Yesterday, I was flying through Phoenix Sky Harbor airport connecting from one flight to another. While sprinting up a concourse, a gentleman waved me over, asking if I’d be interested in enrolling in US Airways Frequent Flyer Rewards program. If I did, they would give me 7500 miles free, I could add the miles from today’s flight, and there was no cost. Plus I got a lovely gift, a small battery powered calculator. Photo enclosed. As I was leaving he put his card and some folded paper in the box.
So tonight, I was unpacking, I got the calculator out of the box, and – surprise – I find out that I’d applied for a Master Card with Barclays Bank. Not just any master card, this one had an APR of either 18.24% or 20.24%. What a deal – about double what any of our cards are right now…
So I decided this is hooey. There was one phone number underlined on the form that was in the box, so I called it. That was the main US Air customer service number. I scanned the form in greater depth, and lo and behold, noticed there was no other phone number provided. But I did learn that showing the agent my drivers license was constituted to be my agreement to the application.
I went to the internet and looked up the US Airlines Dividend Miles Credit Card program through Google. The first number, for applications, confirmed that I had been approved and had a card coming. The representative at that number was unable to do anything (sounded like an offshore service center) but told me to call US Airways customer service number. I went back to Google, and called the Credit Card program member services number. After several minutes of voicemail, I got to a live representative. I explained I had no idea I was applying for a credit card, would have never considered a card with the terms and interest of this card, and wanted to cancel immediately. She was sympathetic, said she hears this “a lot”.
So, I’m leaving this situation feeling pretty peeved. I typically fly United for their frequent flyer program but did enjoy my flight with US Airways yesterday. But with this sort of highly deceptive conduct on their part, I am highly disinclined to give them any further business. As it is, I figured things out, just 24 hours too late. I wonder how many folks wouldn’t figure it out and then end up with a credit card with horrible interest and terms?
Whoddathunkit, America’s worst airline, teaming up with super-shady credit card sales company! What a great way to make money and lose customer trust at the same time! Watch out, more and more airlines are partnering with credit card companies. We even recall one story where the stewardesses handed out credit card apps right on the plane. Here’s Mike’s scan of the awesome terms and conditions. Below is the sales rep’s card. — BEN POPKEN