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So after sending off a few letters to companies sending me some junk mail, I got a rather pleasing response from the Halifax to this strongly-worded letter of complaint…a few personal highlights of my original letter are here:

If you had put in ‘a little extra’ effort invading my privacy, you would have discovered that I am a recently-graduated student. Consequently not only am I educated enough to realise the imprudence of light-heartedly taking out credit cards, but also I am very aware of potential financial difficulties ahead, and do not wish to willingly exacerbate them further.

I can only conclude that you as a company either use the [recycling] symbol with deliberate sarcasm, or you naively don’t understand these simple manufacturing processes. Luckily, I’m quite the optimistic individual and I obligingly enclose your letter for you yourself to recycle (many thanks for your paid envelope for this purpose), and trust that you will adjust your policies accordingly.

And the letter I got in the post this morning:

Dear Miss de Mello

Thank you for your letter dated 3rd October. I am sorry that you are unhappy at receiving unsolicited mail marketing from Halifax…

Having considered the comments you have made, my understanding of your complaint is that :

– You have received a mailing from us offering you a Halifax credit card and you wish to be removed from our marketing database.

– You wish an explanation as to where we obtained your address details

No shit. To be fair, she did have to wade through the swathes of sarcasm my letter was dripping in, to get at what I wanted, so kudos to her. She went on to say that:

I have checked our records and have noted that in Septeber 2005 you made an application for a current account. This account was never opened, however this application has created a customer file for you.

It is possible for a customer to opt out from marketing by mail or telephone at any time. However as an account was never opened you have not been given this opportunity and your name and address have been added to our marketing database.

Wait, let me get this straight. I applied for a student account at the beginning of my degree, you turned me down on the basis that I didn’t have a credit record (who at the age of eighteen does?!), and then you had the cheek, though you’d refused me an account for not being able to guarantee my ability to repay any debts, add me to your marketing database anyway?!

The irony is that though they didn’t considered me a poor candidate for a student account for having no credit record (i.e. being a good manager of my own finances and having never needed bank credit) they’ve coincided sending me offers of credit cards along with the finishing of my degree, after I needed the potential borrowing facility to pay for university expenses.

Anyhoo, the ‘proposed solution’ the lovely customer relations lady has offered me is that my details have been removed from their database, and it will be no longer than 28 days before I stop receiving junk from them.

Wahey! Though I hope that I never need credit in the future – perhaps they’ve just shifted me from ‘marketing database’ to the ‘blacklisted forever, especially when they desperately needs a mortgage’ one.

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