Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cancelling a credit card and burning your hair off

About a year ago I was offered a credit card with a ridiculous credit line and 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months. They automatically sign you up for credit protection (important for modern day theft) and a monthly statement with my credit score.

What they didn't tell me is that the credit protection costs $30 and the credit score costs $5 a month.

I tried canceling this after we left Myrtle Beach because obviously, no job, we don't need to pay for this crap.

After 15 minutes of convincing the people in charge of the credit score thingy that I didn't in fact need to know my credit score monthly. (And didn't press the fact that I never once got a statement) They finally canceled it and I asked for them to also cancel the credit protection only to be informed that I would have to surf another phone menu to get to a different department.

I got to the other department... and damn they're good. I nice gentleman convinced me to hang onto the protection for 3 months because I qualified for 3 months, no payments, no interest since I was unemployed and moved. Despite the fact that we can now map the human genome, somehow this Ace said that there was no way to cancel the credit protection automatically once the 3 months were up.

For three months I sat dormant and happy.

The statements came the past few months and we didn't look as closely as we should have at them. Its a decent sized balance, so we've just been paying it off as much as we can.

Sallie looked at this one and realized that they were now charging us $50 a month for credit protection. Essentially, in the past few months, we paid them $150 for nothing.

I called this morning to cancel. This is how that went.

"I need to cancel the credit protection."
"Why would you want to do that?"
"Because you're charging me $50 a month for something that I don't need."
"Do you realize that this protects your life. If you have hospital visits, unemployment, accidents..."
"Yeah yeah, that's great and all, but I don't need it."
"It also protects you from divorce, marriage, and children."
"Please, I don't need it. (And why do I need protection against marriage and children?)"
"I see here that you're due for a credit holiday. Should I go ahead and activate that for you."
"I DON'T WANT A FREAKING CREDIT HOLIDAY... please lady, I'm begging you, I have to go to work soon"
"I really think you should activate it. You would get one month no minimum balance due, in these rough economic..."
"I want to curse you right now... just cancel it."
"Alright, your cancellation number is..."

I hate credit cards and financial institutions for this very reason. It's like living in the DMV. There's always a form and 15 people to talk to before anything gets done.

The burning the hair off part is a much shorter story.

I bought cheap charcoal a week ago for a BBQ. I figured I would mix it in with the good stuff, spread it out a little. Well I got lazy and went full on for the cheap stuff.

I don't know if it was infused with gas and lighter fluid or if its the most pure charcoal ever created, but the flame was hanging 4 feet above the grill.

I shut the lid, figuring the fire will smother itself a bit. When I returned with hot dogs and opened the lid, a back draft the size of my apartment building rose into the air and burned all the hair off one of my arms. So now I'm the freak with hair on one arm.