Saturday, 26 October 2013

Pet hates - credit munching

One business practice we find particularly annoying is "credit munching".  Credit Munching is where the organisation arbitrarily decides to cancel credits a few months after they've been purchased. Not only have you already given the company a free loan for the period, they then decide they confiscate the credits because you've not used their services recently. It is little better than an act of corporate theft, like people stealing money from a fountain where people have thrown coins to make a wish and/or donate to charity.

Those organisations think they can justify this practice by sending you reminders warning that credit you paid for is about to expire and can be saved if you do business with them.  If the are so concerned about the (non-existent) administrative effort of maintaining the credit records they should refund the credit to the original card. 

When an organisation plays this deceitful little trick on my company we automatically blacklist them. In our terms that means:
  • they automatically become the last choice for any future business;
  • we never recommend them to clients or friends;
  • their domain name is added to our email blacklists, so we are never troubled by their emails again.
If the majority of consumers adopted these reasonable defensive measures the despicable practices of Credit Munching would stop. We apply the same rules to loyalty point systems.

Here's our current blacklist:

British Airways (as a consequence of Air Miles, Avois) - ba.com
The Air Miles organisation - for loyalty points munching -  airmiles.com
iStockphoto.com - for credit munching
Hilton Honors - the hotel chain - for loyalty points munching.

BA and the Hilton have lost substantial amounts of business from us as a direct consequence. They'll come off the blacklist when they apologise and refund in full the credits/loyalty points.

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