Orient-Express Hotels notifies guests after data security breach (updated)

The Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. and its subsidiaries have notified an unspecified number of customers of a breach involving their credit card information.

On September 24, 2013, the luxury travel firm learned that an unauthorized individual had gained access to seven corporate e-mail accounts between July 2013 and September 24. Customers’ names, payment card numbers, card expiration dates, and security codes were in e-mails in those accounts.

The firm did not explain why customer information was in e-mails or whether that was a violation of their policy.  Nor do they explain why the e-mails weren’t encrypted. Or how they discovered the breach.

The firm offered its affected guests no free credit monitoring services, nor anything to compensate them for the inconvenience they might experience from having to cancel their cards, change accounts on auto-pay, etc.  Even though the firm reported no evidence of misuse of information, guests might choose to cancel those cards instead of relying on fraud alerts, even though they will still need to determine whether there had been any misuse since July.

Actually, if I was recipient of their breach notification with its lack of compensation, I probably wouldn’t book with them ever again. Surely a luxury outfit could do more for its guests than just notify them, tell them to check their account statements and free credit reports, and to consider placing a security freeze on their accounts?

So.. when is apology an enough and when isn’t it? I think the bigger the outfit is, the more I expect them to do something to compensate customers for time, effort, and inconvenience the customer has incurred because of their failure to adequately protect their information.  Do you agree?

Update: 5 Maryland residents were also affected.

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