Tag Archives: Useless

Pre-Approved Credit Card Offers Suck

I walk to the mailbox, eager to get something even though nothing useful or good ever shows up in the mail. Well, sometimes Amazon boxes show up in the post but I know about those items in advance and expect them. You get “useful” stuff in the mail — stuff that isn’t really “wanted” but that has a purpose. These items are bills, statements, and maybe the occasional vehicle registration renewal notice or whatever. No one wants to get a bill, but you know you’re going to get them and paying them makes you feel like a successful and capable adult. But outside of those things there’s also a bunch of shit that shows up at your house that has no purpose at all except to convince you to buy something. I can excuse the weekly advertisements and coupons because, well, maybe you can use them. The might have some sort of benefit to the consumer even though 99% of the time they’re fucking garbage. The bane of junk-mail, the worst of the worst, and the stupidest shit I ever received in the mail are pre-approved credit card offers. They fucking Suck, and here’s why.

They’re Wasteful

I hate waste and pointlessness. For example, I hate paying bills with paper envelopes, stamps, and checks. It just isn’t efficient. Why involve yourself with envelopes, paper statements, stamps, pens, checks, and the physical mail when you can hit a few buttons on a smartphone and pay instantaneously over the internet? Even if you aren’t worried about the environmental aspects of manually printing and shipping paper, it still sounds better by being more efficient and direct. The same is true for these credit card offers. Why the fuck do these companies think randomly sending shit unwanted to people’s houses is the most efficient way to do things? It has to make sense from a profit perspective (because they still do it, so they must make money) but from an efficiency standpoint? Come on….

A credit card company has to pay to chop down trees, cut up and process the trees into paper pulp (and whatever the fuck else goes into making paper), make the paper, print the paper, make the envelopes, pay for the postage and the return postage, as well as having a database of people to actually mail them to. They have to pay for every step of this as part of the built-in costs, and while they themselves don’t make the paper or whatever, someone has to. Imagine a tree being cut down in the forest and knowing that the tree is going to be sent to houses in the form of credit card offers. It sounds so damn stupid. With all of the shit you could do with a tree you’re going to make credit card offers that end up in the trash? I’m not saying paper is useless but mailing garbage to people? Jeez.

They’re Rude

Most people don’t like salesmen showing up at their houses, and most people have some mundane story about dodging Jehovah’s Witnesses during some point in their lives. The point here is that people don’t like to be bothered or solicited. We hate when the guy outside the gas station tries to sell us shit, or when people come door to door to sell us siding or security systems. When you walk into a store and a worker asks if you need help, you say “No, I’m just looking.” because you don’t need some asshole trying to sell you shit and hovering around you the entire store. If you’re like me you probably think something like “If I wanted [insert product or service here] I’d go shop for it myself.” I don’t need people to try to solicit products to me or to “let me know the benefits of [insert product here].” I’m a fucking adult and I know what the hell I need without a company telling me that I need their product. It just seems rude and pushy, and I don’t see how that tactic really works anyways. At the very least it’s obvious: they’re trying to sell you something so they can make money.

Extend this outlook to these credit card offers! My mailbox is my mailbox and I’d like to get useful shit in the mail, and preferably shit that I actually asked for (like a bill for a service I used). I’m not asking to get credit card offers, and by them sending them to me without me asking I’m less likely to actually get the stupid card because it’s annoying. Does this tactic actually work on people? As stated before, it has to be cost-effective to some degree otherwise they wouldn’t do it. But really? Do people really get a credit offer in the mail and think “Oh yeah, I needed a credit card, I sure am glad this showed up!” Use the damn internet. Shop around. Find the card that isn’t begging for you to accept its offer. Find a good deal with decent perks you can exploit. Do you buy the first car the salesman tries to sell you? Do you buy car insurance from the company whose commercial you see first? So, why the hell would you ever accept a pre-approved card that randomly shows up in the mail one day?

They’re Useless

Okay, let’s say you don’t reply to every single offer you receive. That’s cool. But let’s also say you don’t want to throw them out. Is there another way to use the paper you get, like how you can use paper towel tubes to wrap Christmas Holiday lights around or how those deli meat containers can be used as plastic bowls to store leftovers in? Probably not.

Sometimes I pick out the return envelopes and save them because you can use them for mailing stuff. But the thing is I really don’t have a huge need for envelopes and an economy pack of 100 from Walgreens is cheap and lasts me about 5 years. There isn’t a need for “free envelopes” really. Is there anything else you can do with these offers?

They’re paper so could you make lined paper out of them? No. Not in a cost effective and non-time consuming way at least. How about toilet paper? Fucking no, you don’t want to wipe your ass with those. About the only thing you could ever do with them beside tossing them in the trash/recycling them is to use them for starting bonfires or a grill. They’re junk to the highest definition of the term: useless, unimportant, and unvaluable crap that no one can use.

Oh, maybe shred them up and use them for composting? *shrug*

A Way Out

Is there a way out from those dreaded credit offers? Is there a way escape the junk besides perpetually adding them to the garbage or starting fires? Well, surprisingly there is a way out. I’ll give you three ideas that you might want to try when you get the next card offer in the mail.

Option One: Send the shit back

I don’t know how these things actually work, but I know the credit card companies have to pay for the shipping costs somehow. As you might know, pre-paid cards usually come complete with a “paid postage” return envelope, as I’m expecting people are more likely to accept an offer if they don’t have to find their own precious stamp and plop it on the envelope. The way I see it, you could just take all the shit they mailed you and mail it right back to them! It’s no cost to you and you get some sort of “revenge” on them I guess. I don’t know what the company will think when you send them all their trash back, but you’d expect they’d have to realize how much of a waste it is at the very least. Maybe you’d just piss off some poor person who works there, I don’t know. This would also support post office jobs, which we all know are having a rough time with the internet and email.

Option Two: Opt Out

Yeah, somehow you can opt out of getting these offers! I don’t think people really know about it, and I didn’t when I first whined on Facebook about these offers years ago, but you really can. Here, here’s the link. If you don’t want to wage passive-aggressive warfare on multi-billion dollar companies in some quixotic struggle, simply fill out the form and don’t worry about the offers for a few years. Yes, it really does work, it’s like the fabled “do not call list” that telemarketers have.

Option Three: Do Nothing

You could also just keep doing the same damn thing you always do and throw the offers away when you get them and not ever try to change anything about your life you fucking sheep.

So, pre-approved credit offers are shit because they’re wasteful, rude, have no other possible use, and are simply annoying as hell to get. Especially if they’re somehow disguised so they don’t look like credit card offers at first. You can opt out of these offers if you’d like, so there is an escape from the hell of receiving them. And Capital One, if you’re reading this, fuck off.

Changing the World Sucks: You Can’t

I was browsing Facebook like I always do when I’m trying to be somewhat productive, and I stumbled upon someone’s comment about climate change. This guy basically stated that it is our lifestyle that causes climate change–our personal day to day lifestyles–and through our heavy use of things that require fossil fuels why would we expect society to change? Climate change, to that asshat, isn’t a problem that should be tackled by government or anything with actual power because fundamentally it’s a personal lifestyle problem.

I immediately became pissed off over this and thought about all the things I am trying to do to personally lower my carbon footprint. I ride my bike to work, I bought a little 2-cycle engine for my other bike, I drive a small car, and I try to use e85 fuel to lower my dependence on oil. From having a manual reel mower to using LEDs to plotting about installing rooftop solar panels I am doing everything realistically I can to help change the world in the sphere of my own life and that of my family. And if everyone did this, the climate problem would fix itself.

Obviously, he was right about our lifestyles causing it. Us Americans love our SUVs, our commuting lifestyle, our electricity, and our hamburgers (cows fart out an amazing amount of methane), so why the hell was I pissed at Random Facebook Guy if he was correct? Because of what I wrote three sentences ago: if everyone changed their lives a little the problem would be solved. But guess what? No one actually changes their lifestyles and a large portion of people don’t really give a damn about the climate as long as they get a pay raise every year and don’t have to shovel snow as much. The key to it being solved isn’t necessarily me, it’s other people, people who I have an infinitesimal influence over.

We live in a hugely connected world where ideas from across the globe can reach us and influence us. Thanks to the internet, natural boundaries which once limited human collaboration and the sharing of ideas are nearly gone, and even foreign languages can be translated instantly so even that isn’t a barrier as much as it was. This sounds great for the possibility of world change,the possibility that one person can make a difference through the use of technology. It doesn’t work that way though. Humanity is big. Really big. There are about 7 billion 7.5 billion people in the world. Billion doesn’t even properly reference how big of a number that actually is. But there’s 7.5 of those billion out there in the form of people, and you’re just one of them. 1/7,500,000,000. Or 0.0000000001333 of the total human race.

Why the fuck would I think I can have any effect on climate change, or anything for that matter when effectively I am zero of the total human population? I can’t even figure out how to pester the city to put bike lanes along a few major roads, but somehow I can change the world? Sure bro. Sure.

That’s why I’m pissed and that’s why changing the world through this “live the life you want others to live” shit doesn’t work. I can have a zero carbon footprint on the planet without sacrificing any real comforts (yes, I know my phone and solar panels need to be manufactured but how the fuck does that compare with gasoline in cars and coal fueled power plants?) and this makes zero difference because there’s another 300 million Americans, and 7.5 billion other people on the planet, that can and will make my contribution null. I can be as awesome as sourcing all water from the rain and all electricity from the sun but a few fuckers in their SUVs can ruin any of my progress in a few hours (if that). And guess what? They don’t give two fucks about it and I can’t change that.

So even though we like to think we can be that “big change” we like to see in society, we really can’t be. There’s simply too many other people in the world that can fuck up your plans in a way that they don’t even have to try. The key here is influence, and a single person carries almost no influence and ability to change a thing. You might get lucky and become the next Zuckerberg where people will listen to you, but probably not. And if that’s not the beginnings of a dream-killing train of thought, I don’t know what is.