Monday, October 16, 2006

An Open Letter to my Ex-Credit Card Company

Dear DMBA,

I am writing this letter to formally request that you terminate account # XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX. I have met another credit card company that is much better at meeting my needs, and no longer need your services.

I do not wish to be rude, but after nearly twelve years together, I feel I should explain my reasons for terminating our relationship. In fact, it is the longevity of our relationship that makes some of your recent policies so frustrating to me.

Here, then, is a list of the reasons I have left you. I list them not to be vindictive, but in the hope that such feedback will help you to better adapt your services for your future relationships.

  1. I find it irritating that after twelve years of loyal service, I have found my interest rate steadily rising, not falling, over the last six months. While I may have a variable-rate policy, my credit record with your company should more than allow for some sort of benefit.
  2. I find it even more irritating that you insist on charging me $15 every time I try to make a payment by phone in order to come in under my deadline. Every other company I do business with allows these kinds of services at no charge.
  3. On the few occasions I have had to make a late payment (never more than a week, mind you), I have been served with a $40 late charge. There has never been a grace period, and $40 is usually more than the minimum payment on my balance.
  4. Speaking of my balance, it seems strange to me that my interest rate would continue to rise when my balance remains such a small fraction of my limit. Now, I do appreciate having a generous limit—enough to pick up a BMW if I were a more frivolous spender—but wouldn’t that in turn suggest that I have been a reliable customer, deserving of a lower rate?
  5. It also disturbs me to find that while my interest rate continues to climb, my bill due date continues to move earlier and earlier in the month. With all of my monthly bills and obligations, it would be nice to rely on the same date each month, thereby ensuring that I get my bill mailed to you on time. But when you factor in your heavy fine toll, this circumstance makes it look as if you are deliberately trying to increase your revenue through late fees.
  6. This is a small complaint, but nevertheless one you should heed: I have come to expect a number of throw-away ads to be enclosed with my bill, but the perforated ad slips that are attached to the return envelope DRIVE ME CRAZY. Please do your customers a favor and discontinue them. If they want to redeem the coupon and get their free clock radio/throw pillow/commemorative Iwo Jima dinner plate, they will mail in the other slip stuck in the envelope.

While transferring my account to my new company, I paid off my balance to MBNA in slight excess in order to compensate for finance charges, and I should have a small credit on my account of about eighteen dollars. I assume you will send me a check for this balance along with my notice of account termination.

Again, I hope this letter proves useful to your customer service department in altering your future policies. For the most part, my time with DMBA was very workable, but the culmination of policies like those listed above leave me no choice but to find greener pastures. Please do not try to get me to re-commit to future membership; I’ve found that in these situations, it’s better to give the other party plenty of space.