Store credit cards are designed to deceive

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Imagine someone asks you if you want to do something and you say, “No.” Then they ask you again and again until you finally give in or get frustrated and walk away.

From my three years working retail, I learned that the retail world revolves around credit. Aside from liking my job overall, that was an aspect I highly disliked and didn’t exactly agree with.

The amount of applications opened in a day was more important than reaching the daily sales goal. Reports on credit were to be made to the district manager throughout the day. Credit competitions among stores in each district were frequent. Incentives were given to the employees that got the highest amount of credit. I think you get the idea.

At one point I had a coworker who would target customers that spoke English as a second language since they knew they would be less likely to question opening a credit card once they heard the term “extra 20 percent off.”

To me, it’s unethical enough to try to drag people in for the benefit of the big-wigs in a company, but to go for people that might be an easy target? That’s a whole other level of being unethical.

Sometimes customers would come to me asking to open a credit card, and I had no problem with that. For every other customer that did not already have a card, I had to hear the customer say “no” a certain amount of times before I could stop asking.

If I am the one being asked, I know that I mean no. I am not going to change my mind in the next few minutes unless I am flustered enough to finally say “yes.”

In March 2017, the magazine Policy Genius came out with an article displaying the pros and cons of opening up a store credit card.

The pros of opening store credit are that they’re great for your credit, they give discounts and promos are abundant.

The cons are that there is less versatility than regular credit cards, there are higher interest rates and applying can mess with your credit.

I believe that store credit cards do much more harm than good, at least for the customer. Customers are getting pulled in to high interest rates, hurting their credit score and are blindly being forced to spend more money than they would have otherwise.

I do not remember the exact numbers, but the ratio is something like this: customers with a store credit card will spend $3,000 a year in that store alone, and those without will only spend $300.

I find it funny that hearing those numbers was supposed to motivate me to try to get more credit cards when in reality, it made me despise the system even more.

It made me ask a question I still have not found the answer to: Why are companies trying to make money by masking the negative aspects with terms such as “birthday coupon,” “free shipping” and “exclusive access?” How can they be OK with that?

Even if I were to look at this on a selfish level, the extra money from the cardholders went nowhere near my bank account. Rather, it was pocketed by the heads of the company that were already making exponentially more money than what we in the stores made.

If you want to open up a credit card, that is completely up to you. Just beware of what you are getting yourself into. If you open up a credit card at a store like Target, that is much more practical than a store that solely sells women’s clothing.

I’m all for businesses thriving. However, if it’s pulling customers in before they know what they’re getting into, how can one see that as OK?