(Untitled)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20051123/VISA23/TPNational/

To quote an Irish rebel, “a crank is a small machine that makes big revolutions.” I love that this guy is actually trying to effect some change. My own crank-iness* is designed only to give me a smirk each month. I have to start thinking bigger!

The 62-year-old retired city councillor from Kingston, Ont., paid his $230 Visa bill last month in 985 instalments, often pennies at a time, to protest against the fact that his bank outsourced some of its credit card processing to a U.S. company. Mr. Rogers said he asked Vancouver-based Citizens Bank of Canada several times to end the practice, because U.S. authorities could potentially gain access to his personal information under the wide-ranging Patriot Act, a piece of legislation designed to crack down on terrorism.

When the bank refused to take action, he decided to employ what he describes as his “creative solution” — paying down his Visa in tiny increments over the Internet and generating a statement that was 35 pages long and a half-inch thick…

“It’s difficult for the average citizen to get large corporations to listen,” explained Mr. Rogers, who nevertheless managed to get a one-on-one conversation with the bank’s chief executive officer this year, and has had a dialogue with its privacy officer.

“Us retired guys are the most dangerous, because we have time on our hands. You have to look for the weaknesses in their system, and I think I found it.”

* Since you asked, I have a 10 balance on my Visa bill, to see how long they keep sending me a bill via post. So far we’re at 18+ months (and 15, with interest!) and counting.

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