Credits and Dumbits
Scam letters aren't just for email scammers to send out anymore.
Some generally legitimate businesses tend to take the same view of the American consumer's educational acumen, and perceived lack thereof, with offers that you'd swear were designed by scammers.
Case in point: my sister -- a frequent flyer for her job -- received an offer for a credit card from a well-known airline, offering mileage credit for signing up and usage of a credit card bearing their logo. A casual perusal of the offer (nothing more detailed was needed if one is literate in English) revealed that one could earn a free Saver Award round trip ticket by first applying (and being accepted for) the card; making an initial charge of $250 on something, whereupon your account would be credited with 21,500 bonus mileage credits. Henceforth, one would receive a $1 mileage credit for every $1 spent on the card.
Thus, you could compile 25,000 mileage credits -- enough for one round trip Saver air ticket -- by charging on one's card a mere $3750. At interest rates in the 19% plus range.
Wow. What a deal.
My sister's dignified and courteous one-paragraph rebuff of this kind offer was in keeping with her personal, non-demonstrative demeanor. Not having been hit in the head with a bird house and having a real job, she doesn't have time to indulge in the silly verbosities that I -- no-life sot that I am -- engage in.
But me...I have the time. And the inclination. And the concussion from the bird house. Any other excuse is just soup for the duck.
Now, I'm not a frequent flier. I haven't been since 1991. I haven't belonged to any flying mileage programs since then, including any impromptu ones that ex-girlfriends might have wanted to put me on. But that didn't stop this same airline from sending me a similar offer, a few weeks later. Which comes as no surprise: I receive enough credit card offers in my snail mail to choke a shredder; my own use of credit is a classic case study in minature of Congress and the national debt, and something which perhaps I'll have paid off if I live to be about 160.
Believe me, the last thing I need is another credit card to go into hock with.
But the *TOING* that accompanied the offer was entirely too much for my smart-sit-down-part to pass on.
Sadly (not), I did resist applying for the card; I just wasn't able to resist sending the airline of the the following email response:
Dear Mileage Plus Meisters of the Credit and Mileage Endowment,
I was recently treated to an offer which I guess I wasn't supposed ta refuse, y'knowhadda mean? On the surface of it, it was a nice offer. An offer to allow me to fly for free, without the *bang-ZOOM to the Moon* aspect that some of my married cohorts face when their better halves get torqued out at them for some indiscretion, as well as something similar a couple of my ex-gal pals would love to have applied to me, but I digress.
All I needed to do was to sign up for your credit card. Well actually, it isn't really your credit card; it's a Chase-somethin'-er-other Bank's credit card. But they let you put your logo on it, so I guess it kinda is your card.
At any rate -- and one that's obscene, but I'm digressing again -- iffen I signed up for your card, and made an initial charge of $250 for stuff, you'd credit my mileage account with 21,500 miles. Wow. 21,500 miles for just spending a mere $250. Not that those 21,500 miles would get me anything, in and of themselves.
But you weren't done yet.
Thereafter, all I'd have to do is spend $1 US dollar on the card, and I'd earn 1 US air mile in credit on my account. And since I needed 25,000 mileage credits to be eligible for a free, round-trip ticket to sort of anywhere that your airline flies (with certain restrictions of incalculable width and breadth), I would then have only to charge an paltry $3500 more US dollars -- at 23% plus interest -- to achieve that free, round trip ticket to sort of anywhere that your airline flies (with certain restrictions of incalculable width and breadth).
But you weren't done yet.
I could continue to earn 1 mileage credit for every $1 US dollar charged at 19% plus interest, for up to 60,000 miles. That's...uh...add the six and carry the little toe with the hangnail over to the left thumb...a total of $38,250 that I could spend in one calendar year to earn the total of 60,000 mileage credits possible to earn in said calendar year. That's a total of the equivalent of two round trip Saver air tickets to sorta anywhere your airline flies (with certain restrictions of incalculable width and breadth), with 10,000 miles left over for the next year, when I could spend up to $50,000 more US dollars to get an additional 50,000 mileage credits to go with my 10,000 carryover mileage credits, for that annual 60,000 mileage credit cap you have.
Of course, while I had my shoes off and after they'd triaged all the folks overcome by my having taken my shoes off -- I'm told my feet stink, y'see -- I did some of that additional cypherin' that used to get Jethro into trouble. And I dun figgered it up that iffen I just bought me an airline ticket when and iffen I needed it, to a specific location that you already had a plane designated to fly to on a scheduled trip...I could save me, at the minimums, between $2,750 and $3,000, plus the accrual of that 23% plus interest.
Granted, I wouldn't get to "fly for free". But then again, I wasn't getting to "fly for free" with your program in the first place.
I just wanted to ask you something about the person that came up with this sca..er..brilliant promotion: is his or her name, perchance, Mariam or Abdullah Abacha? If it is...I think I now know where your large operating deficit not only came from...but where it's gone to.
Putting my shoes back on now, before I make a Homeland Security HAZMAT list,
As seems to be the case with letters like this, the airline in question seemed to have no more sense of humor about my missive than do most of the Nigerian 419ers I tweak. No response.
Maybe my feet really do stink that bad.