Friday, July 08, 2016

Payments Revolution or Devolution

The new Costco Visa has a chip but the
Costco machines are swipe only. Maybe
Costco doesn't trust the technology?
Despite nearly a year of preparation, the transition has not gone smoothly. [bold added]
The new Costco credit card was supposed to make everybody happy.....

As soon the switch went into effect, though, Costco members reported problems with the card and vented their frustrations on social media. Cards weren’t mailed on time, there were long delays on customer service lines, and in some cases cards couldn’t be activated at all. Citi, the card’s new issuer, has spent the past couple of weeks extinguishing fires.

1) I activated the Costco credit card by doing it the old-fashioned way and used the phone. I then used it at Costco (without a hitch). Properly established, I set up an online ID on the Citi website and linked it to the credit card. However, the first payment will be via check.

2) When starting with a new vendor, bank, or credit card company, I always pay via check for a few months.

Get your account flowing---it's not good to miss your first payment---then set up the "modern" payment method (website, mobile pay, automatic transfer, etc.) that you prefer. Checks-mailed-to-a-lockbox are a proven system that has been around for decades, and the paperless methods for most companies are bolted on top of the existing system. Yes, planning ahead a few days is so very difficult, it's such a hassle writing a check and stamping an envelope, so go ahead and take your chances....

3) It's one's right to be a demanding customer and post complaints on message boards, but have you noticed that the majority who do the complaining are themselves quite slovenly in their work product? Conscientious workers know how hard it is to make things perfectly and make allowances when complex products are introduced.

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