Benny and his friend Griffin at Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

Monday, May 24, 2010

You Don't Know Me

So I did something today for the first time I'm quite proud of: I mailed off an opt-out form from a privacy notice.

Like everybody else, I get these baffling little notices and leaflets describing a company's Privacy Policies: "Weirdo Financial Services will not sell, rent, share, or otherwise disclose personally identifiable information from customers with other companies, unless of course there is an affiliation, such as doing business in the same hemisphere ..."

Opting out is easy, the privacy notices say. All I have to do is call a number and wait on hold forever, get online and click a dozen boxes ("Are you really sure you don't trust us?") or fill out some wretched little form, make a copy, find a stamp and mail it off.

The outcome is predictable. I add the privacy notice to a little stack of similar notices on my desk and there they stay unless I spill Snapple on them or move to a new apartment, whichever comes first.

But not for Comerica. I'm a little cranky about Comerica, and Ron and I are in the arduous process of closing our bank account there. We're in a new relationship with a credit union and have adjusted our direct deposits and automatic bill pays and received our new checks. Now I'm just waiting for PG&E to get its act together and start pulling our monthly bill from the right account. I know, the way PG&E works, it might be Christmas before we can close our Comerica account.

However, I am optimistic. I can't wait to get out of Comerica, which has annoyed me mightily with its minimum balance requirements, piddly ATM network, giant fees, credit card rate hikes and refusal to issue money orders. There are other reasons, but that's enough to go on. "It's not me, it's you," I look forward to telling them.

So I'm happy to inconvenience them in any way, and this morning I checked the boxes that said "NO, don't share my credit info within the Comerica familly or market to me based on my transactions" and "NO, don't share my credit info with any fool company you decide to contract with." AND — this is the important part — I actually dug up a stamp and mailed the thing.

And maybe next time I get a Privacy Policy notice, that one won't get buried on my desk either.

No comments: