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Shame on USBANK
Today (12/16/07) I received a letter from USBANK who, by the way, has also called me and sent me emails, about the opportunity for me to lower my interest rate by 3%. On the front of this nice little offer, one might assume that USBANK was simply being generous; however that is not the case. USBANK and the Senior Vice President Lynn Heitman are actually trying to turn my credit card into an adjustable rate nightmare. They want to make it so that my card is actually tied to the Prime Interest rate which fluctuates as the Fed lowers or raises their interest rate. Today the Prime rate is at 7.25% (Not to Shabby actually). Funny thing is, though, that my USBANK letter said that the PRIME rate was at 8.25%! How odd is that? Could it be that Lynn Heitman had not checked the Prime Rate before sending out the letter (easy enough to do at http://www.moneycafe.com/library/prime.htm )? I am afraid not! On the bottom of the letter there is a little line that reads, and I quote...
"The Prime Rate used to calculate the APR is a variable rate that is adjusted monthly based on the highest Prime rate published on the last business day within the last 3 months in the 'Money Rates" column of the Wall Street Journal (currently 8.25%)."
So, to calculate their rate they are using the HIGHEST rate published in the last 3 months. This means that as the rates go down borrowers will have to wait three months in order to experience any benefit. Moreover, as the rates go up USBANK can instantly raise the interest rate for the credit card so that I, or any other person that was suckered into this, has to instantly pay more!
Basically, while it may look like USBANK was simply trying to make a nice offer, they were actually only trying to screw people over by designing one heck of an horrible Adjustable Rate credit card. To make matters worse, Lynn Heitman also put on the letter that I should transfer over any debt from any other credit card to take advantage of USBANK’s generous 3% interest cut. One again, though, there is a little note on the bottom of the letter that need to be highlighted; namely that there will be a 3% charge for any balance transfers! Here again Lynn and USBANK are really trying to screw over the least sophisticated borrower! If I, in fact, wanted to transfer over balances from other credit cards because USBANK lowered my rates by 3%, then that would mean that I was using the 3% decrease as a deciding factor, otherwise I would have done it already, right? But I will not actually gain anything from the transfer, and actually stand to lose out if my current card carrying that balance is not more than 3% higher than the current USBANK rate. USBANK is trying to make (and its other customers?) lose money.
I thought you were my fiend USBANK, but I don’t know if I can be friends with banks that do such tricky and devious business. One should not have to read all the fine details in order to discover that what looks like a good deal is actually a bad one! Its companies like you USBANK, along with leaders like you Lynn Heitman, that make today’s business world such an awful place.
If you are going to make an offer to an existing customer, at least make it a good one! What are you trying to do, screw me over, or lose my business?
© All words and music written and owned by Shawn Nelsen.