Word of the day: Late warning department

Late last year, I got a note from my credit card company that their “Fraud Early Warning Department” had flagged some transactions as suspicious and asked me if I’d made them.

I hadn’t. I was able to get everything resolved within a few weeks though, and I was excited the company had caught this for me within a day of the charges happening, instead of needing to wait for my monthly statement.

I told a few friends about my interaction with the early warning department. One, who had worked in payments, was less impressed than I was. He said it sounded more like a “late warning department” since they didn’t reject the charges in real time :).

I didn’t think much of this at the time. But I’ve since had interactions (with other companies!) that went much like this, where something that could have been addressed with a few seconds of text messages at the time wasn’t and turned into a an hour or two sorting things out with Support the next day.

Can we please start making systems that ask us for help before problems get big enough to be annoying instead of after?