Since Charlie and I have been doing so much traveling recently, we’ve had a lot of chances to use our big, adult-people joint account. But one of the things that we discovered was that it was becoming a burden to charge the hotel/food/tickets/etc to one of our individual credit cards and reimburse the account. We needed a remedy.
I didn’t want to open another line of credit (I have plenty, and I’m not using a lot of it), or ask Charlie to open a new line (same thing – enough credit), I just added him as an authorized user on a credit account I’ve had for years and haven’t used in just as long.
I activated Charlie’s card without incident (i.e. not having to talk to a person), but I got suckered into talking to someone whose primary language was not English.
FYI – I try not to begrudge large firms who outsource their workforce – Americans demand cheap prices and high dividends on our stocks, so we’ve effectively done this to ourselves. I just choose to avoid calling tech help as much as possible because I don’t feel that I can adequately describe my problems in words, to someone who doesn’t fully understand them.
At any rate, this is roughly how the conversation went.
Her: Hello, how can I help you today?
Me: I’m just calling to activate my card.
Her: I can do that for you…while I’m activating the card, may I ask you a question.
Me: Sure, I guess.
Her: It appears you haven’t used your card in a while, may I ask why?
The answer to that is because I got so pissed at them about three years ago when I asked them to lower my rate. I had been making better-than-minimum (usually 5x more than minimum) payments on the card and never a late payment. I escalated the issue up three managers, and they were having none of it.
Me: Quite frankly, your competitor had a better rate.
Her: Yes, well, you will find that we can lower the rates of our customers, too, that pay their bills on time and better than expected —
Me: [biting my tongue].
Her: — but it seems that you haven’t made a purchase in a long time, so we have no history to go on.
Her: …Um, okay. Well, I’ve activated your card for you and it should be all set. Is there anything else we can do for you today?
Me: Nope, I’m good.
Her: Okay. Have a nice day.
I mean, in reality, there is nothing that she can do about the fact that this company’s line is patent bullshit, so there’s really no point in telling her that her script is a line of crap. Given the credit market now, there is no way that a) credit card companies are going to offer low rates on their card, and b) will lower their customer’s rates just because they ask.
Besides, now that this card is just being used for the occasional credit card purchase and Charlie and I are stringent about our joint finances and pay off the credit card bill every month, there’s no serious concern for what the APR is, is there?