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Oxford, UK – I got my renewed credit card last week. It had a number on it so you could verify that you were the actual person that had got it – it wouldn’t start working until you called the 0800 number.
So I called it.
The nice representative on the phone said thank you very much Mr Magee – we wondered if you would be interested in taking out identity theft insurance.
According to him, you can Google here and Google there and get your credit card details on the Internet.
How much is it, I asked him.
He said it would cost me £69 (~$100) and for that, if my identity had been thefted, they would do all the work sorting out the mess.
I said: “But hang on. You are Barclays Bank. You issued me this credit card. Are you telling me I have to pay for the privilege of you letting my details get onto a web site and my identity being stolen?”
He said: “No, Mr Magee. It’s just that these things happen and for £69 a year, we will solve your problem if your identity has been stolen.”
My identity has been stolen. I am now invisible. No wonder British folks are afraid of going online and buying stuff, if even the banks are warning their customers’ identities are somewhat fragile. (Hint: It’s a Barclaycard. And before the rep started on his thing, I had the now compulsory “your call may be recorded for training purposes”)
I think this is disgraceful!