How to lose a customer.

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.

Gee, thanks.

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.

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Comments

  • Wizard Prang  On August 31, 2006 at 4:55 PM

    Postscript: I just got a letter from Bank of America containing two new credit cards. According to the covering letter, Bank of America has acquired MBNA, and these cards replace our existing MBNA Platinum Plus cards (which we have not used in nearly a year).

    There are two things here that I find disturbing.

    The financial services and banking industries are coalescing into a handful of MegaBanks; the worst companies seem to be the winners, and the consumer loses out.

    It looks like Bank of America is in such a hurry to get their brand into my wallet that they are replacing perfectly servicable cards that are not due for replacement for another two years.

    Anyway, I called Customer Service and found out that the old cards were invalidated without my permission. Being an engineer, I am an adherent of the Tao of “if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it”, so I found this practice both wasteful and distasteful. I refused the new cards and asked for them to be cancelled.

    Looks like another company has found its way onto my “do-not-do-business-with” list. NEXT!!!

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