in which i become a meanie

I just officially cursed at a customer service rep for the very first time.

Well, maybe it’s better to say that I cursed in her general direction. I wasn’t cursing her. I was cursing her loan shark whore of an employer. I wish I could have gotten the president of the damn company on the phone so I could have cursed at him or her, but I’m guessing the president’s office isn’t anywhere near the call center in India.

Back in college I managed to firebomb my credit into a mangled mess of wreckage, and since then I have been busting ass to get it back in good shape. It’s going to take another two years or so before most of the worst stuff finally falls off my credit reports, and so in the meantime I have an absolutely hideous FICO score. This means that it’s tough for me to get credit, but one of the sucky things about credit is that you have to have it to build it. It’s like how when you first start working, you can’t get a job because you don’t have any experience, but you have to have a job to get experience. You’re stuck.

I seriously have an insane amount of knowledge about credit cards now. I can tell you what score you’ll need to get just about any card from any company, I know who the best lenders are and who the worst are, and I know lots of other weird things too. Whatever. This is a roundabout way of saying that I have a sucky subprime credit card. I charge things on it sometimes, and I pay at least more than double the minimum every single month. I have never, ever made a late payment. The card has a shit limit, an annual fee, and a 16.7% APR, but surprisingly, it’s not the worst credit card I could have.

Oh, wait, I’m sorry. Did I say it had a 16.7% APR? My bad. It actually has a TWENTY-EIGHT PERCENT APR now, which I only noticed when I was scanning my statement before paying the bill today.

After I recovered from my sudden heart attack, I called the customer service number on the back of my card (which is not even an 800 number, by the way) to find out what the hell was up.

She gave me some convoluted explanation about some new way of calculating it, and blah-de-blah something plus something else, and asked if I’d gotten the notification. I told her that I hadn’t and asked her to help me understand exactly how this can be, when I’ve never paid them late. She said it was their “new policy.” I asked if the new APR is permanent, and she said that it could change in the future but “they didn’t have any other offers right now.” I have a funny feeling that if it changes, it will only increase.

At least, I guess, she was kind enough not to say the truth: “We know you have horrible credit or else you wouldn’t have our shitty card, so since you have limited options we figured we can just dick you around however we want to because you can’t exactly go anywhere but down from here.”

For the record, I probably won’t be cancelling the card, because doing so will reduce my available credit and shorten my “good” credit history, so it would actually hurt me to do so. Instead, I’m putting that bastard away somewhere, and will use it every six months or so for a tank of gas so as to keep the account active and in good standing.

And then came the part where I cursed. She asked me if she could help with anything else and I told her that I was all set, and then she said she needed to ask me one more question. I knew she was about to sell me something, and I knew she was required to do it, but when she asked me if I had a car loan, I said, “Yes, and there’s no way in hell I’m going to refinance it at twenty-eight damn percent with you guys, so no, I’m not interested.” And then I felt horrible and apologized and told her I knew it wasn’t her fault, and I wasn’t angry at her, but I was absolutely and completely uninterested in any further “financing opportunities” through her employer. She’s a sweet, sweet, patient woman, because she actually laughed and said she understood and wished me a good day.

I hope she has a good day, too, and if I’m the grouchiest person she has to talk to all day, she’s probably lucky.

2 Replies to “in which i become a meanie”

  1. Aww man, that sucks. I’ve come to the realization the the whole lending industry is just horrible and predatory and only the “good” ones seem to benefit those who don’t really *need* it. My credit isn’t exactly great either, and I’ve been having to bust my ass to get things rectified. I refuse to be a slave to these people for the rest of my life!


  2. For heaven’s sakes, Lorie, your instant apology earns you massive bonus points. Quite justified to curse the company, and then make sure its rep understood she wasn’t the target. I’d have likely done the same in your shoes.

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