Dear Valued Cardholder:
One year ago we welcomed you to the Easy Come, Easy Go Credit Card Family with open pockets and the kind of unbeatable terms we could offer to only a select few.
As you will recall, our unparalleled benefits included the following Preferred Customer Perks:
A) A generous rebate program.
B) Triple or nothing warranty deals.
C) Frequent flier points for your pets.
D) Our weekly Easy Come, Easy Go Lottery (ECEG employees and their families not eligible to participate, lottery not available where prohibited by law, ECEG Lottery temporarily inactive due to pending class-action lawsuit).
You will also recall you received our special, one-time-only, introductory interest rate, the one that drove our chief financial officer to drink.
You also received our personal guarantee that our rates would never exceed those of any credit company under federal investigation. So it is with deep regret and sadness that we advise you of our disappointment with you as a customer.
Yes, disappointment. For, despite our unmatched terms, you have not met your end of the bargain.
Not only have you failed to use your card more than three times during the last 12 months, but after each occasion you paid your bill in full and on time.
This is inconsistent with your credit history and, frankly, we expected better of you.
Your prompt payments and inadequate use of your credit card force us to take the drastic action of converting your account to Nonpreferred Customer Status.
As a Nonpreferred Customer, you will be assessed a $10 carrying charge for each month in which you fail to use your card and a $5 surcharge on each paid-on-time monthly bill.
Additionally, your Preferred Customer Perks will be eliminated -- except for our rebate program, which will henceforth be limited to purchases made in Venezuela.
To avoid a $50 penalty, kindly turn in your Platinum Preferred Customer Card in person within one week. At that time you will be given an ugly brown card bearing the word "nonpreferred" in very bold letters. (Consult the enclosure to find a Card Exchange Site conveniently located no more than 120 miles from your home.)
We are pleased to report that your Nonpreferred Status will not prevent you from purchasing an unlimited number of Easy Come, Easy Go T-shirts at a bargain price of $19.95 plus tax and a $5 shipping fee.
Moreover, if you act quickly, you can still qualify for Preferred Customer reinstatement.
Simply use your card at least 12 times in the next three months, incur debt totaling $3,000 or more and pay no more than 10 percent of the amount owed on your card each month (plus interest).
Yes, that's all it takes to requalify for Easy Come, Easy Go's Preferred Customer Perks. Thank you for doing business with Easy Come, Easy Go, and happy shopping!
Sincerely, Frank N. Sinseer Jr., president, Easy Come, Easy Go Credit Services.
Madeleine Begun Kane is an attorney living in Bayside, N.Y.