I have two Credit Cards with MBNA:
The first has a high limit and is hardly ever used. The second that has a limit of just $100 and is used mainly to purchase things online from Merchants that I have not encountered before. I do not carry balances on either.
Recently, I was trying to purchase an item online from a merchant that only accepted Visa. Sadly, both cards sported the MasterCard logo. So I phoned MBNA. They gave me two options: One was to “convert a card” from MasterCard to Visa (unacceptable), the other was to apply for a new line of credit. Either approach would take three weeks, and setting up a new card would require a complete new application.
I have been a customer of MBNA for about seven years now… but apparently that does not count for anything – I still have to jump through the same hoops as anyone who has just walked off the street.
It occurred to me that if I had to go through the whole rigmarole all over again, there was absolutely no reason that I needed to talk to any particular company… so I politely hung up, phoned CapitalOne and applied for a new card from them. If approved (and I cannot think why I would not be), I will most likely cancel one of my MBNA cards, possibly both of them.
Memo: In a free market, do what is necessary to keep your customers. The next guy is doing what is necessary to steal them.
So, how do you lose a customer? Treat them like a stranger.