I belong to this company that pays you to accept email ads. It’s not too annoying and right now, I have $76 built up in my account. With all the advertising out there that I get bombarded with and offered no compensation, this is a welcome change.
About a month ago, I received an ad for a credit card. Right now, to keep things under control, I only have one credit card. It has a large enough limit that I don’t need another. But the only negative is that there’s no rewards program. Getting paid to charge instead of pay cash is also part of the American Dream, right?
So I took this ad up on its offer. About two weeks later, the American Dreamcard from HSBC arrived in my mailbox. I smirked as I opened the envelope.
Inside was my brand new credit card stuck to a piece of paper informing me that my credit limit was $300. And not only that, I would have to pay a $39 fee for the privilege of this huge credit limit.
I know my credit isn’t nearly what it used to be, but a $300 limit?
I scoffed aloud and left it on my desk without activating it. Who needed that?
Then yesterday, I received my first bill from the credit card company.
On it was the $39 annual fee.
That was the last straw. Not only had I not used the card, I hadn’t even activated it … but they felt the need to charge me for it.
I grabbed my phone and the bill and retired to the bathroom for my “after-work constitution.”
I called the American Dreamcard 800 number while I was “relaxing” and guess what? Someone from India answered the phone. For the American Dreamcard.
After struggling to understand the few words he said, I told him I wanted to cancel my account immediately and to take off the $39 annual fee. I told him that I never even activated the card. And when I applied for the card, the literature said there would be a $0-39 annual fee. (My plan was to cancel the card if it wasn’t free.)
He placed me on hold and an Indian woman picked up. His boss. She apologized for the annual fee and offered to cancel it if I’d keep my card. Then, without my response, she added in her thick accent, “And I know that a $300 limit isn’t very much so why don’t we raise that $500 to a total of $800?”
I rolled my eyes and smiled. I had an inkling that something like this might happen.
Capitalism at its finest is to charge as much as you can for a product, then lower it for those who raise a stink. It’s the American Way. It’s business. Caveat Emptor, right?
To experience the American Dream, I had to be patched through to India. Luscious.
And to top it off, last night, the ad company credited my account $10 dollars. Not only did I get free credit, I got paid $10 for the privilege !