We received a letter over the weekend from one of the banks advising us that the interest rate for purchases and balance transfers was going to be increasing next month. Nothing unusual in that however what caught our eye was the astonishing wording that they used in the next paragraph.
The words actually say “If you would prefer to opt out of this rate change…..”. Sounds good! There’s an option to not take this rate change; great lets take it. But no, the next part of the sentence continues….”you may do so by closing your account. This will mean that you will no longer be able to use your credit card.”
Incredible. Opt out is generally not used in this context, otherwise you would hear people opting out of driving by selling their car, or opting out of walking by chopping their legs off.
We understand that banks are businesses and that they need to make money but please don’t treat us like imbeciles. If the option is ‘pay up or shut up’ then say so, don’t try to hide it behind a non existant option.
For those on a tight budget or struggling to repay their card debts this is an unwelcome and unpleasant reminder that banks can and will do everything in their power to increase their profits. They have taken a bashing over the past few years, have been baled out by taxpayer money, and are now tightening the screws on the very people who helped them survive.
So please banks, if you are going to do unpleasant things to your customers, just be honest about it. Because weasel words will leave a bad taste in everyone’s mouth.