Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Marketing spin at its finest

Here's one for you consumer advocates out there. Today I receive my monthly statement in the mail from Bank of America, enclosed in which was a notice of updates to my check card. Reading further couldn't help but make me laugh:


We reviewed our Bank of America Visa Check Card benefits and discovered that while some check card benefits are frequently used by our consumer customers, others are not. In an effort to serve you better, we have streamlined our consumer check card benefits to provide the services you use most.

With this in mind, we want to make sure you are aware of the upcoming changes to your Bank of america Visa Check Card benefits, effective July 1st, 2006. At that time, Bank of America Visa Check Cards will no longer provide: Purchase Security, Warranty Manager, Concierge Services, Price Protection, Purchase Security and Extended Protection, or Travel Accident Insurance. Current consumer benefits provided with your check card depend on your check card type.

Bank of America will continue to provide the popular benefits that mean the most to our customers, including:

[ long list of features they haven't removed ]

To translate and filter through the marketing-speak: "In order to serve you better, we're removing half of the benefits on your check card. Rest assured the remaining benefits will remain unchanged. No new features have been added." It's amazing how all it takes is a positive tone and suddenly a bad thing sounds like a good thing. How would that work in the real world? Let's take a look:

On being fired: "We realize times have been difficult lately, so in an effort to improve the office work environment, we will be providing you an involuntary opportunity to leave the company."
On your car being reposessed: "Thank you for your continued support of our company. We realize you have been unable to make the required payments on your luxury vehicle, and in an effort to help you solve this problem, we are happy to inform you that we will be taking your car off of your hands. Rest assured that you will still have the same access to bus service that you have always enjoyed."

It's nice to know big companies still care about the customer.

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