Reader Tim says that Banana Republic sent him a Visa after he opted out of the program and that the card’s mailer was misleading (it looked like a replacement for his regular Banana Republic card, not a new “optional” Visa account) and didn’t disclose important details… like the card’s interest rate.
Tim writes on his blog:
Here is a bulleted summation of my rant:
- I received a new BR Card in the mail I opted out of months ago
- The new card works as a standard credit card, allowing me to make purchases outside of Banana Republic
- The mailer contained no printed Terms of Service but rather a reference to a website.
- The mailer contained no interest rate information
- The mailer did not state that customers had an option in activating the new card
- The mailer played on previous Banana Republic credit card practices, luring customers into a sense of familiarity.
I would imagine Banana Republic has done nothing illegal; as their lawyers would not allow the company to open themselves up to liability but I personally consider this Unfair and Deceptive if not predatory credit practices. Again, questions of legality can be left to people more knowledgeable in this area.
Banana Republic must be taking notes from Macy’s. “Replacing” store cards with credit card accounts by any means necessary is obviously becoming more common these days.