This is not the sort of letter I enjoy writing, particularly, but it may be the sort you enjoy reading. Its recipient, I'm pretty sure, will not like it much.

Dear Bank Guys:

Normally I don't point out tactical errors made by business, especially if there's some way I can profit from those errors — a bit of opportunism is occasionally useful. And I won't exactly make money off this deal, but it may save me some down the road, and I regret to inform you that it's going to cost you.

I've been rolling along merrily, knowing that my "promotional" card rate was going to die soon, waiting for this account to revert back to the previous rate, at which time I was going to pay it off and see if another deal could be struck. But this month's bill was accompanied by a new set of terms, one of which declared that in the absence of information to the contrary, the new rate was going to be a startling 20.99 percent.

Now admittedly I came to you, way back when, as a sub-prime borrower — it's no particular secret, after all — and you've cut me some slack along the way. Still, after a year when competitors were almost falling over themselves trying to land my business with rates in the sub-10-percent range, it's difficult for me to justify retaining a card that's going to cost me 20.99 percent, even — perhaps even especially — with the enormously high limit you've allowed me. (And that's another thing: if my credit is so uninspiring that I can be charged this rate, why on earth would you allow me to borrow twelve thousand dollars?)

Not to knock your service, which has been just this side of exemplary. However, to justify this kind of expense, "exemplary" isn't enough; for this kind of money, I'd expect this card to press my trousers and wash my dishes.

Payment in full of the balance of $781.49 is being forwarded separately. In this package, you will find bits and pieces of the card. Please accept my thanks for half a decade of service, and if you'd like to work up a new deal — well, you've got your work cut out for you.

Sincerely,

Charles G. Hill

The Vent

#358
23 September 2003

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