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September 28th, 2009
08:16 AM ET

Companies watching where you shop

These days credit card issuers are scrutinizing your spending patterns for changes - Are you buying rounds at the local bar for the first time? Seeking marital counseling? One Atlanta man says the scrutiny goes too far.


Filed under: Watching You 24/7
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Isabel (Canada)

    There is nothing wrong with the Credit Card companies trying to protect their interests. They should establish as much info on any of their creditors as possible. Most of them are a risk because we have become so irresponsible in our spending....buy now, pay later. Most pay the minimum on their credit card accounts, then add to it within the same month. By the way CNN, would someone tell Kiran Chetry to stop rambling. She talks so fast, I can barely understand what she is saying. TELL HER TO SLOW DOWN!!! Wow!

    September 29, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  2. WAM

    I have a collection account on my credit report from 1999 from Dish Network. It was put on my credit report with a ZERO balance. In other words, Dish says I owe nothing but they want to collect it or they will ruin my credit ! I've owed them nothing for almost eleven years and they keep it on my credit report when they could have taken it off in five years.

    I've written to the credit reporting blood-suckers to no avail. I've written and called Dish Network without success. I've been told everything from, " It's coming off next quarter," to, " You should pay your bills !"
    The problem is that I never owed anything to Dish to begin with.

    There should be more and tighter regulations on Creditors and the forth grade educated people who work for these credit reporting agencies. This is a less than acceptable way of doing business.

    I was told by one of the credit reporting agencies, "no good credit score customer has a collection on their account. It's people like you that give us all a bad rap."

    All of this just because I owe nothing and have never been late on a payment in my life and I'll be 61 on Oct., first.

    Education reform is becoming more important to me every day !

    September 29, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  3. ronvan

    And lets not forget that when you make that phone call to your credit card company you will be talking with someone who is most likely in India, or another country, getting less than minimum wage and NO benefits, while at the same time "make up" interest rates, monitor your daily life, and wave the american flag.

    September 29, 2009 at 5:11 am |
  4. jolie

    I have a better one. Retailers are now taking consumer profiling to a whole new level. Retailers are now spying on customers by surreptitiously implanting GPS tracking devices on the cars owned by habitual shoplifters, but also, these tracking devices are being implanted on people who "MIGHT FIT THE PROFILE" for shoplifting. Ex. if someone (minority) is shopping or merely browsing at a high end store, i.e. William Sonoma, if this happens a number of time, that person is immediately "flagged" for NOT fitting the profile to be shopping there. Retailers are now resorting to using a 3-party security surveillance to do their dirty work ("consumer racial profiling"). Retailers want to minimize their liability for being sued for consumer racial profiling. The purpose for the GPS tracking device is to follow your every move, especially if one's is going to different shopping malls and/or restaurants. Once these places have been alerted by the security company, (it's usually done by phone), they're "instructed" to act w/discretion once they see the "unsuspecting customer" coming into their stores. Attention all whistleblowers. Yep, it's 1984 on steroids.

    September 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  5. C Rogers

    I think it's interesting for credit companies to profile you by your shopping habits. I think there are a lot of assumptions being made without the customers ability to explain the circumstances of their lives. Not that they should have to explain necessarily.

    I'm more concerned that credit companies continue to give credit to people that have filed bankruptcy and young adults with no credit history. If the companies were really concerned about their customers ability to pay back they would stop credit to these types of customers.

    September 28, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  6. September

    We had no balance with AmEx. We had never been late and never underpaid, in fact, we mostly paid our balance in full every month.
    In January AmEx cut our credit line from $15,000 to $500 making the card virtually useless.
    I called and fought and wrote letters, but they would only say that the balances on our other cards showed we had bad spending habits. Balances which are high, but never over the limit and always paid on time and always more than the required amount.
    Now we have received a change in our interest rate from fixed to variable. We still have no balance, so I can not imagine what they are going to apply the rate to.

    September 28, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  7. Joanna

    Another practice of credit card companies that is absolutely OUTRAGEOUS...!!! I have to WATCH where I SHOP...??? I should pay CASH if my granddaughter asks me to pick up something for her at Walmart, because since I NEVER shop at Walmart the credit card company might think something is going wrong with ME...???

    And you ask WHY are Americans Mad as Hell and Not Going to Take it Anymore...???

    You've got Congress ALLOWING these Rip-Off companies to give out fraudulent loans, to charge 30+ percent interest, mail statements late, which arrive late, so you get "dinged" for a late fee, which you cannot avoid because if you try to use the website to pay, it takes 3 days to process, and when you call to complain....too bad...call your post office, it must be their fault. I don't think so.

    And then to hear the GOP is blocking the new consumer protection agency put forward by the President...??? The same GOP that got us into this mess starting with President Reagan. And you ask WHY we are Mad as Hell...???

    These same companies that got all OUR tax-payer bailout money because the sky was going to fall if they were not bailed out are sooooo greedy, they are soliciting new cards from children, dogs, and dead people...signing customers up for services NOT ordered.

    The entire GOP should be thrown out of office for their egregious conduct.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  8. Eric in Kentucky

    My $0.02

    Dump the credit cards and shred their offers. Why pay anyone else 10-25% interest to use your own money? A debit card works just as well. I did 10 years ago when I found out about Dave Ramsey. It was hard to change my behavior at first but this was the best decision I have made financially – to live debt free.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  9. Tim

    Remember, when you use a credit card, you are actually using that credit card companies money. They are providing us a service and they should have the right to protect their investments. If you don't want big brother watching you, then you should not use "OPM'(other people's money) and use your own.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  10. ronvan

    And "Big Brother" is watching! Don't be surprised, it's not only the credit card companies, that are doing this.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  11. A. Anderson

    Americans need to vote with their wallets by closing these credit card accounts. Increasingly their very limited privacy is being manipulated by a small group of companies. Then we need to vote out the politicians that continue to vote on behalf of the banking lobby in this country.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  12. LAMB-LI, NY

    A new low... What happened to our privacy? Cash is going to be my choice for payments in the future.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  13. D. Siegel

    I am appalled that credit card companies would be so presumptuous. I have never paid interest on any of my credit card purchases and only have two credit cards. However, I am a college students and spend a lot of my money at shops like Walmart and Marshells. If anything, I would think these choices show that I prudently know how to spend my money. If I pay my bills on time, it is not the credit card companies place to judge where I spend my money.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  14. Jerry in Florida

    Given the high percentage of credit card customers who default, I think it totally appropriate that the card company monitor behavior to minimize their risk. The rest of us pay for those who don't.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  15. Jennifer

    I think the scrutiny has gone too far. As far as a person is consistently paying off his/her credit card payments, American Express (and other credit card companies) need not look at that person's personal issues. Most times a person does not choose drastic circumstances, but circumstances choose us. A person should therefore not be punished for getting a divorce for instance by his credit card company.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  16. Judye

    He doesn't want to be penalized for the actions of others.That was his last comment. That is what we are saying about the health care plan the govt. is trying to impose on us also.The question is still"when will they come for you,and in what form,and who will be left to speak up for you then?"

    September 28, 2009 at 8:35 am |