A $50 Citi® gift card accompanied the purchase of my T-Mobile® smartphone. Yeah-for-me. However, receiving this GC turned out to be the psychological equivalent of having Lucy hold the ball while I attempt to kick.
This consumer carrot, I am told, is scheduled to arrive in approximately 4 – 6 weeks. That time frame comes and goes. Instead, I receive 3 consecutive letters from T-Mobile® stating I don’t qualify for the GC. Each time I call customer service I am told the same thing–yes, it appears you do qualify.
Countless phone calls and nearly 4 months later I receive THE LETTER. My GC is enclosed, voluminously titled T-Mobile® Value Prepaid Card.
I eviscerate the envelope.
THE LETTER is awash in blissful colors and amiable slogans like, “Little card, big thanks” and “Friends do nice things for each other.” I don’t care for their cloying attempt at consumer loyalty. I’m ready to spend. However, I see the faint presence of text bleeding from the opposite side. I casually flip THE LETTER and immediately realize this is a Jekyll and Hyde missive, a bipolar affront to consumerism, a plain ‘ol two-timer. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I see (I’ve included a standard spoon for scale):
Quietly titled Terms of Agreement, and penned in size –23 font, this assault leaves its reader with corneal abrasions. Oh, but, “Friends do nice things for each other,” right?
My ass. Pay my Optometrist bill.
My world spinning, I squint like Danny DeVito in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975).
I’m able to determine a whopping 28 categories, with ominous titles like Termination, Arbitration, Taxes and Fees, the last of which represents an Account Maintenance Fee of $3 a month.
Wasn’t this a gift?
A legend of insane symbols–asterisks, crosses, double-crosses, pitchforks, bibliographic numerals–round out this hieroglyph. How am I to interpret these symbols, let alone coordinate their star-spangled message?
Somebody call Joseph Campbell!
Reliance on severely diminished font size, a safeguard against our ability to comprehend, is simple cowardice. And be honest Citi® and T-Mobile®–don’t call them GCs, especially if they’re designed to depreciate in value. That’s just crappy manners. Call the cards for what they are–Oily Ploys.