Mrs_Sweetpeach (mrs_sweetpeach) wrote,

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Get back here -- I wasn't done mocking you yet

We were eating lunch when there came a knock upon the office door. I expected the caller to be delivery person of one stripe or another, but no, it was someone from a marketing firm associated with American Express. Our company has accepted payment via American Express for more than a dozen years, so exactly why they're sending someone along now is beyond me. The representative asked if she could sit down with me to go over American Expresses merchant services, but when I explained that we were in the middle of lunch, left me with a packet of materials to review.

I tossed the packet on the table and went back to my salad. I assured my companions that the information was unlikely to be relevant to our business. Previous dealings with merchant services has taught me that they do not understand our type of business and that their canned reports are more likely to make me angry than provide useful information. For example, the last time I spoke with one of their marketing people, the representative insisted that American Express customers spend more money that customers using other forms of payment. If we were a retail store, this might be true. However we provide a business-to-business service billed at a single flat rate. Customers pay the same monthly fee regardless of their method of payment. So how, exactly, can American Express customers be worth more to us than any other kind?

Having now reviewed packet's contents, I can state that they were as useless to us as I'd predicted. There was a nice booklet of Point-of-Purchase materials we can order -- however we have no walk-in business. Another booklet concerned credit card fraud with helpful illustrations showing what to look for -- on cards we never see. Then there was the page announcing American Expresses new web-based merchant service center. Which we've been using weekly for the past year and a half. And the page with rewards for opening accounts with other businesses -- for which case we are either exempt from the reward due to already having accounts or which will cost us more in fees than we will save in the course of a year.

Maybe the next time they come around, in another five years or so, they will have something actually useful to web-based merchants like ourselves. But I doubt it.

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