This morning, like everyone else, I assume, in my road, I had a letter from Capital One Bank shoved through my door.
On the envelope was the message: “Dear Occupier, specially delivered by hand to ensure you receive the enclosed. Please read carefully.”
Now, I’m on a mailing preference exclusion list and I hope you are too. It keeps most of the junk mail off my doormat and makes my postman’s bag a little lighter. Inside the envelope was an invitation to apply for a “Capital One Visa Card with a host of great benefits.”
Benefit #1 was a typical APR of 23.9%
Benefit #2 was an APR of 29.94% on cash withdrawals
Benefit #3 was a foreign currency conversion charge of 2.75%
There were more similar benefits, too many to list here but equally attractive and so I called Capital One. It wasn’t easy, they don’t really want callers unless you are a customer checking your credit balance, applying for a new card or “Enjoying manageable monthly payments”, at 23.9% APR.
“Why am I receiving offers like this?” I asked the nice girl at the other end of the phone. She didn’t know and apologised. After all, she said, if I’m on a mail preference list I shouldn’t be getting letters from them but she wasn’t sure about the hand delivery part and thought, like me, it could be a “loophole” in the legislation.
“I’m not getting at you”, I said, “it’s not your fault but this is Thanet and it’s one of the most deprived areas of the country. Shoving unsolicited invitations to apply, “In three easy steps” for a new Visa card at 23.9% through people’s doors is offensive in my opinion. There’s enough debt here without making it worse. She agreed. “I’m not supposed to say anything”, she remarked “but I think it’s awful too. You should write to our head office. Do you want the address?
“No, it’s alright”, I said, “I’ll write it somewhere else instead.”