Don’t blindly trust electronic transactions

Don’t blindly trust electronic transactions
Team Clark is adamant that we will never write content influenced by or paid for by an advertiser. To support our work, we do make money from some links to companies and deals on our site. Learn more about our guarantee here.

For some reason, consumers tend to give electronic transactions more credibility than human transactions. This makes no sense, since humans programmed the transaction software to begin with. Mistakes happen in either case, and Clark wants to share a few recent occurrences in hopes that it might inspire you to become more vigilant with your bills and statements going forward.

Several weeks ago Citibank had a snafu–they were double-debiting their customers who were doing their banking via their iPad app. When a customer paid a $75 bill to the cable company, Citibank mistakenly sent the cable company two $75 payments from the customer’s account.

Eventually, some of the customers noticed. But what’s shocking is the surprising number of customers who didn’t notice!

In another example, Clark recently took advantage of a temporary price reduction on one of his newspaper subscriptions. The price was reduced, and was supposed to revert back to the original price after a year. Instead, the price mistakenly reverted to a level two-and-a-half times the original price!  However, since Clark carefully monitors his credit card statement, he noticed right away, alerted the company, and got the bill corrected quickly.

Yet another time, Clark used an ATM to withdraw $400, but was only given $260. Unfortunately, he had opted out of getting a receipt. After moving mountains with the bank to prove he was cheated out of $140, he’ll never make that mistake again.

The point is, don’t blindly trust electronics when it comes to your money. Get paper back-ups when you can, and always double-check all your statements and bills. Mistakes happen–after all, machines are only human!

Clark Howard About the author:
Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to put more money in your pocket, with advice you can trust. More about Clark
View More Articles
  • Show Comments Hide Comments