Are In Store Credit Card Offers Becoming More Aggressive?

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Over the weekend my wife and I did quite a bit of shopping.  I needed some clothing and a shop vac to clean up in our garage after a long winter.  My wife wanted to get some dishes.  We also needed to stop by the grocery store.

While we were running around town from store to store I noticed something extremely annoying.   The offers for store credit cards seem to be getting more in your face and aggressive.

Accosted By A Roaming Credit Card Salesman

The first store we went to was Kohl’s because I needed to buy some new work shoes, as well as a package of socks.  I found the shoes I was looking for and then started looking at some electronic goods on a shelf in the men’s department.  Out of nowhere appeared a sales associate who promptly asked me if I would like to save 15% today.  Sensing this was a come-on to a Kohl’s charge sales pitch I said, “Nope, I’m not interested”.  She responded, “You seem pretty sure about that, huh?”.  I said, “Oh yeah, I pay for everything in cash, and don’t need any store credit cards.  Thanks though”.    She responded, “Oh, I see.    Well, let me know if I can help you with anything!”

She walked off towards another customer 20 feet away, and I heard “Would you like to save 15% today”?

Later on I was walking around the store trying to find my wife, and walked around the corner, only to bump into the same sales associate.  She started her pitch, then realized she had already talked to me.  “I already asked you if you’d like to save 15% didn’t I?”

“Yes you did, and I wasn’t interested. Thanks though”.

I finally got to the register where the clerk asked me one more time – “Would you like to save 15% today?”.   I refused the offer one final time.   Wow, they sure are persistent aren’t they?

Would You Like To Add A Credit Card To Your Order?

At Target we walked in the door and right by the carts was a display for the Target credit cards – as well as a nice sign telling me how I could save 10% today off of my order just by signing up! No thanks!

We continued on through the store.  I bought my shop vac, and my wife picked up some dishes.  We headed to the checkout.  We stood in a line of 3 or 4 shoppers, waiting as each and every one of them was offered a credit card by the checkout girl.  She wasn’t very into her job of selling the credit card, but it was obvious that she was required to ask everyone in line if they would like to sign up and save 10%.

The stores make millions off of the store credit cards, otherwise they wouldn’t be putting such a huge effort into selling them with the signage, promotions and checkout sales pitches.

Credit Card Sales Pitch While Getting My Deli Meats

We finally ended up at our local grocery store.  When you walk in the door you find yourself in the produce section, and whether you need anything there or not you have to make your way through produce and frozen meats to make your way to the rest of the store.  Right at the choke point before you head into the aisles of boxed goods was a nice young man trying to get people to sign up for a bank credit card and a free checking account.  He was giving away free blankets!

He had a captive audience as people made their way past the deli counter, and whether they liked it or not he gave them his spiel.   He grabbed my attention at which time I promptly told him I already had an account at his bank, and didn’t need a credit card.

After checking out I had to walk by the in-store bank branch, at which time they approached me again to open an account.  Once again, I told them that I already had an account.

Don’t Give In To The Sales Pitch

I would never give in to these sales pitches to sign up for a store credit card for a few reasons:

  • Horrible Interest Rates: Many of these in-house store cards carry interest rates in excess of 20% APR.  Does that sound like  a good deal to you?
  • Small Savings:  Usually when you’re offered to save 10-15% on these cards you’re making a purchase less than $50.  Do you really want to get a credit card just for $5-10 in savings? Is it worth it?
  • Having To Give Personal Information While Standing In Line:  When you say that you’d like to sign up for a card the clerk will ususally ask you for your social security number and name right there while waiting in line.   I  don’t think that’s a good idea.  Who knows who’s standing in line behind you, waiting to hear your personal information?

The only time i would ever even consider giving in to one of these offers is if I was making an extremely large purchase, like on a $2000 television.  In that case I’d be getting a couple of hundred dollars back and it might be worth my while.   I’d get my savings, pay off the card, and then close it!

Have you been noticing an uptick in pushy sales associates offering you store credit cards as well?  Have you given in to any of them?  Tell us about it!

Last Edited: 31st March 2009

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  1. Paul says

    A couple of months ago my wife and I were shopping for clothes for her. After choosing about $500 in clothes we attempted to pay for them. The girl at the checkout was so overly agressive and basically demanded that we get a store credit card.

    After the 7th time of her saying we had to get one so we could save 10% I picked up all of the clothes laid them on the counter and walked out the door. My wife and I both agreed never to go back to that store again.

    The sad part is that I don’t think they will ever learn that it is not a good business practice to assault their customers with credit cards.

    • katy says

      She was probably so aggressive because she will lose her job if she doesn’t get enough people to sign up for credit cards. She probably doesn’t even make per month what you were spending that day…and she would risk losing that small wage that she busts her butt for if she doesn’t “close” and get MORE credit. Seriously, the cashiers are required to behave like this and if you don’t like it remember to take it to corporate it’s not the fault of the people on the floor who are just trying to get by on the only job that’s available to them in this horrible economy.

      • Hope says

        Exactly! You just hit the nail on the head! As a cashier working at a local well-known department store this is exactly what we are pressured to do or risk losing our jobs.

  2. says

    I didn’t really think about it until you mentioned something, but you’re right: There is a little more aggressiveness going on. I was asked again about a credit card — even though I had already said no. Desperate times call for desperate salespeople. Anyway, great post. You inspired my post for today!

    Mirandas last blog post..Avoid Department Store Credit Cards

  3. james says

    I work at Sears, and getting credit from customers is such a big thing that if you don’t get a certain amount each month you get written up so I had to switch to another position in the company. Its really sad when you see someone who wants to pay their bill and the balance is over $10,000.

  4. Nate says

    You are completely right. everywhere you go there is someone trying to get you to sign a credit card application for whatever gimmick they’re offering. It is annoying i agree.

  5. Katrina says

    I had a very similar experience at Kohl’s. My mom and I were there, and bought things separately, and we got the same schpiel twice. When I politely declined first, I said ‘no thanks, one credit card is enough for me’, and the sales person argued with me about how it’s silly to not save 15% of my purchase. I smiled and nodded. She did the same thing to my mother 30 seconds later, who said, ‘nope, I taught my daughter right: no store credit cards for us!’ and the sales person became disgruntled and muttered under her breath.

    I kind of feel bad turning these things down, because I know that it isn’t the individual sales person who wants to push them on us. It’s part of their job requirement, and in this economy, many people have to take jobs where they can and do their best. That’s why I try to be friendly, but when they start to become unpleasant and critical of MY financial choices, it upsets me.

  6. Sulana says

    I used to work for Sears, like another commenter above did. We were told that we had to hear no from the customer three times before we could stop asking. If we didn’t sign up a certain percentage of cards for each month, we could be written up. If we didn’t ask every single customer, we could be written up. If we refused to sell the cards, we could be fired. You know how we were told to sell them? “Would you like to save 10% off this purchase? It only takes a minute and it’s off your drivers license.” No mention of a credit card whatsoever and some poor older folks thought they were getting a discount for simply having a drivers licnese. Imagine their surprise 7-10 business days later when a credit card arrived in the mail!

    Stores are getting very pushy about the cards. I wish more people would say no to them.

    • Sylvia says

      It is sad that associates are actually losing their jobs for not getting enough credit cards or insurance agreements. Even if they are the best customer representatives and give great service, if they do not meet the metrics they lose their positions. Customers should start complaining on the customer survey sites that they do not wish to be asked over and over again, if they want a credit card or if they are interested in a repair agreement they will let the associate know. The customers are mature adults. Customer satisfaction is the best when the customer has what they want and is not annoyed when they get home. I only buy Online anymore, because I am tired of saying no. That means I do not buy as much anymore and I am very sorry that in the end the associates will still lose their jobs. I do not think the companies are handling here ethically, but it does not seem to be against the law to terminate an associate for not selling the customer something he didn’t want.

    • Kirsten W says

      There is a reason for that. Consider the historical relationship between indebtedness and imprisonment (or essentially loss of rights by conviction and property by default on taxes). Seriously, there is an alarming amount of comfort with debt among Americans. And it only started just after WWII when credit was extended to the developing middle class during the leave to beaver lifestyle. subsequently, a lot of people mistake credit for social mobility.

  7. says

    It is getting quite ridiculous. Almost every time you go through the Target check out they ask you. The same goes for Belk, Sears, and all of them. When I worked at Reed Jewelers, we had a quota every month for credit card applications. I fell short each month. I was not a sales person and I felt badly for trying to sell things to people that they couldn’t afford.

    Karen @ Thrifty Mommys last blog post..$10 Capris at Avenue

  8. says

    Funny, I went to Kohl’s just yesterday with my 30% off coupon. It’s the only store CC I have. Pay it off monthly & have it only because of these periodic offers.

    Another thing…I understand that the more credit cards you have, the lower your credit rating becomes.

    Good article. I appreciate the visit to my new site. Love your place here. I’ll be getting your RSS & will sure be back!

    Good Servants last blog post..What do you think?

    • Christy says

      I too only use a Kohl’s credit card – I always wait until I have a %off coupon for everthing in the store – then pay the card off immediatly with scrip from my children’s school – they give the school like 5% of the total I buy and then the school gives me 75% back of their take to take off my tuition. I can’t beat that.

  9. says

    Great post,
    Those store credit cards are just horrible when it comes to the fees! Customer service is pretty bad too. I’d prefer to just stick with the good, old rewards visa or mastercard and pay it off each month!

    Brandons last blog post..Should I buy a franchise?

  10. Atkins says

    I live in a small town with only a few chain stores; but one is Target and they do this every time. I’ve never given in to it, but if I ever bought something major there I would do it.

    Meanwhile, next door to Target we have a supermarket with a bank branch inside. That bank always has some promotion going to attract accounts. Coffeemakers, toasters, free gas . . . but I already have an account elsewhere. Would I switch for a toaster? Their location is certainly convenient, and they are open about 12 hours daily, so this is all appealing, but I just don’t need them now.

  11. says

    Most people don’t know how to treat their credit and respond to these offers. They think it’s all peachy and normal. It’s so mainstream to do this now. We’re indoctrinated.

    I’m glad I don’t have a retail job like this, I’d just have to tell corporate to go fly a kite. I ain’t pushing these cards no matter what commission you’re giving me.

    PT Moneys last blog post..Opening a Roth IRA for the First Time

  12. says

    I always do the math when they offer me one. It’s not that I’m going to take them up on it when the money’s good enough, it’s because the amount I’d save is always laughably small for the hard pull on my credit, the commitment to having a card, the need to cancel the card if I don’t want it, etc. $5? $25? $50? Maybe if I saved over $1k, I’d consider signing up. Otherwise there’s not enough benefit.

    Mrs. Micahs last blog post..The “Find a Need and Fill It” Approach to Small Business

  13. Erik Vogue says

    I currently work for Sears. And its tough having to offer credit to EVERYONE and having people become upset with you for doing your job…I only ask once, and do not intentionally annoy people or bombard them with questions. When I offer credit I am legitimately trying to save the customer money…for instance when approved for our cards you get either 0% financing for 6 months $10 $15 and $10 dollars off, if you make $35 worth of purchases you get it for free, and theres no monthly fees or obligation to use it…so u can just cut it up when it comes in the mail…no APR or interest rate to worry about…I think its weird that people complain about it, and then brag about paying the cards they do have off every month…if you pay the card off why are you worried about it?? Our cards also come with FREE rewards programs, as well as Account Care Protection, if anything was to happen to you where you could not pay the bill you would not have to, up to 10,000. AND its only $0.96 for every $100 you have on your card…so people who have the card AND pay it off every month get Account Care for FREE!!! Plus certain days card holders get extra discounts throughout the store. I dunno,sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Maybe if people didn’t turn their noses up and look down on people working in customer service, and actually took the time to listen before shunning us, they would find out all of this information. You don’t know how many times Ive offered someone $15 off and they’ll say “no I’m not interested in saving 15%” People don’t even listen. Ok, so the economy is bad, minimum wage customer service employees know this all too well. We get credit for every credit we process (and YES we do feel bad when people get denied, we are not robots) Take this month for example, they are worth $4 each. There are people are my job working full time that get 100 – 200 apps a month, thats 400 – 800 extra dollars in your paycheck to feed your family…some people find that worth pushing for…especially when they don’t get raises. So please don’t be mean to us, a simple “No,thank you” would suffice, no need to yell at us for trying to survive in this world and do our jobs.

  14. k1a2k1 says

    Yes, I must agree that these stores annoy me; you can’t even walk through a store to just look around or try to buy something and the clerk insists that you open up a charge card. I was shopping at Motherhood and while I was trying to look the gal started in on the how much of good investment it would be to have one of these master card savings cards. I simply told her I don’t do credit cards, and don’t like gimmicks, and she didn’t like my response at all, I don’t care. She changed her tone and left me alone, but after I was finished shopping and made my purchase, she stuck one of those offers inside my shopping bad. I wish these stores would spend more time with quality customer service and less time with rip-off credit card offers….

  15. Bruce says

    The reason department stores push use of their own cards is to prevent from having to pay the large sums of money each year to the credit card companies like visa and mc.

    The dept cards are not bad for individuals who are disciplined in paying them off in full each month. The cards provide their members an opportunity to receive exclusive special discounts throughout the year, which is smart financially.

    One idea that will allow you to still get the discount is to sign up for the dept card to get the discount and then use the money you were originally going to use that day to make a payment on your card at the same time (at the register) for the full amount of the purchase. You will still continue to receive future discount offers where you can apply the same logic.

    Happy shopping! :0)

  16. jt says

    i currently work at Kohl’s. managers are down our backs every move we make to get credit. the store i work in is in a small area and thousands of our customers already have the charge card, and use them when they come in. so the pressure is on whenever we have a customer without a charge, we receive .50 cents for every application, occasionally $1. i hate to ask people, especially when they say no and we have to keep asking and asking, we dont like doing it as much as you dont like hearing it. its part of life these days and i can only see it getting worse.

  17. rw says

    I was at Kohl’s yesterday and the previous Sunday. The previous Sunday there was pressure from the cashier to get a Kohl’s card, but yesterday crossed the line. My husband and I went to Kohl’s yesterday, proceeded to the checkout with our whopping $15 in merchandise and the cashier proceeds with the credit card spill. When asked “would you like to complete a credit application today”, I responded “no thank you”. She proceeded with how you get coupons, advance notice of sales, etc, etc, etc. I said “no thank you”. She then says you could charge on the Kohl’s card and then turn around an pay it right off…again “no thank you”. Second store employee starts in on the coupons, etc. again. I respond with “we have two major credit cards we use and pay off monthly, we do not need nor want anymore credit cards because open accounts effect your credit, which in turn raises interest rates when you apply for certain types of loans…” The cashier proceeds to tell me how that is incorrect because only major credit cards go against your credit, etc, etc, etc, she then says “I’m an accountant and I know what I am talking about”. My response “I’m a CPA and my husband here is an attorney…If you would like I will have our mortgage person or bank officer contact you and discuss with you what they look at on credit reports when people apply for loans”. This morning my husband looked up the Consumer Protection Act and found a paragraph relating to this situation. I called the store manager and told her what happened and supposedly they are going to correct the situation. I will go purchase a pair of socks (since $15 still got the credit card spill, I’m sure a pair of socks will too) or something in the next couple of weeks to see if they have changed their practice. If not, I will go to the next level. No means no and it is none of their business why I don’t want one of their credit cards.

    • Logan says

      Just Because some one pushed to you sign up for a credit card is not worth getting them fired its there job its what there suppose to do if not they get fired get mad if you must but dont go getting someone who is working minum wage trying to make a living fired you and your husband dont have to worry about that but people like me and the one your trying to get fired do we dont woek we dont have lights or food or any thing else so remember that when you get mad when someone pressures you its america it not illigal she didnt hurt you lighten up some its only are job.

      • B says

        I agree. I put up with alot of BS at Belk and I hate when people get mad at me for doing my job. I hate it as much as you do. Yes min wage is not s**** for anything anymore!

    • Blue says

      Good job, they probably fired her. I know it’s annoying to get asked over and over again, but we’re literally forced by our bosses to continue asking the customer if they want a card. Just the other day a cashier was fired for not selling enough credit cards, even though he was good at his job, helpful, and well liked.

    • Hope says

      I completely understand your irritation and your right about the math and effect on your credit score. The problem I have is that the person at the checkout doesn’t care at all about why you’re saying no. This person probably pushed so hard because they are trying to keep their low paying job and have a family to feed. You need to not be so hateful when it comes to how this person has to do their job. I really doubt they cared why. When people tell me know and start to give me reasons I just tune it out, if you aren’t going to listen to what we have to say then why would we want to listen to you?

  18. Evi says

    i used to work in a department store, and they had us required to push those cards even if we disagreed with it. If we had low card sales, are hours would be cut short, but if we got X amount of people to sign up, we would get rewards on it. One girl got as many as 200 people a month to sign up and that was alot of money added onto her paycheck. I began to wonder if she cheated.. months later I found out that she was signiong peopple up for cards when they already declined the card or said that they would get so much off even if they were not approved. (This was not so.) I reported this to her manager and found out that he did not conduct an investigation either because her sales made him look good. Now I am trying to do a paper for my college course on the pressures credit card companies have on employees. Its surprising that there really is not alot of information on this.

    • Andra Kenner Jr says

      I am doing the same and I work at Sears I am so surpised there aren’t more scholarly articles on them , do you have the ones you used for your paper ?

  19. Sandy in Delaware says

    Q – if I open a Dept. Store Credit Card to take advantage of the special savings, immediately pay the balance, then close the credit card … how does (or would) this impact my credit score?
    Thanks. Sandy in Delaware

    • Z in Indiana says

      That would lower your credit score, not by much, but easily by 10-20 points off of the top. When you open a card it actually lowers your credit score, whether you are approved or not. It’s worse when you are denied the card of course. So the only way to build it back up they say is to use the credit card a bit and that will significantly raise your credit score, closing your account I think also negatively impacts your score. That’s why some people just not use their card and the company will in most cases just close your account.

  20. Credit Kid says

    I am a cashier at the Home Depot in Oregon and am the top producing credit associate in the state. I signup about 25 people a week, 5 on average every day I work, and do over 100 new accounts each month. I don’t get a bonus, except for the ocasional free candy bar and soda from the managers, for doing a good job, but I think it’s funny how everyone has had such bad experiences in the past. If people say no, I stop the first time and don’t persist. But when they pause, after I tell them how much money I could save them today, I can almost always real them in. It’s quite simple how I do it. I even use some of the practices the cashiers from Sears do from this article. I don’t know how long ago this article was published? Today is March 14th, 2010 and I’m curious to see if anyone responds to my post, lol. Probly none will, but yeah, I’m sorry for all of the people who have had bad experiences in the past, it’s really not that hard to get someone to sign up for a credit card. I won’t say exactly how I do it, but if you could save $5 or more on your purchase and pay it off the card the same day, you’d probly do it (at least that’s what 25% of the people I see would do; only about half of those actually are approved tho). But yeah, stay encouraged all of my credit brotheren, don’t let all of the haters get you down, keep asking and you’ll go far. -The Credit Kid

    • B says

      So its not a part of your job, its not a requirement for you get anyone to open one you just do it? If not…

      That is good for you then at least you wont get fired for not bugging people.

  21. B says

    I work at Belk and its manditory to get 2 a week. It seems like nothing but honestly its alot when all the other things we have to do there. It sucks that I can get fired or my pay lowered because of this. I think that the big man does not see what it is like to try to get these people to open one up. I am behind by 3 weeks now… who knows what will happen and honestly I dont care at all because I think its the most ignorant thing ever for a job requirement.

    • B says

      Also, for the one who works at Home Depot, that is home needs and that would be more of a reason to open one I think, because its for your house and whatnot. But for a clothing store? No its not worth the hassle of anyone if you ask me.

  22. Credit Kid says

    I don’t think there is a lot of information on the web about how to get a customer to open a retail credit card, so I’d like to extend an invitation for all of us “nagging retail employees” who have to sign people up for credit cards, to share how we go about doing it, so that we can improve our methods and get more credits to meet our quota’s and so that fewer people complain on this site about us, lol. Ya dig?

  23. Credit Kid says

    Honestly, I think it’s how employees word things that makes it offensive or not. If I said to you, “Sir, would you like to save 10% today by opening a home depot credit card?” you would most likely say, “No, I don’t need another credit card”. But, if I said instead, “Sir, did you know you can still pay with your debit card and save about $25, in about a minute and a half, by opening a card with us. And if it doesn’t go through for whatever reason, I’ll still take $5 off your purchase, so your time’s not wasted” you’d probably give a much better response. I don’t know if it’s possible at other stores, but at the Home Depot, you can save someone 10% on their first purchase with a Home Depot card, turn around and pay off the card, by making a payment on their account, with cash, check or debit, so they never recieve a bill in the mail, and are allowed to give so many markdowns a day to encourage good customer service and customer loyalty. You can also bypass the step of putting it on the card, just adjust the 10% and put it on their credit or gift card to get the card in their pockets and hope they use it, AND they’d be using the same form of payment that they were going to use anyways, only they’re saving $(fill in the blank) in about a minute and a half by opening one of your cards. Personally, I think opening a Barne’s and Noble card or something like that where you only pay a one time yearly fee would be easier, but this is just what I do. IF ANYONE ELSE HAS A WAY OF GETTING PEOPLE TO SIGN UP FOR CREDIT CARDS, WILL YOU PLEASE REPLY TO THIS POST. I will try to check my email for new posts to this article and respond back to any and all questions. Thanks guys and have a great day! God bless.

  24. heather says

    whats really sad is we as cashiers are forced to get credit apps otherwise we get punished or even fired i hate being asked 18 differnet times in the same store and i hate pushing but i got yelled by manager for not pushing the issue WTF is wrong with these stores these days!

  25. Gin says

    Studies indicate that customers with store cards tend to frequent their stores more often and spend more money. Of course business will try to solicit customers to sign up for a store card. I work for a company who solicits store cards and associate are expected to do a sales pitch for each and every customer. Smart shoppers will only sign up for the savings when they have a big purchase and remember to use the card to get the 5% back. Only spend what you would normally spend and pay off the balance before the interest acrues. Store cards are not evil nor are the businesses that promote them but consumers need be educated about the pros and cons and shop smart.

  26. says

    I am not sure if you know about this, but I happen to work at Kohl’s myself and one thing you could be aware of is that Kohl’s employees ARE on a quota system. At the store I work at, your are supposed to try and get at least one or two sign ups each shift you work and part of the performance reviews do revolve around credit, and so that is can be a major reason why you get people agreesively trying to get you to sign up for kohl’s charges (or similar cards at other stores). Quotas are a dumb rule though in my book as I find it nearly impossible to get sign ups almost every shift. At least for me, I only work one day a week on average (under a 4 hour shift) and most of the time, you either get days you get lots of competing tasks, times where just about everyone says “no”, as well as other barriers to meeting the goal. By the way, I am thinking about writing a blog post ranting about quota systems too (haven’t posted it yet, but I plan to when I get the time for it). Quotas can also be bad during recessions since naturally you get less people buying and signing up for stuff. My advice is that if you don’t like people pushing the store credit cards, you probably have to take it up with the store managent since associates are expected to push things like credit.

  27. sumgurl says

    Maybe it’s just me, but you make it seem like the associates are almost the bad guys for being persistent. However when you have your manager demanding that you get the store more credits or else your hours will be given to someone who CAN provide credit, you have no other option but to try and force the cards on customers. Believe me as an associate we don’t enjoy going through the effort of being all smiles and helping unappreciative customers but we do what we have to do to butter up customers so they’re more willing to apply. I also don’t enjoy offering credit for the multiple reasons you listed above. I know how the cards will affect their credit, or how they will be more likely to spend money they don’t have but its them or me. Tell me what would you do?

    • Sylvia says

      It would be nice if all customers would fill out the store surveys, rate us as an associate fair and then mention that a reason not to shop at this store would be because of the way credit cards and other products are being pushed at the register. That way management would see that the associate is doing their job, but the customer is annoyed with store policies.

      • Amber says

        Yeah I totally agree but I’ve tried filling out those surveys and some of them are really short and don’t have any space for comments.

  28. says

    Hello folks –
    I work for a major home improvement store chain that tries to force its employees to sign people up for store credit cards. I have enrolled two – one at 17.99 percent interest and one at 21.99. I asked forgivness from God for doing something I believe to be evil. I am going to tell the bosses that pushing these cards conflicts with my Christian faith. We are pushed to aggressively try and sign people up for the credit even to the point of discussing (arguing) their benefits. I simply am not going to do it. If they want to fire me for my convictions then they can.

    My reward is not on this earth. I plan to live out this existence in my camper and don’t want any part of this debt ridden, already bankrupt economy. Cash is the way to go. When people ask me if by living in a van I don’t have a home , I tell them my home is waiting for me after I leave this world. There’s no mortgage and it’s the best retirement plan you will ever find.

  29. says

    I think you guys are all really silly. Yeah, credit cards suck, but why get so worked up about it. For all those people who will read this and are required to ask people if they want to sign up for a credit card, use this formula that I used, that allowed me to average 6 new credit cards a day, that made my managers very happy, and most importantly, made it so the customer NEVER HAD TO PAY A CREDIT CARD STATEMENT. Very simply put you:
    1. Build rapport with the customer.
    2. Ask what form of payment they are planning on using (cash, card, check)
    3. Ask them if they knew they could save $15 (or whatever % off they get by opening a card) by opening a card (don’t say credit card b/c it freaks people out!) with you
    4. They will then say, “Well, how do I do that?”
    5. You then explain, ***AND HERE’S THE SECRET*** you will have them apply for the card, then once approved, adjust the discount, put their purchase on the card, then take the total amount of the purchase, minus the discount, and take that much of the form of payment they were already going to use (cash, card, check) to pay off the credit card in the store
    6. So once you get the hang of it, it only takes about 5-10 min, the store’s happy, b/c someone just got a credit card, the customer’s happy b/c they just saved some money, and you’re happy b/c you did what was asked from you without breaking your morals, and chances are, no one else is asking people about them in the same way, so you’ll be the top performer!!!

    Problem solved, no need to quit your job over, lol. Hope this helps guys, let me know if it does. I used this formula at Home Depot 2 years ago and become the #3 performer in the Pacific Northwest.

    ***FYI, some stores, mine did at least, will allow you to give the person the discount even if they aren’t approved b/c it can be kind of embarrasing if they don’t. Just a word to the wise. Best wishes!!

  30. Mike says

    I work part-time at a retailer. One of the major clothing chains that’s always singing. Anyway, I simply refuse to do it. I don’t care how much the manager presses or how many times I’m written up (none thus far). I WILL NOT persuade someone to take a financial step, rather right or wrong in their case, and compromise my personal values. I don’t borrow money anymore, I just don’t, so what kind of hypocrite would I be to tell someone else to.

    It’s simply sad that the focus is on a credit card, and it’s more depressing to know there is no end-goal, day after day, open a a CC. I sold $1800 worth of clothes (high mark for this store), but that meant nothing compared to the guy who put 4 people in debt that day. I took the PT gig because when I worked there 10yrs ago, there wasn’t a card and a good worker was a good worker, but things have changed and I’d rather get fired and deliver pizza than be the initial cancer to someone’s debt issue.

  31. Anita Drynck says

    I’m actually one of those pushy aggressive salespeople lol :-) please don’t take it personally; it’s a part of our job to ask everyone about applying for credit. Some employees will threaten to fire you if you don’t get enough credit apps. If consumers are really bothered by this practice, you should sound off on the customer surveys. If enough people complain, department stores will have to rethink their policies.

  32. Amber says

    The saddest part is that no one likes to hear OR offer the credit cards. The reason the offers get so annoying and repetetive is that everyone who comes in contact with customers is supposed to make the card sound good even though we know how annoying it is for the customers to repeatedly have to refuse. I wish only the cashiers would offer it so everyone else doesn’t have to, but this won’t happen because the higher ups only care about dragging unfortunate customers into their clutches. But honestly I wonder how much cardholders actually use their cards.
    About the social security number, cashiers usually aren’t supposed to handle that information. Typically the customers can enter it into the computer themselves.
    The most annoying part for me as a customer is that I started getting these sales pitches directed at me when I was about 13. I always just wanted to stare at the sales associate and be like “Really? I’m 13; I don’t have credit cards!!”

  33. Erin says

    I have to reply to this as someone on the other side of the fence. I work at a major retail store — which I will not name because I fear repercussions — and I can absolutely promise you that yes, the efforts to sign people up for credit cards and reward programs has become more aggressive.

    But I guarantee you that under no circumstances whatsoever did that young lady WANT to keep harassing you about the credit card. Nor did the cashier who ask you. The problem is, if the employees don’t help the store float above a certain percentage (usually 60%) of total sales also including a sign up for the credit card — the employees get the sack. And I wish I were exaggerating, but sadly it is true. A year ago I worked for Books A Million. I was expected to push the “discount” card there onto every customer, and was in fact Trained Specifically to be aggressive and to hold people hostage, to not allow the customer a chance to say no before I had finish my spiel. This made me morally uncomfortable, and I refused to do it… and was basically cut from the schedule, forced to quit because they were never giving me hours.

    To everyone who is reading this comment… please, please, PLEASE understand that the associates asking you these things that you find so annoying, the sales associates and cashiers do NOT want to keep shoving the cards and programs down your throat. But at my current job, I’ve been reduced to PLEADING with people to sign up for the card to help me meet quota. I can’t afford to lose my job and I can’t find another. I just want everyone reading this to understand that cashiers don’t have any desire to force the card on you any more than you like having it pitched at you… but our jobs literally depend on it.

  34. Pat says

    Your job doesn’t depend on being aggressive towards customers. If you all banded together and said you’re not going to offer the credit cards down our throats, then you wouldn’t have to do it.

  35. Jen says

    I’m an associate at a retailer, and it’s considered part of my job to try to get people to sign up for our rewards card. We are not supposed to “ask” just get you too. Seriously, I hate it. I don’t like to be pressured into stuff, so I don’t want to do that to others. But the lower my numbers, the worse I become as an employee. It’s sad to me that simple customer service, being friendly and helping the customer with what they need, no longer is factored in as what kind of employee you are. If I can’t get you to buy socks or sign up for rewards than I’m not valuable. :( not to mention people cab get rude when you pitch them stuff they don’t want. It’s lose lose for the associate. Luckily, I’m headed out of retail!

  36. Joy says

    I was at a Bealls store in Florida yesterday. When I went to the cash register, there were 2 cashiers and 2 customers (I was one). They politely asked if I had a store card, did I want to save etc etc. I just politely declined (which I always do) and they proceeded to check me out. Then, their manager came over the walkie talkie under the cabinet and berated both these ladies about not selling store credit. That they were supposed to have 2 by Noon and they had sold none and they had 10 minutes to get 2. You could tell they were both embarassed that this was happening in front of customers. I feel bad for them, and probably for the manager who is pressured to pressure his staff.

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