Saturday, September 02, 2006

Credit Card

I have a Capital One credit card. If you live in the US, you have to have one! Had it for 3 to 4 years. I use it to buy gas, and pay the $20 odd bill each month. Never a late payment, never an over limit fee. I was always told, this was the way to improve my credit status in the US - in fact they've just raised my credit limit by another $200 a month or so back, and raised my interest rate from 16% to 28.15%. I’ve never borrowed from them. A simple request by email as to why this interest rate had happened elicited no response. Now there’s a surprise. Made many phone calls. Was eventually told that “this would be looked into”. I made the last call a couple of days back. Still no response. Doesn't really matter, as I don't pay any interest, but why did it go up? Was there an 'R' in the month. Was Hades in conjunction with Mars?

Had a phone call yesterday. In fact several of them, from the same number. Eventually, I answered them. Capital One. I could barely understand the lady. I kept asking her if she was responding to my request, but it seemed she had a script to follow whatever the poor customer on the end of the line responded to. I kept asking what she was trying to sell me. Seems that as my account was in good stead (it stands at $0.00) I was entitled to 3 months of free mortgage protection, ditto free life insurance to cover my burial arrangements (I wish to go in a cardboard box in a furnace - hey, I won't be there!), insurance coverage for my personal jewelry, and $2,000 for my personal property in the event of a hurricane. I didn’t know that my pineapple plants might be worth that much. My ’92 Grand Marquis certainly ain’t worth that much.

I explained that I had no mortgage and no personal jewelry – apart from my four (ex) wedding bands, this aspect was moot. I also mentioned the increase in my interest rate. The words that followed belied belief. I could not understand any of them. I protested I could not understand, but I gave up, and hung up. I hate doing that as I have been taught to be polite. Why do these companies do this? They employ some poor person from a poor country who hardly speaks English, and try to make me think that their offer is the best in the world, and how can I refuse.

As Winnie the Pooh said, “I am a bear of little brain, and big words bother me.”