Details matter

The other day I was trying to download my credit card statements into an excel sheet from citibank’s online service. It was an interesting experience. Whatever date range I specified, the service kept refusing to “serve” me and the only thing that was consistent was the error message
“We are sorry. You can only retrieve activity for the past 90 days. Please enter a date from 12-25-2004 to 03-24-2005”

After spending a few minutes, I got to the bottom of the problem and had to think of a workaround to solve the problem. Because of my programming background, I understood where the problem was but let us think about this for a moment

I am sure Citibank has spent a fortune to build this wonderful self-service tool. One objective is to reduce the # of calls to their call center. Errors like this can annoy people and stop trusting the online service. The simple conclusion many people will reach is that “online does not work, let me call them” or “let me go to the branch and get this work done” Imagine losing trust a few people because of a small oversight.

The fix for this problem is simple but someone out there did not pay enough attention to the details. Details matter, really!