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Discover(ing) stupidity

By J.J. Jackson
web posted November 16, 2009

A couple months ago my wife and I received notice from Discover Card that they were canceling our joint credit card.  The reason was basically the same as so many other Americans have heard themselves from such companies; we simply were not using it enough.  Why it was that we were not using it was of no concern to Discover.  But had they asked they would have learned that their card was simply not being used because it did not give us any incentive to use it.  With a bank issued debit and credit card and several other credit cards with equal or better interest rates and far superior rewards programs, Discover was low man on the totem pole and looked certain to remain there.

So rather than trying to find out why we were not using their card, Discover decided to just up and cancel our account.  Perfectly fine.  They are a business and as a business they need to make money.  And they certainly do not make money from us if we are not using their card.  But a smart business would have tried to find out the reasons behind such nonuse one would think.

My wife was more upset about this than I was because the credit line was several thousand dollars.  The reason I was not upset was because we were still getting four or five offers a week for new cards and knew it could be replaced.  She called Discover Card to see if she could get them to reconsider.  Of course they would not.  The conversation ended with her plainly telling them that if they did not want us as a customer now, with our outstanding credit, then she never wanted to again be solicited by them for their products.

I think you can guess what we received in the mail about two weeks ago.  Yep, it was a flowery letter from Discover wanting us to sign up for one of their credit cards.  So, let me get this straight ... Discover you did not want us as a customer because we were not using their card so you canceled our card but now after being told we do not want your card you send us an invitation to apply for you card despite telling us that you did not want us as a customer previously?  And businesses like this wonder why they are laughed at?

Of course this was not our first experience with the "intelligence" that permeates the Discover Card folks.  A few years ago I looked at my own personal Discover Card and realized that I simply did not need it.  So I called them up wanting to cancel the card and my several thousand dollar credit line.

But when I called Discover to cancel my card I got the run around.  They literally refused to cancel my account and tried to convince me that canceling the card, a card I no longer used, would be damaging to my credit.  I did not care because I no longer wanted the card and I could live without it.  But as hard as I tried I could not get Discover to cancel the account.  I did however finally get them to lower the available credit on the account to $500 and lock it there so that they would not raise up it year after year.

I even asked the lady on the phone if she realized that the card was just going to get tossed in a drawer somewhere and never used and that when I received my new card each year I simply would not activate it.  She said that as a "valuable customer" such things mattered not – only that I continued to have their card.  So I kept my promise and threw that piece of trash in the drawer and never looked at it again.

So from a few years ago and not being able to cancel a Discover Card to today when the company is all too eager to cancel accounts (even if they then offer us a new one a few months later) we have apparently come full circle.  But for Discover Card it is an exercise in futility to get us to once again join their ranks because immediately after their notice of terminating our account we acquired two brand spanking new cards from other companies that were more than eager to have our business.  If you had wanted us to be customers Discover Card all you had to do was not cancel our account.  But you did so we are not and will not be ever again.

Have fun with your stupidity.  Guess you will just have to find someone else to make up the difference because my wife and I with our excellent credit are not coming back to you. ESR

J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the lead editor contributor to American Conservative Daily and also the founder of SignalCongress.com.  He is the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.


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