Many credit card users are getting to the register only to discover that their cards have been canceled—without a word of warning, the Wall Street Journal reports. With credit tightening, many issuers give only a cursory rationale for the drops, and then only by mail weeks later. And though it’s frustrating and embarrassing for consumers, it’s totally legal.
Card issuers need to send notifications when they drop customers, but not before they’ve cut off service. “You start thinking of everything bad that could have happened,” said one New Jersey man after his card was declined at a restaurant. “Was the number stolen? Is it fraud?” In his case there was no fraud, just the card issuer “reassessing risk,” even though he’d never missed a payment.