The letter was blunt and awkward, not to mention confusing. It noted that there had been a recent rash of activity on my account, yet I had only paid $25 toward the balance. The minimum payment was $10, and this was not an American Express card or any other company that discourages carrying a balance from one cycle to another. At the time, the balance was somewhere in the neighborhood of $225.
Given this, I was puzzled by the tone of the letter. I hadn’t exceeded the limit, nor had any payments lapsed. The other shoe dropped toward the end of the query: “Seeing as you may have trouble making the payments, we are extending an offer of a $75 credit if you make a $50 payment.”
Excuse me? Seeing that I’m a poor simp who misuses his credit, can I pony up a little more next time instead of buying a case of Schlitz and lottery cards?
I’m guessing that this was a special promotion, but it came off sounding like a slap in the face. It should go without saying, but apparently it doesn’t. Should you want to call an audible regarding credit terms and extend an offer that reduces debt in exchange for a slightly higher payment, do not make the customer sound as if he/she is downtrodden and irresponsible. Take care of your customers, or someone else will.
BOZ MISSED THE BOAT: My co-worker buddy, Pat, found himself with an extra ticket to a Boz Scaggs concert. For those unfamiliar with Mr. Scaggs, he is a former guitarist with the Steve Miller Band who set out as a solo artist with a string of pop/rock hits, including “Lido Shuffle” and “Lowdown.” Pat offered me his spare ticket and, being a huge fan of “Lido Shuffle” and a few other tunes, I decided to tag along.