So there I was, innocently buried in the suck-hole of the internet and learning how to descale my Keurig, when the dog starts barking at his favorite target, the mailman. I was expecting some things from Amazon, so I had a light mood when I skipped (read: shuffled) outside to collect my booty of two packages, an ad for a local hardware store and three pieces of junk mail from credit card companies.
We all get that irritating debris in our physical mailboxes that are the dreaded credit card offers. Now the companies are getting sneakier in their bid for your
First it was the envelopes with the “fake” cards inside. The pieces of credit card shaped cardboard to trick you into thinking it was an actual card. I fell for this one a couple times before I caught on that my Macy’s shopping spree wasn’t going to happen.
The next bit of shadiness involved a faint imprint of what seemed to be a credit card number on the envelope that leads the unsuspecting dupe (like me) to believe it might have come from rubbing against the card during its journey through the U.S. Postal Service. When you opened it up, which is what they really want, there’s the ubiquitous cardboard piece looking like a credit card, but without the raised numbering or name. So the recipient discovers that the numbers were actually printed on the envelope.
Today, I found they’ve gone a step even further. Same envelope, same piece of cardboard inside, but instead of numbers printed on the outside envelope, it was the first four letters of my husband’s first name. “Oh happy day! It must be a real card this time! It has our name on it!” The gullible (like me) have fallen for the smoke-and-mirrors by the treachery of the big credit card company* again. Surprise! Again, the envelope was printed that way.
Do they really get such a great return on their investment in these deceptive marketing practices that its worth destroying that many trees and annoying everyone with a mailing address? I want this job! Sitting at home in my PJs and fluffy slippers and dreaming up cost-effective ways to get the naive (me again) to open our bulk-mail sounds like a dream job to me.
Here’s my will-never-happen-but-I’d-really-like-to-see-it solution…All it would take to change the way they do business is one lawsuit, brought about by everyone that was susceptible enough (again…me) to open their envelopes. With the help of a sympathetic judge, instead of giving the card companies a monetary penalty, they would be required to issue a $5000-limit credit card to each defendant, regardless of credit history…and be barred from ever contacting them in case of late or defaulted payments. And while I’m fantasizing this scenario…throw in that they can’t report it to the credit bureaus either!
*Yes Capital One, I’m looking at you.