Saturday, January 16, 2010

Credit Unions-Please don't market like this!

Here's another credit union I belong to, and something they did recently that has me totally puzzled.

This credit union sent out $8. checks to their members.  My son and I got these earlier in the week..  I knew better not to cash a check you aren't expecting to get until you read the fine print.  And sure enough: If you cash the check you are signing up automatically for a program that includes credit card alerts, companion airfare, hotel savings, rebates, and so forth.  It is run by something called Affinion Benefits Group.  If you cash the check, there is a $6 monthly fee for these services.    I'm honestly surprised a credit union would do something like this.  I talked to some co-workers about this and one of them had a daughter who had already cashed her check, not realizing she was signing up for something.

(In all fairness, I will say the credit union was quite upfront in the mailing about what would happen if you cashed the check.  But the envelope this came in looked like some kind of official communication, saying 'Check Enclosed' and, especially in January you are going to open any kind of financial communication thinking it might have something to do with your taxes.)

Why would a credit union do something like this?  Isn't a marketing tactic like this misleading?  I was not very happy about this.  I hope other credit unions aren't doing something like that.  Especially the credit union "Dear John in Afghanistan" of an earlier post belongs to.  I let his mother in law know right away about this.

Please, credit unions, don't act like the big banks!  Please remember you are "for the people".  It's great to make a profit, but not by making your members angry at you.

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