My Credit Card Story

Friday, March 18, 2011

I've never been big on credit cards, mainly becuase I've always believed I don't have a need for it. I hardly ever make any big purchases, and whenever I do, the establishments I go to tend to give bigger discounts when you pay in cash (yeah, fuck you Gilmore). It was not until I started working abroad, where the prospect of not having any cash at hand, nary a card, and a tourist-grade inability to explain yourself in the vernacular could land you in prison where I assume you will be made to taste rather unsightly delicacies (e.g. rape). So I finally got one, and so far BPI hasn't given me any major pain in the ass.

Granted, there are a lot of points for improvement. Their cards, for one, look like they're allergic to being stored in anything more compact than a two ton shipping container. Storing them in my wallet breaks them in just a couple of months, and I don't even have a gargantuan ass. Meanwhile, my ATM cards, some of them already old enough to become registered voters are still working. My BPI credit card has conked out three times in the last three years, and twice I had to pay for replacements. FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS FOR A PLASTIC CARD, REALLY?! On the last instance, I lost my shit and demanded that I be given a free replacement, at gunpoint if need be. The folks were nice enough to give me a free replacement, and strange enough, an ass-size reduction program at Marie France. I didn't even have to load my revolver.

Then there's the program for making your own card image. I tried it last year to see if I can make gifts out of the promo. The registration program online ended up swallowing my applications for an entire month, with the staff in CS vehemently saying I never submitted anything. I started thinking there's a conspiracy going on, and that if I were to start looking for the Holocaust they'd say it never happened as well. Towards the end, somebody somewhere in BPI wised up and told me that my image broke their rules, which weren't written on the site, which weren't conveyed to me when I started complaining. If I didn't act, I'd have ended up waiting for signs or something. It's almost like talking to God, really.

Lastly, there's the membership fee. Now I'm not even sure why credit companies still insist on having those. For every transaction we make, the merchants are already giving them amounts that are likely coming from the price we are paying for the goods anyway. This doesn't even include any interests that we sometimes have to pay when we can't make the full amount (or got too lazy to pay that month). That's like paying twice for the same service. Fortunately, the banks allow the fees to be waived. For my case that's 2250 every year that doesn't have to be written under the ever-growing "stupid fees I don't really understand but pay anyway" list in my big book of expenses.

How I waive my membership everyyear is almost 100% the same, I'm not sure why I still have to do it again and again. It works this way. Sometime around March, I recieve my credit card bill and say "Oh dear. My bill is quite high this month" then I scan down my list of legitimate purchases, purchases that I would not be proud to show to my parents, and purchases that made under the influence of very strong psychoactive components. One of them will be marked "Membership fee". Membership fee?! I ask myself. "I thought I already told those guys at the Most Handsome People On Earth Organization that I do not need to be grouped to stay as handsome and ravishing as I currently am!"

So I inspect it again and see that it's actually for BPI's credit card program. I dial 89-100, navigate through the labyrinthine IVR interface that requires me to press more buttons than when I wrote this article and then patiently wait for an operator while listening to the hold music designed to passify any angry callers through subtle messages embedded in the music ("WORSHIP BPI"). After what seems like an entire presidential administration's wait, an operator will answer me and at this point the music has pacified me to a point that I already sound like Ghandi. It takes me about half a minute to compose myself into the normal steroid-angry customer that I'm supposed to be playing.

And here is where it gets strictly theatrical, in a sense that I'm sure I don't really mean half of what I say and the CS are acting and playing along just as much. I question why I have a membership fee tacked on my bill. They tell me it's because I didn't make the quota usage of 1,000,000,000,000 pesosesoses. I tell them that's ridiculous and that I've never heard of anything like that before. (I have) They tell me it's new regulation rules. (It's not) I pretend that I am terribly upset and ask my card to be cancelled. They pretend to check with their supervisor if it's okay to do so. I tell them okay. One last time they tell me it's too much of a favor to ask. I tell them if they don't, I'll cut the membership and pull out my four accounts, as well as my support for the current government administration. They ask me to wait. I wait. Then afterwards they tell me the amount will be waived, and that I should just try to use the card more. (I probably will)

And it's like that EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

In the spirit of optimization, wouldn't it be just faster if they just accepted the idea that I will not be paying such a ridiculous amount for the benefit of being able to pay some MORE? If cancelling the membership fee automatically is hard, then at least there must be some hidden phrase that I can just use to bypass the whole procedure, which is no longer than most mating rituals of animals in the wild, but is just as energy-consuming when I could be writing articles like this instead. Yeah, just one reserved word will do. Like:

Me: Hello, I'm here for the annual waiver.
CSupport: Okay, credit card number please.
Me: Asterisk x15 - 135. (that's how they like to write it anyway)
CSupport: Okay sir. Let me check.
CSupport: Codeword registered. Your membership fee has been waived. Have a nice day.

Done and done. I'd have more time for my lesiurely surfing for illegally procurable files and they'd have more time dealing with people who can't manage debt if their lives depended on it.


1 comment:

aammiiH said...

This is ridiculously true. LOL. I was laughing the whole time I was reading it. Annual membership fees are not fair, if only to stir cardholders to make more purchases. Credit card companies should have known by now; it's such a pain in the ***. I guess the reason why it hasn't been scrapped out despite the never-ending commotions, is because a lot of people still fall for it, sadly! Get a grip, people!


Search This Blog

Most Reading