The gr8ful grind: June Screed: Beware Credit Card Services

Let go of anger; It's an acid that eats away the delicate layers of your happiness

The reverse side has also its reverse side

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June Screed: Beware Credit Card Services

So there I was at work today and my cell phone rings. I get this kind woman’s voice telling me that she's with Credit Card Services and that my credit rating has been reviewed. Because of my great payment history, I qualify for a lowering of my credit card interest rates. This makes sense to me since I always pay more than the minimum amount; sometimes, a lot more.

This doesn’t sound like a bot or robo call but a real person (great fidelity, I guess) until she tells me to press 1 if I’m interested in lowering my credit card interest rate. Disappointed I won’t be talking directly to this woman—who is obviously mature, intelligent, and probably looks like Teri Hatcher or Christiane Amanpour—I go ahead and press 1, because, really, who doesn’t wanna lower their interest rate being paid to the corporate equivalent of the Mafia?

That’s when things begin to get a little wonky. (I mean other than not having a conversation with honeyed-voice one). I get this guy on the other end of the line who sounds like he might be a semi-young male model with a modicum of experience in the boiler room that I could hear going on in the background.

“We’ve been studying your credit reports and it’s good enough for us to be able to offer you the opportunity to lower the interest rates on your credit cards.”

“Great!” I respond.

“Now there are just a few things I need to get straight here before we can do that,” said (because I don’t remember his name, let’s call him) Zachary. “First of all, how much total credit card debt do you have?”

This was a red flag for me because if he’d actually been studying my credit history, he’d already know that. But I told him anyway.

“And do you have any other unsecured debt, sir?” Zachary inquired.

“Uhm, no, that’s it,” I replied.

“Oh, well, then I’m afraid I can’t really help you because you must have at least $5,000 in unsecured debt to qualify for a lower interest rate and you aren’t even close to that amount,” Zachary informed me.

“Let me get this straight,” I responded. “I have great credit, but my debt level is still too good to be bad enough to be good enough?”

“Basically that’s it, yes, sir,” Zachary said.

“Do you know how that message sounds at this end of the line?” I ask.

“Sorry, Sir, I gotta take the next phone call. Bye.”


Zachary, Zachary, Zachary! Don’t you know karma is everywhere you are?


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