Nicely Me: Hi, I just made a payment on my card of $4000.00 which should have given me an available amount of $8000.00. Why is it saying that there is nothing available and my credit limit has now dropped from $20,000 to $16,000, I wasn't even maxed out?
Nasty Amex Man: Ma'am, (already hate that) we did a 6 month review (unbeknown to me) and we decided (who?) that your debt to income ratio dropped, so we (again who?) dropped your credit line."
Nicely Me: Well sir, now since my line is dropped will you be dropping my $600.00 a month payment as well? (I thought that was a reasonable question) However…..
Nasty Amex Man: No, Ma'am we sent a letter in the mail informing you of your credit line decrease, and no your payment will not go down right now, it will however go down over time. You need to go ahead and make that $600.00 payment now to avoid any late fees. (I waited, I blinked, what did he just say?)
Nicely Me: Sir, I just made a payment of $4000.00 yesterday towards my bill why do I still owe $600.00?
Nasty Amex Man: Because you now have a new statement and that payment you made was for last month. (wait was he talking to me like an idiot)
Now I hadn't quite mastered my Christianity and this nasty customer service man sent me to the jungle; I lost my mind and let him and Big Brother Have it!!!
See, not only did Amex start this trend but, Citibank, Capitol One and Chase all began to do the same things. All these companies would send you a decrease letter after they dropped your line and the letter would read:
"What's in my wallet?" "NOTHING!" Today, people I have been emancipated from credit cards! Here were just some of my owners! (see photo on right)
My point of this post today is to share something disturbing I heard on the news the other day; which by the way was absolutely frightening! Many of you know that Credit Card companies monitor you (they say every six months) but, what they don't tell you is they monitor how you spend and what you buy. So, for instance if you shop at Nordstrom's or Neiman's and then all of a sudden you start shopping at Wal-Mart it sends up a big red flag! If you one day decide to buy rounds at a bar with your friends, it's another red flag (uh oh she's drinking there's a problem)! If they (Big Brother if you will) believe that you are going through any kind of financial hardship or something is going on in your personal life that is causing you to shop differently, Honey, they will snatch your credit line before you finish making that purchase! Citibank cut my card last year while I was on a cruise in the Mediterranean (I had not traveled outside the Us for like 20years, RED FLAG!) I guess they thought I was leaving my husband and relocating to St. Tropez! I don't think they realized I was doing a T.V. show? They monitor our behavior (see photo below) by what we buy and where we buy; they will adjust our cards accordingly.
I say we start a national campaign; "Put the Card Down/ Let's Go Green" There is no such thing as "If you don't have it now charge it and pay for it later!" Most of us never have it later; we just become slaves to the minimum payment! If you don't have the money right now, walk away, save and buy it later!
Does anyone remember "The Christmas Club!" That's when your mom would start putting money away in the Christmas Club account the day after Christmas and she saved 5,10,20 dollars every week till the next Christmas! My parents, like a generation or two before me (I'm in my 40's) never charged, school clothes, birthdays, holidays or vacations, my parents just put the money to the side, saved and paid with good ole' green cash!
Now, it's not easy going cardless but, neither is kicking any bad addiction. You take one day at a time. You buy what you need and you wait and save for what you want!
What's going on in your wallet? Also, please share your slogan ideas; I'm going to post the best one Next week!