Personal finances: pay attention

One night last week I noticed someting strange on my August credit card statement - I'd been charged interest although I'd paid the previous bill in full. It was already past midnight, but I still called customer service to find out why, how. Having worked for a bank, I had come to learn that the bank is always right. I more or less trusted the math behind the charge, but had no idea what math it could be or where it could have come from.

Another thing I learned about working for a bank is that the customer service rep must have felt a certain way when I brought up the word "charge." I tried to be extra nice, and stopped short of telling him I'd used to work for the company, which is one of those back pocket things you don't pull out in good will in sitatuations like these.

Turned out he didn't understand where the interest had come from either and right away stated that he would refund it to me. I pressed one more time - I told him that I wasn't calling to get the money back, but that I want to understand why I was charged so I'd know what actions trigger interest. Alas, no answer.

He said he'd notate my account, which is something else I'm quite familiar with from working at a bank. "Notate your account" means just and only that. A 33 character entry in a field or tab titled "notes" that can only be seen when a person opens a profile, and even then often goes unchecked or ignored or, since reps have to squeeze meaning into so few characters, are indecipherable. (I imagine his entry: CST RFNDED INT, DNT KNW WHY CHRGD)

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