October 19, 2009 | A couple of years ago I got a Gottschalks credit card. I had gone in to buy some shirts, and they would give me a big, big discount if I would just sign up for the Gottschalks credit card. I needed another credit card like another hole in the head, but a big discount is a big discount. It turned out to be a good thing, actually, because they were forever having "secret sales" and other promotions for card holders, and I enjoyed getting lots of discounts.
But Gottschalks went bankrupt. Poof!
If I was expecting anything to do with the Gottschalks credit card it was to get a letter saying either (a) Gottschalks has gone bye-bye and so has your card or (b) some other store or bank was taking over the card. What I didn't expect was an email thanking me "for being a valued Gottschalks cardholder" and advising me of an update to the error resolution procedures.
Hello! I'd better get rid of this card.
I clicked the "contact us" link in the email, and it took me to the log on page for HSBC bank, which handled the card. I put in my username and password, and it said:
Your account has recently been re-evaluated.
If you have questions you may contact a Web Support Representative at 1-800-457-5779.
"Your call is very important to us. Please stay on the line for the next available customer service representative."
Eventually, she answered in a thick Indian accent, "May I have your first and last name please.... And how may I help you today, Mr Williamson?"
I want to make sure this account is cancelled.
"May I ask why you want to cancel the account?"
Because the store went bankrupt and doesn't exist anymore!
"I can help you with that. One moment please."
… several moments …
"I'm sorry, I cannot cancel the account. You will have to write to Customer Service and ask them to cancel the account and they will cancel the account for you."
Why can't you cancel it? Why do I have to write to somebody else?
"Because your card hasn't been used for a long time and it has gone inactive."
Of course I haven't used the card for a long time — the store went bankrupt!
Doesn't anybody think anymore?!?!
Last updated on Aug 28, 2016