Back in the old days, if you had a credit card and skipped a payment, or sent it late, you could bet on the day after the due date you would get a call from the credit card company. At first, nice. With every successive call, the level of nicety dropped a bit, until, I suppose, they would get very nasty.
Then credit card companies discovered that rather than placing what they liked to call “courtesy calls”, they could amend the contracts and charge late fees! This allowed companies to charge you, let’s say, US$39.00, even if you owed only 1 buck. A stroke of game genius.
Then more genius emerged in the form of punitive APRs. Not only would credit card companies get to charge the late fees, but also be allowed to raise your APR to the roof, should you be late a couple of times during the course of a twelve month period. Noticeably, the windows between due dates and bill dates also got shorter.
The excuse offered by banks was that “courtesy calls” cost a lot of money, so they were replaced for the more pragmatic – and lucrative, I might add – late fees and punitive APRs.
The one thing that credit companies fail to explain is, if “courtesy calls” are so expensive, how come credit card companies continue to bombard credit card holders, on the phone, with myriad offers for crummy offers such as high priced life insurance, credit card insurance, and lots of bogus clubs and what not. Are the people placing these calls working for free? Am I the only one that continues to get these calls on a weekly basis?
In other words, they just play games with consumers.
The credit card companies should be punished. They should be getting a US$39.00 dollar fine for every unwanted call they make. While at it, pay 30% for the money I have on my money market account, as punitive interest…