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How to Teach Credit Card Companies a Lesson

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The following is an actual letter I sent to the customer service department at a major credit card company in 2003.

    Dear Credit Card Company,
    Hello. My name is Brandon J. Mendelson, and allegedly I am a customer of your company. Like most other college students that your company covets, you succeeded in brainwashing me into getting a credit card. I got mine during the summer of 2002 when I was encourage by people to “start building my credit.” The card never once left my pocket, but some how I received a bill saying the card was used to purchase something online. Since I never used the card, I promptly threw your bill and card in the trash. I refuse to pay for something I know nothing about.

    Sadly, your company has continued sending me bill after bill, and has spent the past two years calling my home with nasty, harassing, and abusive messages. It is against the law in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection act, to harass a supposed customer such as myself. I can see quality customer service is something you really strive for. Here is the transcript of a conversation between one of your collection agencies and my Dad:
    Agent: Hello, can I speak with Brandon Mendelson?
    Brandon’s Dad: No, I’m sorry but he is away at school.
    Agent: I don’t believe you. Where are you hiding him?
    Brandon’s Dad: Excuse me?

    Agent: Is he in the witness protection program? Where is he? I demand to speak with him!
    Dad: *hangs up the phone.*

    Still your company persists and has even inflated how much I “owe” you over the past two years. What was supposedly a $20 bill has morphed into a $1,000 bill that you now have a third collection agency calling my house six times a day to collect. I even have a sparkling new letter I got in the mail today from your collection agency asking for payment of the full amount. This letter comes immediately following a conversation I had with your collection agent that went exactly like this:

    “Hi, I’m returning your phone call. You know, the one where you threatened arbitration against me? Well, I have thought about it and decided that I’ll pay you the $20 that was allegedly spent. That is how much the bill came out to. I can’t afford anymore than that because I’m broke and have no money to speak of because of my textbooks. If this is not acceptable please go ahead and file arbitration as you said you would. I invite you to go ahead and lose three times the amount you’re trying to extract from me in legal fees.”

    I’ve even thought of changing my phone number just to aggravate your flunkeys as you continue on your pathetic need to extract chump change from a broke college student. As it is I won’t be home 9 months out of this coming year, so don’t bother sending me any more mail because I won’t get it. Want my new address? How about I send it to you if you agree to allow me to hook your company’s president’s genitals to a car battery. You still won’t get any money from me, but I’ll feel pretty damn good about it. Maybe then your president will realize the financial hardship you have created for the citizens of this world.

    If I continue hearing from your company I may consider legal action against you. The kind of long, agonizing legal action that will create bad publicity for you and thousands of dollars in court fees. I don’t know how I will pay for my lawyer, but putting myself in real debt would be worth it to see you get what you deserve. I also urge all of my readers to rip up their credit cards and boycott your company. I’m including in this email an mp3 of Tom Jones’s cover of I who have nothing for you to enjoy. Feel free to listen to it anytime you feel down about not being able to get blood from a stone. I thank you for annoying me enough to write this letter to you today.

That was 2003. It is now February, 6th, 2006. After I notified the debt collector of my rights under the Fair Debt Collection act I have not heard from them since. So while I’m sure the bill is screwing up my credit rating, at least they can’t call or send harassing mail anymore. I’m a big boy, I’ll deal with the credit thing when the time comes. But screw them. I hope they enjoyed the music I sent them.

**Just wanted to point out that the following was meant to be a humor feature…I think some of you totally missed that.

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About Brandon J. Mendelson

  • Bennett

    Hey Brandon, The sad thing is that you screwed your credit rating up for the next seven years over a $20 dispute.

    It will not even START to recover until you address this matter. Running and hiding will just prolong the ordeal. You need to find a way to settle this thing asap.

    Then you’ll wait out the time it takes for this to fall off your credit report.

    You DO want to own a home someday, eh?

  • http://www.bhwblog.com bhw

    Yep, I’m with Bennett. When a bill arrives with a charge you didn’t make, it’s your responsibility to challenge it. One phone call in 2003 would have ended this before it even started.

    You opened the card. You’re responsible for reading your bill every month and contesting charges you didn’t make.

    You fucked up, dude. The phoney moral high ground you’re taking won’t do a thing for you the next time you need to get a car loan or any other type of loan. What will lenders see? Someone who was unwilling to resolve a simple, $20 disputed charge.

    Oh, and stop blaming the CC company for “brainwashing” you. Grow up.

  • http://www.thebmrant.com Matt

    Exactly bhw. This guy was an adult when he signed up for the credit card. No one “brainwashed” you. Not paying a $20 charge and letting it spin out of control for years is about the stupidest thing I’ve ever read on this site.

    I’m in the mortgage business, and I can assure you that this dumb missive won’t fly as a satisfactory letter of explanation for the collection.

  • Bob

    Stupid.

  • http://elvirablack.blogspot.com/ Elvira Black

    In my “misspent” youth my ex b/f and I ran up a debt of about 60 grand. We could have declared bankruptcy, I guess, but instead we went to one of those credit consolidation services and spent the next four years surviving paycheck to paycheck with no money for anything other than food, utilities and rent for the next four years.

    My ex didn’t learn his lesson and amassed another huge debt. I did learn my lesson and pay off my balance in full every month.

    I think a lot of people get into trouble with credit cards, and I do know that the companies target everyone, even those with very little discretionary income such as college students.

    Occasionally there will be a dispute where a merchant double charges or I get a strange charge, but I simply contact them promptly and all is resolved quickly. I never purchase anything online because I just don’t think it’s safe.

    In any case, I guess my point is that I have been through the credit card wringer, and hope this incident didn’t mess up your credit rating—assuming it’s all literally true since you did add the caveat that this was a humor piece?

  • Boomerman

    sheesh you have to read your bill and correct it immediately. I have no sympathy for you.

  • Nancy

    Don’t EVER pull the ‘toss it’ option if you get a letter (or worse, a personal visit/call) from the IRS; they can screw up your life far worse than any credit card company, and with less effort. I’ve seen it happen (not w/myself, thank God).

  • Sean

    Whatever! The letter is hilarious. You guys should lighten up. You must work for the company he is talking about–guess you don’t like Tom Petty.

  • Left Hanging

    I wrote a similar letter to penile enlargement drug company. They kept sending me bill after bill, notice after notice, and yet the before and after pictures I sent them clearly prove there was no marked difference in size. Since it was a money back guarantee I wasn’t satisfied and neither was my girlfriend, so I didn’t think I should have to pay for it. Now they are constantly calling me and wanting their money plus interest. I called the better business bureau and they said the company was based in Thailand and that I had little hope of ending the harassment. Meanwhile it shows on my credit report and score is shrinking. I thought about being the bigger man, but it’s really bothering me and I don’t know what to do.
    Any advice?

  • Rex

    There are correct ways to deal with credit card companies. Their methods of doing business is totally unethical and borderline illegal. Educate yourself. The majority of the population has fallen for their smoke and mirror deception and do not question them. They see all the out of control credit card debt in America and fall for the lie that the populace is out of control with their spending. This is nothing but a half truth. Most people don’t realize how credit cards charge and how their interest rates actually work. It is not uncommon to spend 30 to 50 percent more for an item by using a credit card. Hidden fees go unchallenged. People, please educate yourselves! I’ve met loan sharks that don’t charge as much interest as credit card companies! And add in fees and service charges and it gets totally riduculous really fast! Start out by going to this site to get an idea of how they operate. The lead in is quite enlightening. I do not represent the company that has the site. I am using their services. I do not make any money by refurals, just use the site to learn. Knowledge is the greatest tool anyone will even own. Arm yourself with as much as you can. The general population is being duped. Protect yourself. God bless all.

  • Nancy

    The invention of the credit card was one of the worst things ever to have happened to people. Hopefully the guy who invented it is now frying in eternal hell. Credit card companies are without exception unscrupulous, deceitful, and unethical in their behavior & deceptive in their practices. They do indeed charge usurous rates, to which they add completely unjustifiable ‘fees’ which are entirely for the purpose of jacking up their profits, yet they continue to operate almost without restraint, thanks to the spineless gulls in congress whom the credit companies pay off under the table with huge ‘donations’ towards campaigns & lavish lifestyles.

    Your best bet is not to have any credit cards at all if you can help it. If you must, then keep only ONE, and DISCIPLINE yourself rigidly as to when you use it, and for what. Pay off the entire debt each month if at all possible. If not, at least pay as much as you can, and ALWAYS ON TIME. It’s the regular & timely payment that will give you good credit & minimize your costs.

    NEVER ignore them. If you dispute a charge, WRITE to one of the three credit control companies (Equifax is one of them), disputing the charge & getting it on record. It’s just like in court: if someone brings charges and you don’t appear, the plaintiff immediately wins because you have forfeited the case by not showing. Ignoring them & hoping they go away is NOT viable, and NOT an option – unless you want your credit ruined, that is, and the credit card companies can certainly do it for you, UNLESS you enter a written dispute telling your side of the story.

    Do know your rights: they cannot call you at work, they cannot call you at home at unreasonable hours, and they cannot threaten you. If you request they not call you again, they MUST desist. If they don’t, file charges – again, IN WRITING – with your state’s attorney general. DON’T just ignore them & hope they go away; that’s the idiot’s way of dealing with them, because they won’t.

    A credit card, IF managed, can be a real asset. In fact, if managed properly, you can be the one making THEM upset. By paying off the balance every month, my credit card can’t charge me interest, yet I get to use their money for a few weeks, until the payment is due. They haven’t been able to charge fees or interest since the beginning of the account, and they’re so upset about it, they’ve threatened twice now to drop me. Of course, I immediately filed against them with the attorney general of my state, since there is nothing in their card contract that requires I must not pay off my balance in full every month so they can collect fees & interest. Both times they’ve had to back off & apologize, and the second time they’ve had to offer me a cash amount in order to palliate their offense. Of course, this tickles me pink, that I’m the one annoying them, and to add insult to injury, they can’t get rid of me.

  • cm

    credit card companys are greedy thugs and are out of control .The trouble is people are afraid of them they are nobodys. They are private corperations not authority figures. Screw them any way you can .They are miserale bas######

  • credit cards user

    Five people whose attempts to stage the largest case of credit card fraud were foiled pleaded guilty yesterday.
    The gang, who police claim had planned a £17 million credit card scam, had already spent money on foreign property, investments and international holidays.
    British Transport Police, who got involved in the investigation after catching one of the gang members at Paddington station with 40 pre-paid mobile top-up cards loaded with credit card details, had problems identifying the nationality of some of the members.
    Using aliases and fake identity documents, the gang managed to take police on a 18-month-long chase, until they were finally tracked down in London.
    The gang had the equipment to make credit cards and the police had traced 32,000 credit card numbers that members of the fraud ring had used.

  • People are so stupid

    what a moron!! if you did not make the charge all it took was a 10 minute phone call to report it as fradulent and you would have had it credited to your account you idiot!

  • Matt

    Lol, screw all of you, screw the credit card companies, screw student loans and screw you yuppie good for nothings who use credit cards in the first place. Screw credit ratings, screw this economy and for sure screw all you twice over.

    😀 😀 😀 😀

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Can’t do shit to me, economy will collapse, anyone who buys a brand new car is a fucking idiot lol!