THRESHING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF


| January/February 1974



Whatever happened to that old adage, 'The customer's always right'? If you want insults, accusations and threats just pay your credit card bills on-time and in-full.

Of late we have been very distressed. We had all our Montgomery Ward bills paid up ahead of time and even a few cents overpaid. Then, all of a sudden we began getting insults in the mail from the big Montgomery Ward combine. The letters accused us of defaulting in our payments. 'Pay this overdue $14.41 debt, or we will sue you in court,' said several of the letters.

The fact is we had owed around $87 and some cents. But we had promptly sent a check, weeks before, amounting to $88 an overpayment of some thirty cents, just to be sure the entire bill was covered. For which we got no credit.

The following week several more letters arrived, all claiming we owed the $87 plus no credit for having paid that bill. The local area M W Credit Department was shocked that we were being so accused. They told us to supply our payment receipt and a photo-stat copy of the returned bank check which we did. These they sent to the Chicago office of N W, just to prove we were good, paid-up customers. The credit department lady even sent along a letter, strongly defending us and deploring the insults we were receiving, as good customers, from their head office.

Since we were interested in buying a new mattress, on sale at the Piqua M W store, we were assured our credit was so good that we could go ahead and purchase said mattress, as surely all things would soon be cleared up at the main offices.

The following week we again received the usual insults. In the same mail arrived two letters one ordering us to 'pay up' right away or be sued. The other letter was from a lawyer, already suing us for an even larger amount of over $147. Paid up customers being accused as 'dead-beats' and sued before proven guilty. We were not even given time to answer and clarify ourselves.