror," Dodd said yesterday.

Dodd, an outspoken opponent of the Military Commission Act, will go to the Senate floor today to introduce the Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act which will, according to Dodd's office, "...ensure that U.S. servicemen and women are afforded the maximum protection of a strong international legal framework guaranteed by respect for such provisions as the Geneva Conventions and other international standards."

The Connecticut Democrat's legislation is also intended to restore some of the moral authority America lost with the rest of the world when it gave the U.S. government's executive branch the sweeping ability to breach civil liberties in a manner more like a dictatorship than a democracy.

"It's clear the people who perpetrated these horrendous crimes against our country and our people have no moral compass and deserve to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," said Dodd. "But in taking away their legal rights, the rights first codified in our country's Constitution, we're taking away our own moral compass, as well."

Among other things, the Effective Terrorists Prosecution Act will do the following:

* Restore Habeas Corpus protections to detainees

* Narrow the definition of unlawful enemy combatant to individuals who directly participate in hostilities against the United States who are not lawful combatants

* Bar information gained through coercion from being introduced as evidence in trials

* Empower military judges to exclude hearsay evidence they deem to be unreliable

* Authorize the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to review decisions by the Military commissions

* Limit the authority of the President to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and makes that authority subject to congressional and judicial oversight

* Provide for expedited judicial review of the Military Commissions Act to determine the constitutionally of its provisions

Many Americans have bought into right-wing spin that says Democrats don't like Bush's torture bill because they want to "protect the rights of the terrorists." This is because Team Bush has carefully hidden the ugly truth behind this law -- that the power it grants would allow the Bush administration to pluck any American off the street, declare them an enemy combatant and hold them without counsel and without other Constitutional protections.

Said Dodd yesterday: "I take a backseat to no one when it comes to protecting this country from terrorists. But there is a right way to do this and a wrong way to do this."

You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.

Posted by: che | November 17, 2006 4:04 PM

First, is there any way to tell Che he has the wrong chat?

I also am a member of USAA. My children all have checking accounts with Mastercard logo debit cards. The money in the accounts is theirs, jointly with me. I can check what they are spending money on, can add money if they need it, etc. There are no fees or minimum balances. I transfer their allowances into their accounts each month, and they deposit their earnings and birthday checks. It helps them budget, and they aren't racking up debt. Anyone who pays those fees for that debit cards is nuts!

Posted by: Sue | November 17, 2006 4:29 PM

I don't see why a child of 10 would need a debit card of any sort. Cash would be much better - like someone noted, it's tangible and the child can see it dwindling as she spends it. A debit card may be too abstract for a young child to handle.

An older child, say 14 or 16, can open their own savings/checking account and use their own debit card. I remember having my own account and ATM card at 14 (and I'm 45).

I really don't see the need for a "special" card - especially one geared more toward increasing MC's profits than teaching a child money management.

Posted by: Crofton | November 17, 2006 5:05 PM

I like the idea of having a credit/debit card with limits that allows me to track purchases. I'm not saying it's for everybody, but it's a nice option.

But the FEES?!? Are you kidding me? Every one of these cards these cos. produce for kids have astronomical fees. It's not even worth looking to them further.

what's even more remarkable is how bad the marketing is. If they were sensible, they would learn from teh tobacco companies, and give these cards away for free to parents adn kids, so they would get "hooked" on credit. I'm extremely surprised they haven't figured out a better, cheaper way to offer these products.

Posted by: ah | November 17, 2006 5:18 PM

In early August 2006, 5 fraudulent charges were posted to my daughter's US Bank Visa Buxx card. We reported the charges immediately.

The fraud was apparent as we live in Santa Monica, California, the charges were posted in Europe, and the card was used on the same day here in Santa Monica. Customer service promised both my husband and my daughter in separate conversations that the necessary forms would be faxed to our home. No forms were ever received.

On August 21, 2006, we did receive five letters statting that we would receive provisional credit for the fraudulent charges. At the end of August, I became nervous and started to contact the bank concerning what we needed to do to make the credits permanent. I was constantly reassured that we had done everything necessary. Imagine my surprise when ten days later I receive five letters telling me that the charges would not be credited back to our account because we had not returned the (never received) forms. After many hours on the phone to customer service, many faxes to the presidents of US Bank and Visa USA, and complaints filed with the OCC and the California AG, the forms were finally faxed to us and the case reopened.

But unfortunately my story does not end here. They still couldn't get it right. In mid-October, I received four follow-up forms concerning four of the five charges that we filled out and faxed back the same day. Two weeks later, I called to inquire about the status of the matter and was told that we had been given credit for those charges but not the fifth. So it begins again. For mor detail, see my web page http://suehimmelrich.com


Posted by: shimmelr@hotmail.com | November 19, 2006 11:18 PM

In early August 2006, 5 fraudulent charges were posted to my daughter's US Bank Visa Buxx card. We reported the charges immediately.

The fraud was apparent as we live in Santa Monica, California, the charges were posted in Europe, and the card was used on the same day here in Santa Monica. Customer service promised both my husband and my daughter in separate conversations that the necessary forms would be faxed to our home. No forms were ever received.

On August 21, 2006, we did receive five letters statting that we would receive provisional credit for the fraudulent charges. At the end of August, I became nervous and started to contact the bank concerning what we needed to do to make the credits permanent. I was constantly reassured that we had done everything necessary. Imagine my surprise when ten days later I receive five letters telling me that the charges would not be credited back to our account because we had not returned the (never received) forms. After many hours on the phone to customer service, many faxes to the presidents of US Bank and Visa USA, and complaints filed with the OCC and the California AG, the forms were finally faxed to us and the case reopened.

But unfortunately my story does not end here. They still couldn't get it right. In mid-October, I received four follow-up forms concerning four of the five charges that we filled out and faxed back the same day. Two weeks later, I called to inquire about the status of the matter and was told that we had been given credit for those charges but not the fifth. So it begins again. For mor detail, see my web page http://suehimmelrich.com


Posted by: shimmelr@hotmail.com | November 19, 2006 11:19 PM

In early August 2006, 5 fraudulent charges were posted to my daughter's US Bank Visa Buxx card. We reported the charges immediately.

The fraud was apparent as we live in Santa Monica, California, the charges were posted in Europe, and the card was used on the same day here in Santa Monica. Customer service promised both my husband and my daughter in separate conversations that the necessary forms would be faxed to our home. No forms were ever received.

On August 21, 2006, we did receive five letters statting that we would receive provisional credit for the fraudulent charges. At the end of August, I became nervous and started to contact the bank concerning what we needed to do to make the credits permanent. I was constantly reassured that we had done everything necessary. Imagine my surprise when ten days later I receive five letters telling me that the charges would not be credited back to our account because we had not returned the (never received) forms. After many hours on the phone to customer service, many faxes to the presidents of US Bank and Visa USA, and complaints filed with the OCC and the California AG, the forms were finally faxed to us and the case reopened.

But unfortunately my story does not end here. They still couldn't get it right. In mid-October, I received four follow-up forms concerning four of the five charges that we filled out and faxed back the same day. Two weeks later, I called to inquire about the status of the matter and was told that we had been given credit for those charges but not the fifth. So it begins again. For mor detail, see my web page http://suehimmelrich.com


Posted by: shimmelr@hotmail.com | November 19, 2006 11:20 PM

To Sue:

Please be patient with Che ... he is new to this planet.

Posted by: What's Next? | November 20, 2006 10:18 AM

Regarding text size: with the new Internet Explorer 7, there is a button in the lower right corner to use to enlarge type. I have to do it for your column!

Posted by: Dottieb | November 20, 2006 1:28 PM

I've read entry after entry on bad customer service, whining on bad credit cards. You must know that deep down, customers know they can handle their credit cards when they manage it correctly. If you're having trouble reading the terms/conditions, then DONT USE THE CARD!

I am also going to change the so called "Customer Bill Of Rights" to a Customer Service Representatives Bill Of Rights"

1. To have my precious time respected by the customers who call in to my call center. To understand I'm a person too. As many cardholders I deal with day after day strike me as babies who are constantly wanting their way.

2. I wish to be treated with courtesy and respect as a person who works to handle your situation as much as you want it handled too. I don't get paid for yelling at you. My calls are screened & reviewed. Why would I risk losing that job by treating you like trash? I have a family too, that needs my money to survive. I could be your mother, father, sister, brother, cousin or best friend. Just making a living the only way I know how.

3. To have adequately informed/educated customers/cardholders who know enough about their terms/conditions to actually listen to solve their problems with me without yelling, screaming & carrying on like they were born yesterday.

4. To receive quality treatment as a person -- OR be compensated for my time and effort.

You have to understand, I took my job as a customer service representative out of need. I needed a job. I understand that folks have problems, reasons they truly cannot pay their bills. But treat the person on the other end of the phone with respect. It may make your process of getting something solved alot easier. You're more inclined to do something nice for a person who is nice to you, right? Don't you think we're the same way?

Posted by: andrusia tuscumbia | November 23, 2006 11:01 PM

checking for some, cash for most, authorized user on parents credit card to establish credit (and just don't give them a card).

Posted by: MSDMV | December 3, 2006 9:19 PM

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