Saturday, October 01, 2005

It's only 79p!

I was called yesterday evening by somebody claiming to work for Barclaycard.

I am a not a great customer for credit card companies. I don't carry a balance from month to month and I don't spend very much on them anyway so they don't make much on the merchant fee.

The salesperson tried to interest me in payment protection. Apparently they have been having lots of success selling it recently. Perhaps it's because it's so cheap, he mused, in the carefully scripted manner of somebody reading from a carefully prepared script.

"How much does it cost?" I asked.

"Only 79p for every £100 on your balance".

"Is that per month or per year?"

"Per month."

Right..... so, for the privilege of having a small sum paid off in the event of my becoming unemployed, I will be charged the equivalent of an annual interest rate of 10% on every transaction I ever make on my credit card.

I don't know how many people they persuaded to buy this but that is a fantastic business to be in.

He sounded genuinely surprised and disappointed when I declined his generous offer.

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