Once upon a time, we had a Macy’s credit card, but we seldom used it after I made a concerted effort years ago to eliminate store credit cards to consolidate my bills. I would shop at Macy’s but just not use a store card, even though every cashier encouraged me to use a Macy’s card.
Today, though, I was going to use the card to get an extra discount on some holiday gift purchases.
And so I bought a slew of stuff and handed the card to the cashier. She politely informed me that the transaction wasn’t approved. I had no idea why, but since I had a coupon for the same discount, I just used that and my Mastercard to complete the transaction.
At the next department, however, having the card work would make a difference in the discount, so the cashier called the office to find out what the problem was.
The problem, it seems, was that because we hadn’t used the card in a while, Macy’s had cancelled it. Apparently they cancel your card even though they continue to send you mailings as if you were cardholder.
The cashier told me I could re-open the card right then and there, so I completed a few on-screen items using my name (the original card had my husband’s name) and estimating my salary – an amount I thought should be more than sufficient for a store credit card request. Then the clerk handed me the phone to speak to the office.
“Does that income include all your income? ” the woman on the other end of the phone asked me.
“No, not at all” I answered truthfully.
“Does it include investment income?” she asked.
“No,” I answered. And I declined to tell her my investment income or other sources of income. Sheesh… my credit score is well over 800 and this should have been a no-brainer for them.
Well, it turns out that they didn’t like my refusal to bare my financial soul to them, and Macy’s declined to approve a card.
Silly store. They have no idea how much business they just lost going forward. Oh sure, I could continue to shop there and use my Mastercard as I had been doing, but now I’m ticked off at them.
Do stores ask you for your investment income, Social Security number and all other kinds of personal information just to open a store card? If so, are they worth the risk you run of so much of your financial info becoming part of a database that is likely under attack even as you speak with them? I don’t think so.