Saturday, October 29, 2011

From the People Who Brought You the Wall Street Collapse

From his grave, the late novelist Joseph Heller must be giving direct marketing advice to JP Morgan Chase.

Today my wife and I received a letter from Deb Walden, Chase's executive vice president of cardmember experience.

The letter opens with good news: "Currently, our records indicate that you are not being mailed any offers from Chase."  Thank God for small favors.

It then informs us that, in order to continue enjoying this privilege, we must respond.  If we fail to respond, Chase will begin mailing us offers.

The list of offers comprises things like insurance, investments, credit cards, home equity loans and annuities.

Deb even includes a deadline (December 15) and warns us that, by failing to respond by the deadline, "you may begin to receive offers in the mail about these products and services."

May receive?

So let me get this straight, Deb.

Unless your customer opts out, he will automatically receive direct mail offers from Chase after December 15.  That is, unless Chase opts not to send those offers.

So, to be clear, we must opt out or Chase will send us direct mail offers.  That is, unless Chase opts out, in which case it will not send us those offers.  Or it may send us some, but not all, offers.

Deb concludes her letter with a waiver.  (Deb can't help herself; she's a banker, after all.)

"Responding to this letter will ensure that the mailing options you select will remain in effect for five years after we receive your request.  After five years, or if you move to a new residence, you'll need to renew all of your mailing options."

Well, Deb, you've succeeded in one thing at least.  

You've erased any temptation we might have had to move in the next five years.
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