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to have told the bank staff that I thought it was irresponsible to offer me a credit card?

(55 Posts)
CatONineTails Wed 03-Oct-12 16:06:25

I'm a single mum of two, currently on benefits. Money is tight but we manage and I am thankful that I have avoided any kind of debt.

Every time for the last year (once a month on average) that I have used the counter service of my bank, the cashier has asked me if I would be interested in a credit card. Every time, I say the same thing - "No thanks, I'm not in a position to take on any debt right now"

Today, when I gave that answer, she said "But I see from your statement that you shop online, and doing so with your debit card leaves you very vulnerable to fraud. You'd be much better off using a credit card"

I pointed out, politely, that if she was viewing my online statement she could see that my only income is state benefits and that I thought constantly offering me a credit card was somewhat irresponsible of the bank (not her personally and I made that clear).

She insisted it was not at all irresponsible and that she HAD to offer hmm and that using a debit card online was very dangerous. I said that as I understand it, credit cards are not more intrinsically secure than debit cards though they do have more buyer protection if fraud happens (but that wasn't what she was telling me!), but that I still didn't want one as my financial situation is not going to be improved by taking on debt!

She then went on telling me I should be very very careful when shopping online as I am 'wide open to fraud' using my Visa Debit card - which I think is misrepresentative of her!

So... AIBU to think banks should not be pushing credit cards on people who are on benefits!

EnglishGirlApproximately Wed 03-Oct-12 16:13:36

Well she would only be doing what she is told to do do if you have snap issue with it you need to complain at a higher level. It doesn't bother me personally but I understand that some people are vulnerable to things like this.

EnglishGirlApproximately Wed 03-Oct-12 16:14:34

An issue, don't know where snap came from.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Wed 03-Oct-12 16:14:55

Just because the counter staff offer you to apply for one, doesn't mean that you would be approved for credit.

It's like any retail job, upsell is encouraged: I get asked if I want a store card in shops, a credit card in the bank or a larger meal in McDonald's.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 03-Oct-12 16:15:05


It's far too easy to get a credit card that you will have no realistic means of paying off.

HecateHarshPants Wed 03-Oct-12 16:15:37

Not at all, but she will be under instructions to ask and ask and ask and will no doubt be in trouble if she doesn't.

Like in shops where they push the bloody store cards at you. And phone shops trying to get you to sign up for a contract. I got so sick of it all, not taking no for an answer, not taking no three times or more actually, I'd have to stand there and argue with them about it! That I eventually said ok, fine, go ahead. And they filled it all in and lo and behold it came back with a resounding HELL NO! grin and I said there you go. My credit is awful, now will you leave me alone.

Which was really unfair of me because I do understand that they are under pressure to push these things. So try to have a bit of sympathy for the poor woman who probably hates it as much as you do, but not pushing it has consequences for her.

Although my sympathy is much reduced by her crap advice. Maybe they get a bonus or something?

MumsGoToReykjavik Wed 03-Oct-12 16:16:07

I agree with you OP. I think it is irresponsible of the banks but at the end of the day they just don't give a shit about individuals. Isn't the fault of the cashier though, she is told to do it.

NatashaBee Wed 03-Oct-12 16:16:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LemonBreeland Wed 03-Oct-12 16:16:42

YANBU. She also went on and on at you about how you should have one after you told her you weren't interested. She was harassing you.

CatONineTails Wed 03-Oct-12 16:16:51

Its not like any retail job, because the offer is being made by someone who has your financial details in front of them!

And they shouldn't be encouraging ANYONE to apply for/take on credit. It should be up to the individual to ask if they need/want it.

cheesesarnie Wed 03-Oct-12 16:17:38


he was doing his job.

irresponsible would be you taking them up on the offer.

MumsGoToReykjavik Wed 03-Oct-12 16:18:03

While i'm at it - the post office are terrible for this! I can't que up to buy a blimmin' stamp without being sold credit cards, broadband, life insurance, you name it... angry

DrinkFeckArseGirls Wed 03-Oct-12 16:18:15

Well, she's kind of right. I use my credit card to pay for things online and in shops snd then I pay it back in full before the deadline. You don't need to spend than what you allocated for this month just because you're given credit.

With a credit card you're protected if someone nicks money from it or you are un a dispute with a seller.

Also important to gave one to build up your credit history. I din't like the fact that you need to have to do that but that's the way it is for now.

CatONineTails Wed 03-Oct-12 16:18:29

And I get that she is told to do it, but customer feedback to the offer should be pased on, surely? I will write to the bank as well this time, but the person who offers should be the first person you voice concerns to, no?

HecateHarshPants Wed 03-Oct-12 16:19:13

You are absolutely right, they shouldn't at all.

Reserve your anger for her bosses who are making staff push the products. Maybe write to them? Perhaps they'll put a note on saying do not ask?

HecateHarshPants Wed 03-Oct-12 16:19:23


CatONineTails Wed 03-Oct-12 16:20:12

Bollocks, cheesesarnie.

That's like saying drug dealers are only offering a product and its the fault of the idiots who buy drugs off them. There's blame on both sides there IMO.

LemonBreeland Wed 03-Oct-12 16:20:13

I do think that banking should be changed. I feel sorry for the staff having to push products on everyone who walks into the branch.

I rarely go into my bank branch as I hate being offered every little thing going. I picked up a copy of the local property pages once and got offered a mortgage. It is frustrating.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Wed 03-Oct-12 16:20:36

But it is like any retail job. She is a cashier, not a financial advisor. You are aware that banks are businesses like any other, and they want to encourage you to give them more money.

CatONineTails Wed 03-Oct-12 16:20:58

I was nice to her btw. I was polite and smiley about it. She however got mega defensive immediately hmm

Marrow Wed 03-Oct-12 16:21:17

YABU. She is doing her job and will be under pressure to meet targets. She was not giving you credit, just asking if you would like to apply. If your only income is benefits then you would probably be declined at application.

Personally I am always happier using a credit card rather than a debit card online .

CatONineTails Wed 03-Oct-12 16:22:01

Lloyds TSB is a business owned mainly by the taxpayer, ie YOU (and me)

I think they should be more responsible.

DesperatelySeekingPomBears Wed 03-Oct-12 16:22:36

Also, who do you bank with? I bank with natwest and, after dealing with whatever I went in there for they just say "can I help you with anything else?" And, if I say no, I get a polite goodbye and that's the end of it.

Startailoforangeandgold Wed 03-Oct-12 16:24:02

A credit card does get you a degree of protection on line.

Most students on very limited incomes have credit cards. I've had one for 26 years and never got in to debt.

As a student I had to keep receipts and scribble things down, but now you can check electronically.

No I don't think she was irresponsible.

Mind you, I might swear at the next person who others me a sodding store card.

I'm sorry for shop workers, but honestly if a customer is in a hurry skip it.

redskyatnight Wed 03-Oct-12 16:24:19

She's correct. You do get more protection if buying items online with a credit card. I have a credit card for just that reason and pay it off every month.

Running up debts is down to the individual, not the credit card.

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