Barclaycard spectacularly shoots herself in the foot.
For some inexplicable reason – and I say this because the reasons you’ve given are inconsequential – the credit card company has decided to go on a brutal culling of customers’ credit limits.
Many of them have been customers for years, and say they’ve never missed a payment and have steady finances, but have seen their limits drop by 90 percent or more.
A steady stream of Barclaycard customers have complained to us that these new limits are so low that they are almost useless to them when it comes to making large purchases or booking holidays – the sort of spending many use a credit card for.
Unsurprisingly, resistance was fierce. Angry Barclaycard customers have called us in droves since we first reported the story a week ago.
A steady stream of Barclaycard customers have complained to us about credit limit cuts
After announcing my interest, I personally felt this customer service disaster, as I am one of those affected.
My credit limit was cut from £8,500 to £1,000 for no apparent reason.
It went from being higher than I would ever need, to just enough to book flights for the school holiday for my family of four.
What makes the scenario even more troubling is that Barclaycard had previously spent years raising my credit limit without me being asked – £500 here, £1,000 there – and telling me to opt out rather than sign up for a credit increase.
I have also been told that I cannot ask for the credit limit to be raised from a new low of £1,000 for at least four months, as I missed the supposed deadline to contact Barclaycard after the letter was sent to my old address.
I updated my address on February 15th and the message sent simply says February 2021, with no exact date, so presumably the two events crossed.
He told me I had to call Barclaycard, or I had until March 31st to spend some money to maintain my old line of credit.
Barclaycard admitted there was a mistake in the address, but when I asked if my limit could be kept, I was told it couldn’t happen and I would have to wait four months and then apply for a new higher limit.
I asked why my limit was cut and the customer service assistant told me it was due to the impact of the corona virus crisis on finances.
However, when questioned, she admitted that Barclaycard had no idea if my finances had been affected and had no information on file about my earnings.
In fact, in my more than 20 years as a Barclaycard customer, I don’t recall ever being asked for any information about my finances.
I opened the card at the age of 18, just before I went to work in the French Alps as a sommelier earning the sum of £80 a week, plus board, accommodation and a seasonal ski pass, and I think the cap now is about the same as it was then.
When I contacted Barclaycard, it told me that my credit limit had been lowered due to the impact of the coronavirus on people’s finances… However, inconsequentially, if I had spent more money by the deadline, I could have kept the old limit
My experience echoes that of hundreds of readers who have emailed us to tell us about their Barclaycard problems.
The common thread among the stories is that Barclaycard blamed the economic impact of the coronavirus, but did not examine individuals’ finances.
Irrationally, while Barclaycard claimed the cuts were due to the pandemic’s potential effects on people’s finances, it then told them that if they spent some money their limits would not be lowered.
Barclaycard blamed the economic impact of the coronavirus, but did not examine individuals’ finances
Barclaycard denies that this is the cull of unprofitable customers — the kind that don’t borrow much and pay the bills in full — but as one of those affected, it sure looks like one.
In light of the crash, This is Money is calling for Barclaycard to come to its senses and reverse the cuts for those whose finances haven’t changed and want to keep their old limits.
So far, she’s sticking to her guns — and you can read more and get the Barclaycard side of the story here.
Someone somewhere at Barclaycard decided this was a good idea. Perhaps they thought that if people complained it wouldn’t matter much, surely the profile of those we heard from didn’t fit that of profitable credit card customers.
However, even if he reverses the cuts, the damage is done. You upset loyal customers at your peril, as the backlash against Barclaycard shows.
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