Monday, September 17, 2007

Stuff This: Thwarting Credit Card Offers

I've been keeping score lately of all the crap that's mailed to me from various points around the country, and dutifully delivered to my mailbox out by the street. The Direct Marketing industry must be really flush this year, because there is a bumper crop of this stuff being stuffed into my box.

Offers from credit cards are particular irritants to me. They come flaunting zero-percent interest (read the fine-print) and fee-free cash transers (read it again), and they include some handy, pre-printed checks you could write out on the spot for some instant cash to spend on what ever you want (ibid, the fine print).

I find these irritating because in addition to being addressed to me and every other member of my family, they're also coming addressed to people who used to live at this address, as well as non-humans who live here, a.k.a, my dog.
Sophie Clanton.
Sounds realistic enough.
Maybe even a little exotic.
She might look a little like that fetching Sophie Marceau in that James Bond movie a few years back.

The reality is Sophie Clanton is a dog, literally, and as for fetching, she doesn't understand the word, much less the concept. Certainly doesn't understand the terms and conditions of credit cards that are coming in her name, fine print and all.

Stupid banks.
They'll give a credit card to anyone, no questions asked.
College Students.
Dead people.
They did it so much, and to so many people, some of which were deadbeats and took advantage of the offers, that the banks began to sustain some losses (NO!) and had to rein-in the problem.
Did they stop issuing offers? No.
Did they start charging more interest to make up the difference on their losses? No.
They engineered new bankruptcy laws so that people couldn't as easily welch on their debt.
And they continue to paper mailboxes with their clever offers.

You must destroy those offers when they arrive.
I prefer to open and shred them on the spot, standing over the kitchen garbage.
No better place for a credit card offer than nestled snuggly between watermelon rinds and a package of hotdog buns that went moldy before their exporation date.

There is also a way to stop these before they even reach your mailbox. Before they even print up the address lables. Yes, you, too, can thwart the most persistent, blood-sucking mass-mail marketer by simply adding your name to the list of folks who'd rather not receive this stuff.

Here's how: is a website set up by the Consumer Credit Reporting industry to enable folks like you and me to lighten the load of our postal carriers, and reduce the mass of mailed-in offers to your box.

And think of the trees you'll save...doggone it.

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