April, 2004

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Of trash and treasure

Friday, April 16th, 2004

While I was washing the car last Sunday, I noticed that someone—presumably in the process of moving out—had left next to the trash compactor area, a couple items: an ironing board, clean and in good condition, and a fairly (from the looks of it) late-model Sun SPARCstation computer, also seemingly in good condition.

I took the ironing board.

Dubious marketing tactics

Thursday, April 15th, 2004

The other day I received an automated voicemail message from Bank of America Visa, saying that their fraud detection program had detected suspicious activity on my account. Naturally I called them right away and quickly cleared everything up—there were no fraudulent transactions on my account. Strangely enough one of the transactions they asked me to confirm was a purchase from an online vendor that I’d previously patronized without any problems.

Then yesterday I received in the mail an offer from B of A Visa to sign up to a fraud and credit “protection program” for $80 a year. The letter went straight to the shredder—the Fair Credit Billing Act that protects me from fraudulent credit card transactions is quite adequate. What I found suspicious though was the timing of the offer. I wonder, are they trying to scare people into buying into their plan (or scam, as I would put it)?