Sunday, July 09, 2006
As most of you know I work for a credit card company. We’ll refrain from the Dr. Evilness of that for a moment. The truth of the matter is that we’ll pretty much give anyone a line of credit. We’re not quite on the level of those awful commercials
“Bad credit? No Problem. No credit? No problem!”
But we might as well be. It’s pretty much built where we’ll have a high delinquency rate and we’ve built our fee structure to compensate. Truth of the matter again is that for a long time we’ve been a pretty crappy card. Although we’re making strides to be much better company – one that I’m not ashamed of working for.
But I’ve digressed. We really will give credit to anyone. And that’s the point to remember here.
With my new job duties I have to sit in on weekly marketing meetings. During one a few weeks ago we were talking about revamping our website. We’re planning on redoing the whole thing, and it’s actually one of my primary duties right now. Along with this we were discussing what some of the selling points of the card are, and how we can word that for the website. Turns out the fact that we’ll give anyone is a rather strong selling point.
The Chief Operational Officer was sitting in the meeting and he came up with a slogan.
“Got pulse? Get Visa*”
*I replaced the name of our company with Visa. He jokingly felt this was a great feature to right up front admit that as long as you are alive, you can have one of our cards.
A few days later I am talking to our recovery manager. (Excuse me while I get a little technical here) When one of our customer’s goes delinquent (doesn’t pay the bill) for 7 months we charge it off. Essentially at that point we write the debt off and consider it a loss. Ultimately we still try to collect on the dollars that were actually spent on the card, but for tax purposes it’s considered a total loss at that point.
Often, we will sell these accounts to another company at this point for cents on the dollar. While talking to the recovery manager about these accounts it turned out that this company we sold the accounts to was complaining that several of the account holder were deceased. Obviously they can’t collect from a dead guy and they were pretty ticked we sold them these accounts.
When the manager got to looking at these accounts he realized that the social security numbers belonged to guys who had been dead since the early 90s. Our company has only been around since 2000. Thus we booked accounts on people who were already dead.
Obviously this was fraud, but we’ve decided to change our motto to:
“Used to have a pulse? Get Visa”