Generosity? Doubtful

Yesterday’s mail brought a nice letter from a credit card company (hereinafter “MegaCard”), giving an extra five days to pay my bill. It was signed by the Executive Vice President Customer Experience.

Previous experience with MegaCard has been that the time between the arrival of the bill and the due date dropped from a decent interval to something under ten days. After that happened a year or so ago, I consigned MegaCard to a storage facility and remove it only on rare occasions.

This change takes effect in July or August. MegaCard’s EVPCE was not sure of the exact month, I guess because there wasn’t time to check billing cycles, even though there was time to put the last four digits of my card number at the top of the letter.

MegaCard isn’t expanding the payment period now out of any altruism or desire for good “customer experience.” It’s because of the “Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009.” It passed the House in April and the Senate in May. Among other things, it requires creditors to send statements at least 21 calendar days before the due date. Mega Card and others are also not allowed to monkey around and declare a snail-mail payment late if it arrives on the next business day after a Sunday or holiday.

Quick update: Connecticut probably won’t see any federal emergency money for the tornado damage because it wasn’t bad enough or expensive enough. My condolences to all those folks who had trees come down in their yards and on their houses. Wethersfield will never look the same.

Addendum: The Onion, “America’s Finest News Source,” will have its own blog entry at some point. In the meantime, check out its spoof of foreign takeovers with the announcement that it has been sold to the Chinese company Yu Wan Mei, “Amalgamated Salvage Fisheries and Polymer Injection Corp.” The transition was apparently painless, with the famous Onion logo now bracketed with Chinese characters and unsubtle headlines: American Consumer Masses Agree: It Fish Time!” Promotions for Yu Wan Me products such as Miscellaneous Flavor Paste and the last chance to buy discontinued Onion paraphernalia bracket headlines “Ping-Pong Champion Credits Victory to Diet of Nutritious Fish By-Products” and “Workers Protest Over-Ventilation of U.S. Factories.” Love it!

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