No more courtesy?

I usually pay my credit card bills in full, but sometimes I forget. It results in a fine and extra charges, and I get charged interest on all purchases for the next two months. That’s a bit severe, but it’s in their T&C, so I pay up and don’t grumble.

Recently I overlooked my MBNA statement. Two things happened that characterise MBNA’s attitude to customers. First, I was unable to use the card for an online purchase (blocked without warning), and when I rang customer services (I use the term in its loosest sense) I discovered that my account was in arrears to the tune of just under £151. I immediately paid in full.

Then I received my MBNA statement showing a fine of £12.00 and interest charged, £2.47. Plus this on the front page (their caps):

YOU HAVE FAILED TO MAKE A MINIMUM PAYMENT

FAILING TO MAKE YOUR MINIMUM PAYMENT CAN MEAN YOU HAVE BROKEN THE TERMS OF THIS CREDIT AGREEMENT AND COULD RESULT IN US TAKING LEGAL ACTION AGAINST YOU. IT COULD LEAD TO YOUR HAVING TO PAY ADDITIONAL COSTS AND MAKE IT MORE DIFFICLUT FOR YOU TO OBTAIN CREDIT IN FUTURE.

When I worked at Reader’s Digest years ago, I re-wrote all their credit control letters to bring their tone in line with the relationships that our marketing efforts were trying to engender.

There seems to be a similar need at MBNA.

Or has the age of courtesy disappeared along with the age of deference? What has been your experience?

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