"You have been pre-approved."

I got a call yesterday from someone who opened the conversation with:

“You (KK) have been preapproved for a credit card with Chase. It’s at 0 percent for the first 6 months, then 5.9%. No annual fees, blah blah blah.”

I told her I already had a Chase card, and she said that was no problem.

After a 5 minute spiel about all the advantages, I hopefully asked the gal:

So what’s the credit line – how much is the card for?

“Oh,” she says, “You mean the credit limit. Well THAT is decided after we get your information, and there’s someone standing by to take it from you…Let me transfer you.” I stopped her.

“So, the card is then not really preapproved, is it? I have to give you my credit information, and apply?”

“Well, you are pre-approved…”

“But we don’t know how much until after I apply, is that right? It might be nothing, right?”

“Yes…Shall I transfer you now?”

I aked her if she didn’t agree that she was reading a script that was very misleading…giving people like me the impression that a credit card HAD been preapproved, presumably for some amount. What is the purpose of a pre-approved (or any) credit card without some credit being offered?

We all know you have to be approved for credit. So to say you’ve been pre-approved gives the (totally false with Chase) impression that you’ve been approved for at least some credit, and the only interesting question is, how much?

Actually, I had been preapproved only to APPLY for a card. Big deal.

But that’s not all. We’ve all learned the hard way that each time you apply for a credit card, it works against you on your credit worthiness according to the credit services like Equifax. Have you ever been declined for a card, and one of the top reasons given is words to the effect “too many applications”? I.e., you have applied for credit cards too often, in their view. So sorry. But here is Chase (and others, I’m sure) soliciting me to apply again, with the misleading come on that you’ve been “pre-approved.”

Is it any wonder we don’t like listening to telemarketers?

I wasted almost 10 minutes on a fake come on – “you’ve been pre-approved.”

Shame on Chase and the scripts which brought about the Do Not Call List in the first place.

Can’t Chase do better than that? At least dispense with the fake pitches?

I bet WE can do better than that, can’t we?

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Kim Klaver

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