Math lessons from a credit card company

The summer after my junior year of college I rejoined the CC industry and was based on the customer service program for the world’s largest retailer’s credit cards. One day I get an angry call from a woman who sounded like she was in her forties. The exchange turned out to be so ridiculous that I had to try not to laugh and not to be too condescending as it happened.

“Hi, I want to know why my charge got declined.”

I check her account and discover her balance is about $10 below her credit limit.

“Well ma’am you’re almost out of your available credit, so any charge over that amount will get declined.”

“Well I paid $40, so I should have $40 available credit!”

“I’m sorry ma’am, but when you pay late, you also have to pay a late fee which reduces the amount that your payment actually applies to your balance.”

“Well fuck you then! I’m not paying you guys any more money!”

“Ma’am if you don’t pay then your credit will be negatively affected…”

“My credit is so shitty already that I don’t even know why you people gave me a card to start with!”

(I try to think of what to say to that before she interjects again)

“I thought a credit card was free money! I thought I didn’t have to pay it back and they ruined my credit. You can’t hurt it anymore!” click

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