In the year since Providian Financial Corp. came under legal scrutiny for its fee policies, the credit card company has learned the hard way that it has been insensitive to its customers.

The mea culpas have been flying thick and fast since last May, when it first came to light that the San Francisco District Attorney's Office had begun investigating Providian's policies, including how it imposed late fees. Six shareholder and consumer lawsuits against Providian followed, as did an investigation by the Connecticut Attorney General's Office.

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