Victoria's Secret, Limited, Express Threaten To Fire Employees Who Don't Get Enough New Credit Card Accounts

We’ve always noticed the way the sales person looks so depressed and angry every time we say we don’t need an Express or Victoria’s Secret credit card. Reader Jesica says its because when she worked there, the managers would threaten to fire anyone who didn’t meet their quota of new credit card accounts. Jesica writes:

As an ex sales person, I will tell you that we did not work on commission, nor did we get any sort of bonus for opening these cards. What we did get was threats of being fired for not opening a certain number of cards per shift. Because of this I saw many sales people who feared for their jobs basically trick non-english speaking customers into opening these cards. I am not sure that this is illegal, but it is certainly immoral in my eyes.

Yikes! We hate being bullied by clerks to open store credit accounts! Hate it! Read Jesica’s entire email inside.

Jesica writes:

I would first like to start out by thanking you for all of the wonderful information that you make available to the public. As a result of all of the ex-employee confessions about unethical business practices I am grateful that I now know not to give these places (such as Best Buy, B of A, etc.)my business, or to at least be cautious upon doing so. I would also like to give you a little tidbit about the Limited Brands, owner of The Limited, Express, Victoria’s Secret, & Bath & Body Works.

Though this is not a horrifying story (as many of your other features are), I think that people deserve to be cautious of these things. I worked for The Limited for a few months (fell upon some hard times, needed a job… ANY job), and the one thing that bothered me was the pressure that is put on the sales people by management to open the store credit cards. As an ex sales person, I will tell you that we did not work on commission, nor did we get any sort of bonus for opening these cards. What we did get was threats of being fired for not opening a certain number of cards per shift. Because of this I saw many sales people who feared for their jobs basically trick non-english speaking customers into opening these cards. I am not sure that this is illegal, but it is certainly immoral in my eyes.

Let me also go on to say that I once opened one of these cards (to meet a quota), and very much regretted doing so! I put a charge of about $25 on this card (hey you can’t afford much when you make minimum wage!), paid this off completely, and to my knowledge closed the account. About 8 months later I had moved, taken a much better job, and forgotten all about it. Then I started to get harassing phone calls from the creditor stating that I owed over $100 in late charges. I will not detail the chaos and upset that ensued, but it involved many hours of phone calls with moron CSRs, being juggled from department to department, and them trying to make it as hard as possible for me to close the card even after I paid off the “alleged” balance.

I can only imagine what these people have gone through who were bullied or tricked into opening these cards. This is why I would like to encourage people not to patronize these establishments, or at the very least SAY NO when hassled with “saving 10%” by opening a store card. That ten percent you saved will miraculously turn into a big fat bill and harassing phone calls after you “close the account.”

Thank you for letting me vent!





Edit Your Comment

  1. oldhat says:

    So those beautiful young women they hire need to sign me up for something or else?

    What did you say, Miss? Really? Anything?

  2. laurenl842 says:

    They did this to us when I worked for a cosmetics company at Foley’s (which is now Macy’s). I believe it was required to have 2 credit applications a week. A friend and I were barely getting 2 a month.

    The department head made us walk around the mall and ask people to apply. We went to get smoothies and goofed off for an hour instead. Came back “defeated” (ha) and told her we tried our best.

    I mean, who wants to be harassed by two Foley’s employees while they are shopping at Radio Shack?

  3. nick says:

    I used to work at American Eagle, where we were also “encouraged” to sign up customers for store credit cards. Luckily though, the atmosphere wasn’t nearly as menacing as Jesica’s.

    The worst you would ever get was an earful from your manager if you failed to *mention* to a customer how they could save 20% by signing up for a credit card, but that’s about it.

    Hell, I think AE even ran a promotion or two where top-selling stores that got the most credit card sign-ups got prizes. Crappy AE-branded prizes, but I’ll take a cheesy carrot to a stick any day.

  4. SadFootSign says:

    This isn’t really any different then what Target does. Working as a cashier you are expected to get one RedCard for every 120 guests works out to something like two in a five hour shift, I think. If you don’t get enough RedCards you get a warning. If you continue to not push the tasty Target debt, you either get booted out the door, or the nickle raise with your yearly review.

  5. Pelagius says:

    The company that actually owns the Victoria’s Secret and Limited credit cards (among other store cards) is called World Financial Network National Bank (aka WFNNB), and they are crooks.
    Some googling around will quickly uncover a list of very similar complaints as well as actions taken against their collections goons by Attorneys General in several states. It’s no surprise they’re pressuring their salespeople to push their shitty product.

  6. Pelagius says:

    “Then I started to get harassing phone calls from the creditor stating that I owed over $100 in late charges. I will not detail the chaos and upset that ensued, but it involved many hours of phone calls with moron CSRs, being juggled from department to department, and them trying to make it as hard as possible for me to close the card even after I paid off the “alleged” balance.


  7. cgmaetc says:

    Oh, goody… now I’ll use my “I’m buying a house” excuse with even more glee.

  8. castlecraver says:

    @laurenl842: As a former MayCo employee (F-B/LSA) I’ve had to do the same thing. After awhile, the mall folks told us we couldn’t do “instant credit” solicitations outside of our own store, so we set up a booth at the main entrance to the store from the mall. You wouldn’t believe the cereal-box toys the managers brought in to give away as “incentives.” This was the usual treatment for those who were about to miss their quota for the 2nd month in a row. We used to even credit other associates for our own credit apps to keep them from getting canned, call friends and family at the last minute, etc..

  9. plim says:

    @laurenl842: I believe Foley’s was also owned by the same company as a department store I worked at one summer: Filene’s (in the north east). When I worked there, we were encouraged to sign people up for credit applications and got a small reward for each application (like $10 or $20). I think I got a couple that summer, but I rarely asked anyone because I hated being asked those questions anytime I went shopping.

    Do unto others as you would do to yourself =P

    but back then, I *had* to have and use the Filene’s credit card in order to qualify for the employee discount on clothes.

  10. Papercutninja says:

    I worked for Banana Republic, part of Gap Inc. While they were not nearly as draconian as the Limited is/was, they gave us a $1-$2 bonus for each new card opened up. It got to the point where they were even giving the bonus out for processing an application, whether it was approved or not. Each month there was a contest and whomever got the most approvals won $120.

    I offered it almost never. Even though i would get some crappy shifts or the store manager would pressure me a little bit. I could care less because i knew that people didnt need it. The people who wanted one would ask for it and i would process it happily.

  11. Toof_75_75 says:


    I worked at AE as well and what Nick is saying is true. The pressure wasn’t nearly as bad as Jesica’s story, but the managers were always annoying about “We need ‘X’ number of cards this hour…Why didn’t you ask them if they wanted a card?…Did you tell them how much they could save with the card?” The story works in two ways…
    1) If an employee asks you about the program, don’t immediately be pissed off! Trust me, they aren’t telling you about it because they want to bother you, its so they don’t get bothered by their manager. (And sometimes, if the company isn’t a bunch of money stealing crooks, you can save some decent money)
    2) Lots of places, from the sounds of Jesica’s story, are crooks, so keep your eyes and ears open!

  12. deltasleep says:

    My wife is an employee of Dillard’s, and she gets the same kind of pressure. Every week its a new threat: get x number of new credit cards or you’re fired. It’s unbelievable.
    When I get asked that line: Would you like to save % with your new card today? I always say: “No, I hate saving money.”

  13. quantum-shaman says:

    @SadFootSign: All of this is so pathetic and disgusting. I knew it went on at some retail establishments, but it seems like the retail industry standard! I wish there were a way to get people to refuse these credit cards en masse. That is the only thing that will get the message through to these bone-headed management people.

  14. misfit says:

    Ten years ago, I worked for Hecht’s department store (part of the May Co.) and it was called “1 for 20.” for every 20 sales, you were expected to sign up at least 1 customer for the store credit card. Employees received a small bonus ($10-15 if I remember correctly) for each credit card sign-up.

  15. CamilleR says:

    I work retail and hate the whole store credit card nonsense. Our card has a 22% APR and the only benefit for the customer is she gets slightly more coupons than someone who just signs up for the mailing list. I ask every customer if they want to open a card since that is part of my job, but I’m not going to hassle her if she is reluctant.
    Fortunately my company doesn’t threaten to fire us if we don’t make our charge goal. The worst that happens is we lose points on our reviews and we members of management might have to go to charge school to learn how to sell charges better.
    I think my company has a slightly unrealistic expectation of how many charges a store should open a week. Our current goal is what we opened last year plus five. This doesn’t take into account that every year customers are more aware of how pointless store cards are. People are also far more concerned about identity theft and we can’t open an account if they won’t give a social security number

  16. bluemeep says:

    I remember we had these puppies at Circuit City too. The floor guys hated it. They had to sell X number of Attachments per day (fancy do-nothing $500 A/V cables, sound systems, universal remotes, extended warranties, etc.) and X number of card applications. Didn’t move enough? You got written up. If you still didn’t improve your methods of leeching money out of your shoppers? Out the door with Unsatisfactory Performance.

    Thankfully I was just a warehouse peon, hauling big screens for dingbats that yelled at me for not redefining the laws of matter to make them fit into their VW Beetles.

  17. thrillhouse says:

    Victoria’s Secret has been notorious for this for some time. This was bound to happen tho. Sears, for one, makes more money off of the sale of credit, than the sale of merchandise. So its a natural progression for pressure to sell more credit. And why not, its easy money for the store. You didn’t walk into Sears not knowing how your were going to pay for that Craftsman Whosits. You had the money, or at least a way to pay (another credit card). But they lured you in with a 10% discount and you bought it. Then a month later, you forget that you now have another to pay off and get hit with the obligatory late fees and interest. Bye bye 10% discount. And don’t think that this doesn’t happen very often and “we pay them off every month”. Its often enough that every retail store in America now has its own card. And it happens often enough for Sears Credit to support Sears Merchandise. If they weren’t making a killing off of these then they wouldn’t be doing it.

    So when you clock into the sales floor at VS or Sears, or wherever, understand that you aren’t selling products. You’re selling credit, the product is just a carrier.

  18. camas22 says:

    Victoria’s Secret even keeps track of how many customers enter the store, light sensor on the door, to see how many people were converted into purchases and credit card applications. The numbers probably reflect on managers who in turn threaten workers.
    My gf used to work at Victoria’s Secret.

  19. laurenl842 says:

    @plim: I forgot about that! We had to have a Foley’s card to get our employee discounts as well. I also remember that all of the discounts would be charged to the card if the employee quit before a certain time (3 months?).

  20. LTS! says:

    If an employee chooses to work at a company that mandates these policies then that employee will get treated as a representative of a store whose policies are obnoxious.

    I have no problem with this. You choose your lot, accept the consequences. This is as bad as telling me not to give hell to telemarketers… whatever, I didn’t tell them to work there.

  21. cindel says:

    BN is the same way; pushing memberships and credit cards.

    The problem is that VS/LE is backed by WFFNB. How can they meet their quota when people are being denied credit by them? It’s not instant approval.

  22. bedofnails says:

    I worked for the Banana Republic in Boulder, CO during college. We DID receive a bonus for card sign-ups. In fact, we had a “gold star” poster in the employee break room charting our incredible capitalistic hawking ability.

    Many intangibles here, but I believe the author of the letter seems a little jaded towards “credit” in general. Although I worked for BR about 6 years ago, I find it hard to believe companies with such a high turnover ratio (coupled with ridiculous training and HR costs) would implement a “de-incentive”.

  23. My wife worked at a Victoria’s Secret before we were married and she said their #1 method of evaluation was how many cards they signed people up for.

    She also said they weren’t allowed to call them credit cards. I forget what they are called (Pink Card, something like that).

  24. Chrome says:

    I work for a large retailer that has a store credit line. It is nothing new for us to be threatened in order to push credit cards on to our customers.

    The whole practice of pushing credit is disgusting to me.


  25. SadSam says:

    Deltasleep – I’m with you. I also tell those clerks that I don’t use credit cards b/c I don’t like debt. That statement always raises a few eyebrows.

  26. mac-phisto says:

    my sister worked for express when she was in high school. i found it pretty appalling that they use their employees as a revenue stream. she was expected to purchase the new line of clothing every season & the company (or store manager…i dunno which) would arbitrarily create “theme days” where a specific clothing item or color was deemed mandatory dress code.

    i remember one day she wore jeans from another store (b/c her express jeans ripped or something) & was sent home for not being in dress code.

  27. quantum-shaman says:

    @LTS!: I agree on GP but I’m never rude to store clerks. It’s probably their first (and maybe the last) retail job many of them will have. They ask, you say no thanks, and the world keeps turning. Now, telemarketers are a completely different story and fair game for the ripping of a new one or two.

  28. Anonymously says:

    Sears does the same thing.

    Most retailers make more money from their Credit Cards than they do from selling merchandise.

  29. yg17 says:

    I worked at Target and they did the same crap too with their visas. We were supposed to ask ANYONE we came in contact with at that store. If someone was spending 50 cents on a candybar, we were supposed to ask them if they want to save 10% on that. One of my friends got bitched at for not asking a little kid who came through his line if he wanted to sign up for a credit card. We were told to high pressure people and pull dirty used car salesmen tactics to get people to sign up. Customers who were still shopping on the salesfloor were supposed to be asked too. The unwritten rule was that every customer should be asked at least THREE times if they want the damn card.

    Employees didn’t necessarily have a quota, and no one I know of got fired for not getting enough, but you’d definitely get a nice little lecture from the managers (who sat in their office all day and never asked anyone) if you didn’t get enough. And every day as a group at our little meetings, we’d get the same line of crap “Ask every guest!!!” And then you’d get the guilt trip….”Well so and so just got 3 credits today and you don’t have any!”

    I alternated between the sales floor and stockroom so they didn’t expect as many credits from me as they would a cashier, but I still never got enough…I don’t think there is a way to get enough, you could get 30 in a day and it wouldn’t be enough.

    I don’t think these stores realize that the practice of high-pressuring people into getting a credit card is repulsive and turns people away. Same goes for extended warranties. One of the many reasons I don’t shop at Best Buy anymore is because any time I walked in there, they would try to get me to sign up for a credit card and get the warranty. I got sick of it and buy all my electronics at Circuit City. IF they ask (and at the one by me, that’s a big if), they take “no” for an answer the first time. The only thing that makes shopping at Target bearable is that most of the employees feel the same way I did when I worked there and either don’t ask, or accept “no” for an answer. Plus, the alternative’s Wal-Mart, so the clear answer is Target. But if you’re unfortunate to set foot inside a Target when a manager actually gets off their lazy ass and goes out on the floor, then it can be a “would you like to save 10% by opening a red card” nightmare.

    Needless to say, calling my boss to tell her that I would not be returning from my college leave of absence was the best phone call I’ve ever made in my life.

  30. Toof_75_75 says:


    Almost all “Mall stores” have those people counters. If you look up, you’ll see them on the ceiling as you walk in. At AE, they kept track of how many people came through the store, how many people bought stuff (Conversion = Customers / Traffic), how many people signed up for a credit card (Apps to Trans = CC Apps / Transactions), Average units per transaction (UPT = # of Items Purchased / # of transactions), etc…

  31. The Unicorn says:

    Store credit cards were the lifeblood of Kohl’s, too, which is where I worked for manymany years in high school. We were always supposed to be asking people to sign up, but it was more the managers, with Corporate breathing down their necks, who would have to worry about quotas. We got incentives too – usually $1 per, but sometimes they would have special promotions where you could get a scratch-off card (worth $1-$5) for each application or they’d give you a $5 bonus if you got 10 or more in one shift. Being a young, underpaid kid, I ate this up & made it my personal mission in life to get people as many credit cards as possible; I once made $30 in incentive bonuses in one shift (which was awesome!).

    However, Kohl’s cards can be paid off by check or cash at any register, so my sales pitch took advantage of this as a caveat. As a matter of fact, I actually got investigated by the manager because I was opening so many more cards than anyone else – but since Kohl’s doesn’t see any interest profits at the store level, they were fine with it. Kohl’s, more so than Bath & Body or other small specialty retail stores, sells enough big-ticket items that $300, $400 totals aren’t that unusual. So especially for people who were planning on paying by check anyway, opening the credit card for 15% off & then immediately paying the balance wasn’t such a bad deal.

    …or so I told myself. However, I limited my haranguing to those people who really would save a significant chunk of money; I absolutely hate it when cashiers tout the 10% savings you’ll get on, like, one pair of socks. “Ooh, I could save 30 cents? REALLY!?”

    That probably wasn’t that interesting to anyone else, but it sure was cathartic. :)

  32. Jux says:

    I used to work at express and at our store if you didn’t meet your quota for credit card sign up you would be assigned a chore like sweeping or cleaning the bathroom and such.

  33. quantum-shaman says:

    @yg17: I don’t think these stores realize that the practice of high-pressuring people into getting a credit card is repulsive and turns people away.

    If only it were true. More likely, they couldn’t care less. Sales volume has gotta be the a-number-1 measure of performance in the retail biz. On top of that, consider the financials of consumer credit cards…

    Many people go for the 10% cookie, charge a bunch of stuff up and then carry a balance, and if they’re late on a payment, so much the better. Bingo! Here’s a late fee and a higher interest rate.

    Here’s the real ass-kicker that is completely transparent to most people: When you charge something on a credit card, you virtually just *created* both the principle AND the interest for the bank’s/store’s benefit.

    Girl, it’s a wonder they aren’t flogging you with whips in the back room for not making your credit card quota.

  34. xamarshahx says:

    Every store does this, Best Buy sells the warranties (and MSN packets back in the day), when I applied at Macy’s they told me right during the interview that I would need to sell a certain amount of their cards weekly, etc… It it wrong, but they all do it.

  35. xamarshahx says:

    Oh yeah, just to add on, this is why some employees lie when selling products like when the AMEX rep lied to me while signing me up for account protector by telling me I only owe money if I carry a balance to the next month, when it was actually a charge whenever I had a balance at the end of a billing cycle.

  36. yg17 says:


    My dad works at a Macy’s and has it much worse than I did at Target….I’ve heard some pretty bad stories.

  37. QuirkyRachel says:

    I think this is pretty common, unfortunately. I worked years ago at Kohl’s, and they would have us wander around and accost shoppers and ask them to sign up for a Kohl’s card. I think they stopped that because it pissed customers off.

  38. Jabes says:

    When I signed up for a Victoria’s Secret card a few years ago, they never did give me the 10% off the first day’s purchases. I checked with a friend who had gotten her card around the same time, and her discount didn’t show up on her bill, either.

  39. saram says:

    A friend of mine worked at Bath & Body Works in college. She got a job there because they were environmentally friendly and cared about political issues. Within a few months she was promoted to assistant manager, and every time I stopped by to see her she was in tears because she wasn’t making her sales quota. Every shift that she worked that she didn’t meet her quota she would get written up. It seemed absurd that she could personally be written up because no one wandered in to her quiet corner of the mall. The stress level she felt was unbelievable, and thankfully she quit after some time. But I’ve never felt the same way about that place since.

  40. mcrbpc says:

    This is true of nearly everywhere that has a offers credit, including banks. I worked for a year and a half at a bank that offered credit cards and our jobs were practically threatened if we didn’t have a certain number of “conversations” with customers each day. It didn’t matter if the person you were helping had overdrafts in excess of $500, offer them a credit card anyway! I left the job because I couldn’t handle the pressure and hated harrassing people to add on bank services they didn’t need.

  41. Islingtonian says:

    @yg17: i remember target hawking credit cards back when i worked there in the summer of 2001. cashiers didn’t have any quotas, and i only mentioned it to people if they spent over $100 dollars. occasionally they’d have a cashier roam the store asking people if they wanted to apply for the card – i had to do it once and hated it. ugh.

  42. monaflambe says:

    This makes me want to get a job at one of these places just to screw up their whole scam! I have been at a job where screwing others was a fine art, and learned quite a few ways to “stick it to ’em”!

  43. mccauller says:

    Ugh, Gap was the same way–worked there for two years in college (very recently). Same thing: harassing customers around the store, getting an earful if a card wasn’t offered to each and every customer (never mind that the interest rate was something like 25%), et cetera. No extra incentive was given to push these things, except that it was used as an evaluation tool… no wonder Gap, Inc. seems to have such a high turnover.

  44. Ola says:

    Speaking as a former Limited Brands employee, I never recall anyone threatening to fire the salespeople because they didn’t make quotas. However, the pressure was there (as I’m sure it is at many stores that push credit cards). I didn’t feel right pushing people to get the card.

    Also, even if you get someone to bite, then you have to get them to give their info and enter them into the database and give them their card materials, and the line behind them starts getting antsy, leading to unhappy customers.

    Now, I thought that was bad, but you know what’s WORSE? Mervyn’s now has signs in their stores that say essentially, “If our cashiers don’t ask you whether you want to sign up for our credit card, tell us and get a free picture frame!”

    Yeah. Like I’m going to report the sales clerk for not asking me for a debt card. For a picture frame. At least LB didn’t threaten us with customers wanted freebies!

  45. gruffydd says:

    ^—-Former Limited Store Manager (10 + years)

    Yes, it’s horrible to expect that retail associates perform the duties that they were hired to do. Why not do away with UPT – “units per transaction, or ADS “average daily sale” goals, as well.
    Just have zombies sit behind the counter texting or talking on the cell phone – like at Mervyns.
    These associates know the expectations set by the company and rather than whine about it as you get your 40% discount, go work at Cinnabon or Hot Dog on a Stick.

  46. TechnoDestructo says:

    And if it’s like my fucking Chase card, they’ll change when the billing cycle ends at random, and then tell you “It’s always been like that.”

  47. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @LTS!: That’s a nice principle, but with more and more stores getting into the credit business, it’s going to be harder and harder to find a job that doesn’t require you to be obnoxious.

    I mean, if your average service worker decided not to work for places that a) push credit and upsells, b) sell sweatshop products, c) exploit immigrant labor, d) contribute to childhood obesity, e) send junk mail or make cold calls… you see where I’m going with this? Every service job is going to screw you over somehow; credit-pushing may be the least of available evils. That doesn’t mean employees should just expect mistreatment for choosing an alternative that doesn’t make their lives more difficult.

  48. TechnoDestructo says:


    “Just have zombies sit behind the counter texting or talking on the cell phone – like at Mervyns. “

    That’s why I LIKE Mervyns. I’d rather have texting zombies than hovering vultures.

    The world will be richer the day you die.

  49. quantum-shaman says:

    @gruffydd: Moved on to used cars, huh?

  50. gruffydd says:

    No, marketing for a major computer manufacturer.

    My point was, do the job you are paid to do. If you don’t like the company expectations for your position – find a company with expectations you agree with. As a consumer, if you don’t like a companies practices – don’t shop there.

    Personally, I hate crappy service, and while I am not a big fan of the credit card offers in retail stores, I do like an associate that recognizes that I am spending money with their company and not something that is taking away time from their precious go-backs.

  51. bedofnails says:


    So you were behind this gem?

  52. TechnoDestructo says:


    “I do like an associate that recognizes that I am spending money with their company and not something that is taking away time from their precious go-backs.”

    You really think that’s what they’re doing?

    I stand by my previous assessment.

  53. quantum-shaman says:

    @gruffydd: I think the primary objections are not related to “doing what is on one’s job description”, but to undue pressure from pushy and greedy management.

  54. mac-phisto says:

    @gruffydd: you know, my sister was 16 when she worked at express. & i don’t think i’ve ever seen a girl in there over 19.

    b/c i don’t know you, i’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt & pretend that you didn’t threaten to fire them or bark at them when they didn’t meet their goals or otherwise make their job horrible so you could “meet your numbers”.

    if you did, congratulations, you win the “gaping asshole of the year” award.

  55. Jasmo says:

    not to be a shill, but y’all should read this book “Maxed out” by James Scurlock which delves into very scary detail about the practices and history of credit and credit lenders. You will cut up your cards and use cash for ever after, I swear it! Get it from the library, it’s cheaper that way.

  56. anacoluthia says:

    I actually just witnessed a clerk named Chong at Old Navy in Ala Moana Mall, Honolulu successfully pressure a woman who didn’t appear to understand english very well into signing a credit card application. He was also holding up the line while he did this. I dropped my merchandise in disgust and left when I realized what was the cause for the hold up. I’d write a letter about the whole thing, but I’m not sure who it’d be worth sending it to. Any suggestions?

  57. gruffydd says:


    Actually, I had a monthly contest – every application equaled one entry, and if we made the store goal, I split the manager bonus with the winner.

    BUT, when I created the schedule, the associates with the best UPT, ADS and Credit Card app numbers, got the most hours….

  58. quantum-shaman says:

    @anacoluthia: Old Navy is owned by Gap, Inc. You could try corporate headquarters for starters:

    Toll Free: 800-333-7899

  59. Sudonum says:

    “actually just witnessed a clerk named Chong at Old Navy in Ala Moana Mall, Honolulu successfully pressure a woman who didn’t appear to understand english very well into signing a credit card application. He was also holding up the line while he did this. I dropped my merchandise in disgust and left when I realized what was the cause for the hold up. I’d write a letter about the whole thing, but I’m not sure who it’d be worth sending it to. Any suggestions?”

    Why? So they can name him employee of the month?

  60. Amry says:

    Okay, two things:

    – There are an awful lot of people out there who want to hold store brand credit cards, who enjoy having these cards, and who are even passionate about the benefits they get from these cards. Most of you may not be in this group, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a great many others out there who are.

    – Using threats of firing someone to get them to do their job is probably the absolute worst way to motivate an employee ever.

  61. FromThisSoil says:

    I worked at Old Navy about 8 years ago and they were pushing us hard to get people to get their Old Navy account credit card – “ONAs.”

    They would tell us we would have to get “X amount of accounts opened today” but they never said we would get fired.

    I never liked pushing 30% APR ONAs on people, so I didn’t. They soon took me off cashier duty and put me on the floor – I later quit (i.e. stopped going).

  62. Buran says:

    @gruffydd: Yes, it is horrible to expect retail drones to HARASS PEOPLE. How would you feel if someone walked up behind you while you were minding your own business and pushed a credit card at you?

    I guess you weren’t in kindergarten the day the Golden Rule was covered?

  63. Kalik says:

    I just usually tell them I’m visiting from another country and they leave me alone.

    This article convinced me to never get a store cc. I only have one cc (Visa for United Mileage) and that’s enough!

  64. MariSama44 says:

    When I worked at Target, they’d do the same thing. You’d have to get so many ‘points'[credit apps] per week or something or you’d be denied a good review when it came time. Like, even the best cashier ever would be called inadiquite if they didnt have enough apps. That and your managers would get so pissed if you didnt ask every time. It’s bullshit. I think these stores would get a better responce if they didnt harass customers (and employees) with these credit cards. I would only ask if it would really help them, then i would instruct them on how to pay it off and cancel it after they got the discount. The managers used to scold me every day…

  65. camas22 says:

    I worked at VS for three months over the summer and at times I forgot that the store sold lingerie, since credit sales were constantly being push for so hard.

    Since I was cashier, I would ring up credit applications that people working on the floor would get. After processing the application, and giving the temp card to the customer, most of the customers would be shocked since they didn’t know that they were signing up for a credit card. They thought they were signing up for a “frequent buyer” card.

    There was also a time that I processed an application for a customer and it turned out that she already HAD a VS credit card.

    Although it should be part the customers’ fault for not knowing what they’ve signed up for, I always felt horrible when processing apps or when trying to “convince” customers to apply for one esp. when you’re telling them it’s a “great deal” when it has 22%+ APR.

  66. dayjayvw says:

    When I worked at JCPENNY in highschool we actually got 5.00 per card we setup and it was super simple.

    I know that even around xmas time I went to the gap and the girl told me they actually fire people that don’t get enough store cards.

  67. Little Miss Moneybags says:

    When I worked at Casual Corner, we were also supposed to push the credit cards. I don’t remember a threat of firing or being written up, but the manager did hound me for the first few days to ‘make sure people knew about the card’. I solved the problem by asking, “Will you be putting this on your Casual Corner card?” and if they said no or they didn’t have one, I let it drop. Only two people in eight months asked me for more information and opened an account. My boss seemed ok with my compromise.

    Worse, in my opinion, was the number of people who ALREADY had the cards, and would buy hundreds of dollars worth of stuff on an already nearly-maxed out card. They’d get $200 worth of stuff, then go grab another $50 worth so they could get a 10% discount or something like that.

    When companies like VS or Express ask if I want their credit card, I just tell them no. There’s no reason to take it out on the cashier, who doesn’t have any control over what she’s supposed to upsell to the customer, and despite what a previous poster on here said–working retail is not like working in telemarketing. You usually don’t know about pushing the cards until you’ve been trained on everything and are already working. You go in assuming you’ll be selling or folding clothes, and suddenly it’s like you’re working at a bank selling credit. Everyone’s got to work, I don’t fault them for finding work in retail.

  68. smallestmills says:

    Why do people who work retail find that the concept of making money and doing your job is so strange? Perhaps before one takes a job at store X because they like the clothes, they should research a little. Does this store sell credit cards? Does this store take advantage of unfair international trade laws to have their clothes/products made? Will I have to wear the clothes head to toe to show off the brand which pays my bills? How come it’s not silly to think if one works for a major sports franchise, they should love the team, or if they work at a zoo, they should love animals…but somehow, retail is exempt from these qualifications. The quality of service would increase greatly (I’m speaking as a retail manager) if the right people applied for and were hired for retail jobs. People that take it seriously as they would any other job.

  69. acambras says:

    When I’m asked if I want to open a store account, I smile and say, “No thanks.” If they persist, I’ll say, a little more firmly, “I said, no thank you.” If they do it a 3rd time, it’s more along the lines of, “What part of no don’t you understand?”

    It’s unfortunate that some of these companies are shortsighted enough to fire good employees because they fail to hawk enough credit card accounts. But I’m not going to jeopardize my financial health over it.

    The last time I opened a store card was to save 15% off my $300 purchase at Macy’s. I paid off the card and have a zero balance — good thing since the rate is about 26%.

  70. spinachdip says:

    @smallestmills: Apples, oranges. The other jobs you mention are career jobs. A sweater folder at The Gap is a low-skill, (hopefully) temporary job to get someone through school or unemployment. Stupid, stupid comparison.

    You are right to the extent that employees should love the company that they work for. But that kinda goes both ways – the employers simply see the retail staff as easily replaceable parts, and they make the job as mindless and low-paying as possible to keep it that way.

    And yeah, employees should go above and beyond their job descriptions to serve the customer. But somehow, I don’t think hawking crappy store credit cards is going to improve my experience as a consumer.

  71. quantum-shaman says:

    @smallestmills: Oh, if I work at Wal Mart, that means I should adore every hideous piece of crap they sell and not shop anywhere else if I can help it, even for my business suits. Yeah right.

    You know the turnover for these kids working retail has to be something like at least 50% every couple of months. How can you possibly expect some kid fresh out of school to take a low-wage job seriously, especially when they have to put up with shitty, pushy management practices at one end, and rude and abusive customers at the other?

  72. INTPLibrarian says:

    Do only approved credit applications count for the salesperson’s quota?

    The two times I’ve worked in retail, for MotoPhoto and for Books-A-Million, we had to sell a certain number of “memberships” each month, but I only pushed it (if you can call it that) on people who would see an immediate savings beyond the membership cost at the time of purchase. I’d hate to have had to try selling it to people who I knew would never benefit from it.

    I’d have no problem helping out a salesperson by filling out phony info on an application if that wouldn’t cause trouble for them. (And isn’t illegal. Is it?)

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  74. McQDew says:

    Between the credit card solicitations and requests for my phone number, I’m about ready to do all of my shopping online!

    I’ve found that the easiest way out of the credit card solicitation is to just tell the salesperson that you already have one. There’s nothing to argue about that way, and it saves us both time.

  75. bombaxstar says:

    Geeze. I`m a cashier at Sears, and wow, they seem really lax compared to some of these other companies…

    I mention the card to every customer, if they say no, so be it. The other cashiers are the same way.

    We don`t get in trouble or anything as long as we mention it…if we get 50 credit apps, that`s great. If we get 3, that`s fine too.

    Actually, I don`t think I`ve known anyone who has gotten in trouble for NOT mentioning the card.

    Maybe it has something to do with the fact that one of our cashiers gets like 70 apps a month…heh.

  76. penarestel says:

    @yg17: What sort of messed up Target did you work in?

    Or were you just part of the old system?
    In October of 2006 Target changed policy and so now the only people we’re supposed to ask to apply are those that the register prompts us to. We’re still told to inform the guest that they can save 10% and such, but unless they were making a big purchase ($100 or more) it was generally never pushed.

  77. Anonymous says:

    I work at Victoria’s Secret and this is the kind of atmosphere I had to get used to. Not only do they make a big deal out of not getting credit card sign-ups, they rank us by how many credits we get. The people in the lower ranks get less hours for the week, making it potentially impossible to earn money especially only at minimum wage. What’s worse is that I don’t even get paid for how much I work. I keep waiting around for a paycheck only to find out that I didn’t get half the amount I should have earned. All I have to say is Victoria’s Secret’s employers are disorganized and I’m on the verge of QUITTING! If I had the money, I would sue them while I’m at it.

  78. rbhoule says:

    I worked for Macy’s from 10/07 to 1/08. They terminated me last night because I only opened 5 new credit card accounts in my first 90 days of employment (I was short by 2). I can’t believe it’s even legal to fire someone for this. You can’t force people to open credit cards! Besides, I DID ask every single customer and they either already had one or they didn’t want one. I don’t know what more I could have done. I am furious about this. I have never been fired before…EVER!

  79. ss88 says:

    As a former Macys employee the reason they bully the sales associates into forcing the credit card on everyone is because the company makes its money off the interest charges on the cc, not on the merchandise.

    They have figured out that a credit card customer will spend 30% more than a cash customer, and that 70% of all cc holders carry a balance. So, at 25% interest on 70% of the cards that is an enormous sum of money. It’s also why they’ve tied all their “sales” to the cc and did away with the coupons. They are trying to force everyone to use the Macys card ~ so if you want the sale price (and the pricing games they play is another story altogther) you have to use your card to get it.

    Sales associates are trained from day one on the importance of the cc to the company and even in the interview they make it plain that you are required to open so many cc accounts per week if you want to work there ~ or else. Associates who don’t make their quotas have to go to “credit counseling” so they can teach you how to get cc accounts, meet with their managers, and all kinds of foolishness. If you still don’t get your quotas after all of that you’re out the door so like one person said those of us who made our quotas for the week/month would ring credits under other associates’ numbers so they wouldn’t get fired.

    So no, we aren’t badgering you about the cc just because. We are badgering you because we have bills to pay and we can’t afford to lose our jobs however crappy they may be and however much we may object morally and ethically to Federated’s business practices.

  80. BrookeCabarn says:

    Yep, I was just fired form Lord and Taylor for poor performance. The HR cited that during my probation period I did not open one store credit and failed to capture enough emails. When I told her that my customers did not want to open emails she told me that that was not possible because the store was at least 50% for both email capture and store credit applications. Forget that I worked in the cosmetics department where the figures do not reflect the stores figures at all.