Came home today and found a new Visa credit card waiting in the mail to replace my old one that's about to expire. This one particular bank is annoying because instead of letting me dial the sticker number and activate the replacement card automatically, I have to get booted over to a live representative somewhere in India (yes, I asked) and listen to him sell me on stuff I don't need.
Bank Representative: Oh Mr. Batista, it seems you've been with us for a very long time.
Me: Yeah, 14 years. Give or take a few months.
BR: For being such a loyal customer, Mr. Batista, we'd like to offer you a low fixed APR of 1.9% for the next 10 months.
BR: But you have a credit limit of $22,000. Wouldn't you like to apportion some of that amount at this new APR?
BR: Mr. Batista, you currently have no balance on your account. Is there a reason you're not using the card?
Me: No. I just keep it around for emergencies.
BR: Well, do you have a credit card with another bank?
BR: Excellent! Do you have a balance on that card you'd like to transfer over at this new APR?
Me: No. That card's clean too.
BR: Oh, I see. Well, we'd like to offer you a $16 bonus certificate if you'd just allow me to send you literature on a new protection plan in the case of accidental . . .
BR: But if the plan is not to your liking, you can cancel it at any time . . .
BR: And you'd get to keep the $16, Mr. Batista.
BR (dejected): Okay then, Mr. Batista. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
BR: Have a nice day.
Me: No . . . er, I mean -- you too.
[hang up phone]
I may not be the smartest bulb in the package when it comes to financial matters, but I do know that saying "no" to everything is a safe bet in life. I mean, I know that credit card companies don't do anything that's not to their benefit before yours, so whenever one of them offers me some grand scheme to "help" me, I know that I'm better off assuming that they want to slave me to some other debt-generating plan to make themselves richer. I mean, let's be real. They want to make money. And someone like me who pays off his balance every month is not good for business.
But there you go. That's my one philosophy in life when dealing with companies that offer a service: telephone, electric, Internet, banking, etc. When it comes to anything beyond the basic service I signed up for . . . just say NO!
And unlike the Jim Carrey movie, I won't one day turn into a Yes Man. No, no, no.
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