Challenges and use cases

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Setting terms of service

In Creidt card fees can suck you in — Consumers pay high price for increasingly complex policies, in USA Today, Kathy Chu reports,

Remember when most of us paid only an annual fee on credit cards? Today, late fees and over-the-limit fees are replacing that annual fee. Add in a dizzying array of extra charges: for phone payments, "expedited" online payments, credit card use overseas and balance transfers from other cards.

At a time when Americans wield more plastic than ever — 692 million credit cards, with $711 billion of debt — fees and policies have grown so complex that even regulators struggle to grasp them.

In the holiday shopping frenzy, consumers are especially vulnerable to card fees, because more of them are likely to pay late or exceed their credit limit, according to industry consultants Nilson Report and Moebs Services.

Lots of card issuers offer low initial interest rates these days. But once they've pulled you in, they often replace "fixed" rates with floating rates — which can rise — and impose penalty rates of up to 30% even on those with good credit.

"It's like economic Darwinism," says Chi Chi Wu of the National Consumer Law Center, an advocacy group. "The business model has changed from one rate and annual fee to all these different tiers and fees designed to make money."

This is a perfect example of what CRM does without the benefit of VRM.

We need something on the customers' side that directly tells vendors — and the whole credit card marketplace — "Either give me the terms I want (e.g. 30 day grace period, X% or lower fixed interest rate, $X cap on annual fees) or I'll take my business elsewhere."