This rant is the 5th installment of the Rant On... series, which will be featured regularly - by which I mean whenever I feel like ranting. Post any suggestions for future rants in the comments.This past weekend I started looking through some drawers of papers I had. I got into this ridiculous habit of shoving anything and everything I get in the mail into a drawer. It could be some weekend sale, and I'll think to myself, "Well, this'll be useless in 5 days," and go ahead and shove it in the drawer anyways. But that's a different rant.
As I went through the papers, I realized I had an obnoxious number of "pre-approved" credit card offers. Apparently I am currently eligible for about threeve million credit cards. But I also saw that most were coming from just a select few companies.
Am Ex, what the hell? You're supposed to be my friend. I already have your freakin' card, why would I want 30 other variations of it? They've also got some other stupid "pay now, or pay later" program where you have two cards to select one of those options everytime you make a purchase. Of course the second card they're offering starts some $342 million annual fee after they rope you in.
However, I have to say that of all the offers I've gotten, Capital One takes the cake. They take the cake merely in sheer quantity. They have sent me literally dozens of offers. If I didn't want your card the first 3 times, why would I want it the next 324897238947 times? STOP SENDING ME CRAP.
But even more ridiculous is the packaging. Some marketing genius must have realized after the first 32847 offers, people probably just started throwing out any envelope with Capital One on the front. So they got creative. Some simple changes - they added a little colored plastic window at the top of the envelope to grab peoples' attention. They did the usual "TIME SENSITIVE!!! Super Urgent, open it or people will die and your car will explode!! RUSH!!" type of markings on the envelope. One envelope even came inside a larger, cardboard envelope as if it was some important document.
A while back I finally got fed up and found a way to opt-out of pre-approved credit card offers. There's a phone number on every app you get (I believe that's required by law), but that system is a pain in the ass and uses voice commands. It horrendously misspelled my name, and didn't offer a way for me to correct it. The better alternative was a website (TransUnion provides details here), http://www.optoutprescreen.com/. You can still get some junk mail until it kicks in.