Four days ago I published a quick piece on Citi’s new Access credit card. I hadn’t seen this product mentioned anywhere before, as there had been no grand announcement from Citi.
Today, I happened to see this on the BoardingArea.com home page:
Great! Somebody else noticed the card, I told myself. Let’s see if they have anything of interest to say.
Except when I actually read the post, it sounded very familiar to me. Not only did I not see anything new, I just saw everything that I had written, no more.
The tip-off is right at the very beginning:
For the the last 20-something years, Citi has sponsored an AT&T Universal Card, which essentially gave you 10% off AT&T services (think of it like a gas station card where you receive 5 cents off every gallon).
I don’t think it’s common knowledge that the AT&T Universal Card is 20 years old. I know a lot about credit cards, but I only knew this because I worked for AT&T Universal Card for a couple of years in the late ’90s.
Additionally, author James Larounis adds a factual error with his intro: Citi has not sponsored the AT&T card for 20-something years. They bought the entire operation from AT&T in 1997, and if memory serves that deal closed in early 1998. I can’t say for certain, but it looks for all the world as though he introduced this error into his post when rewriting my post to sound like his own.
There are other similarities between the posts. He devotes a paragraph to Citi’s definition of retail websites, as do I. He even closes his post with a gratuitous reference to Amazon Payments, as do I.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that there’s plenty of idea-borrowing on the internet. There’s only so much to write about and we all read each other. It’s inevitable, and I’m okay with that.
There are two things I’m not okay with, however: Failing to give a hat tip to the original source, and repackaging somebody else’s content as your own. It appears to me that both have taken place here, but I thought I’d run this by my readers. What do you think?