HOTELS SHARE CREDIT CARD DATA
How would it make you feel to know that the hotel you have checked into is sharing or divulging your personal information, including your credit card number and other data, without your knowlege or permission, to a company that then solicits you for "financial services," using the name and logo of the hotel?
I think it's a major breach of trust, even if it's completely legal.
And it is happening. If you stay at a Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Ramada Inn, Knights Inn, Wingate Inn, or Village, it is likely to happen to you. If you rent a car from Avis or choose a timeshare through RCI, it might happen to you.
Much to my horror, it happened to me.
Some time ago I made a reservation for my daughter at a Days Inn® which I secured with my Visa card. I made the reservation over the phone; she paid for her stay with her own credit card when she checked in.
I chose Days Inn® partly because it's a brand that I know and trust, a brand that I have used often, mostly with positive results.
In my mail a few weeks later I saw an envelope with a clear glassine window, within which was the Days Inn® logo and what what looked like an attempt to collect on a bill. It had the desired effect of my being concerned that somehow my Visa had not gone through. I opened the envelope as soon as I got in.
What was in the envelope shocked me.
My Visa had been fine. I was now a "valued Days Inn® customer," and as such, was entitled to the privilege of a free credit report and a subscription to the oddly-named "PrivacyGuard," a "credit protection" service offered by Cendant Corporation for "only $59.95."
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