28.4.08

Breaking up is hard to do

I hate being in relationships I can't get out of, or relationships that I want to get out of but am having a hard time making that happen. Specifically, credit card and catalog relationships. Luckily, I got out of AOHell years ago and will never go back.

Recently there's been a lot of chatter about going to Catalog Choice and opting out of catalogs you do not want to get any more In November, I signed on and started with 21 (I get more, but I thought I'd start with the most egregious mailers). Since then only LL Bean has agreed to stop sending me catalogs. I've followed up on a number of them, and today I finally called two and said "please, stop - I don't shop via catalog, and I really don't need the extra paper." Their response? "We'll see what we can do, but are you sure you don't want them? People really do use them, you know." And then they offered me a discount on anything I bought today!

Grrrrrrrrr

And then there was the credit card I canceled this weekend. I've paid it off, and I really don't need it. The service rep. offered me a lower rate (how much lower than 0% can you actually get?), balance transfers, credit protection... in short, everything except canceling the card. It wasn't until I asked for a supervisor that they agreed to transfer me to the cancellation people, where I went through the rigmarole all over again. It's inconceivable that I just don't want all that credit floating around!

Grrrrrrrrrr

The problem is that these companies put so much stress on reps to retain clients/customers/suckers that they don't think about how much goodwill they'd garner if they just allowed us to gracefully exit the relationship. I may not shop at the stores for whom I get continual catalogs - and it costs them money to send the damned things to me on a weekly basis. I may not ever return to that financial institution because of the bad taste in my mouth. They would retain me if they treated me better at the end. But not now!

Somewhere in all this are thoughts about students and books and research, but I'm too irritated for them to coalesce. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Sherri said...

Escape from AOHell was a long, tedious process. I had, for a short while, allowed a friend to create a name on my account while he was in financial straits yet needed an email address. When I decided AOL was no longer my friend, I informed him and he agreed not to use the account anymore.

Then we went through the whole "Oh, you don't REALLY want to leave us, do you?" thing, all while I insisted that, yes indeed I wanted to leave.

So, six months later, I start getting billed again from AOL. Why? "Well," they told me, "You reactivated your account!"

"No, no, I didn't. I asked that it be canceled. Deleted. You know, not exist anymore."

"Oh, we don't do that. We just put it on hold and you can reactivate it."

"That's not what I asked for."

Turned out my friend had accidentally (through an old bookmark, it seemed) opened his name on the account. He shut it down immediately, but that was all it took for AOL to start billing me again.

I yelled, screamed, ranted and raved quite a bit, at which time they FINALLY deleted the account.

I had a similar problem when I 'broke up' with Discover Card (because they kept billing me for their stupid 'protection plan' and telling me that I'd approved it when I kept saying I did NOT want it.) I thought the rep was going to cry. I have torn up every "come back, we still love you" card, offer and flyer they have sent me ever since. Yeah, any chance they had with me they blew completely.