We're Fleet, We Don't Have To Care

My credit card bank is something called Fleet, though my experience is that it's none too swift, at least not when it comes to customer relations. Actually, I didn't choose Fleet. I chose a credit card company, and it, in turn, uses Fleet to handle its billings.

Recently I presented my shiny green credit card at a restaurant and -- Bllaaaattt! -- card rejected.

Had I gone over my credit limit? No. I hadn't used the card enough to get near the limit. So, next day I phoned the friendly Fleet folks to say: Whazzup? Oh, came the chirpy reply, we've now received payment on your last bill, so we've reinstated your service.

Reinstated? Why did you yank the card to begin with?

Oh, sir, we didn't yank your card, we suspended it.

Well that sure makes me feel better, I said, but my question is: Why? Still chirpy, the voice said, Oh, you were 14 days past due on paying your bill. So what? I asked. Well, sir, if you're 14 days past due we automatically suspend your service.

Excuse me? I've had this card for years, shovelling tens of thousands of dollars through it, paying Fleet a nice fat fee on every bit of those purchases, and I've never failed to pay my bill, as your computer data banks clearly know, yet I go a couple of days past some arbitrary date on one month's bill and you yank my card?

Not yank, sir, suspend, the chirpy voice reminded me. Besides, it's in your card agreement. Haven't you read your card agreement?

No, I said, though I tried once, but since it's not in English and is in the tiniest print ever made, I gave up. Plus, I've got real work I have to do so I can pay off my credit card bills! And, also, it never occurred to me that my bank would care so little about long-term customers that it'd yank my card on a technicality written in fine-print legalese.

Not yank, sir...went the chirpy voice again.

Anyone out there know of even one credit card bank that has a human soul buried somewhere down in its computer-chip chirpiness?

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