I’ve used Eurocard (the European equivalent of MasterCard) for about 20 years. That's why we also chose Eurocard for the FatDUX corporate cards. My particular card was set to expire sometime in 2010. So I was surprised when I got a new card in the mail with a nice cover letter already in April 2009:
“Here’s your new Eurocard Corporate Gold”
“New card, new name, same code…”
The letter went on to tell me that now that they had added the word “Corporate” that it would be easier for me to distinguish this particular card from the others in my wallet – not really a problem as far as I was concerned. Buried among the other services that were promoted (none of which were new), the letter discreetly suggested that I contact any companies that had my card number on file and let them know that it had changed.
Yikes. I could barely remember all of the places this particular card is registered. Why couldn’t they simply let the card expire normally? Was there a security issue? I could understand that. Or an improvement to the built-in chip? Who knows?
Bother disguised as improvement
I asked the company. After all, there was basically no advantage, just a lot of bother to me.
Janni Hansen of Eurocard Customer Service wrote back to tell me: “We had to make new cardnumbers on all Eurocard Gold Corporate cards, because of ‘Corporate’ had to be on the front of the card.”
No word as to why
“Corporate” had to be on the front of the card. Or why
the company had to issue new card numbers, etc. You'd think that if they could retain the PIN, they could also retain the card number.
And then the fun started…
Having missed the really fine print that explained the old card was soon to be cancelled, I unexpectedly found myself barred from the Copenhagen Airport Business Lounge.
Our electronic pass that automatically paid the toll-bridge to Sweden no longer worked.
Basecamp wrote a nasty letter:
“This is your first failed credit card transaction. You have 6 more days to update your credit card information before your account is frozen.”
I’ve since talked to a dozen different business entities. And I keep finding new places where our card number no longer works – from Amazon to Avis. Honestly, Eurocard, I’m so irritated this may well mark the end of a long and profitable relationship for you guys.
As I generally say when people disguise inconvenience as better service, “Don’t pee on my boots and tell me it’s raining.”
Sometimes great news has a way of waiting for you back home. We just got back from an energizing 10th Information Architecture Summit in Memphis, Tennessee, to discover that our Big Duck, Eric Reiss, had been elected “Best Professor” for the first intake of the Master in Digital Marketing at the Instituto de Empresa Business School in Madrid, Spain.
The Master is run by the combined talents of 15 brilliant teachers. Eric, an Associate Professor of Usability and Design, was chosen by more than 80% of the graduating class, an exceptional result especially given the fact that Eric is a de facto first-timer at the IE Business School.
Marta Pérez Lidón, Executive Director of the Master in Digital Marketing degree program, wrote Eric a couple of days ago while we were out drinking
having the most interesting conversations in Memphis, to tell FatDUX HQ about this coveted award and to share some details.
Eric will accept the award via video-conferencing during the graduation ceremony, which will take place in the University's Aula Magna in Madrid today March 25th around noon. I think there is going to be some drinking involved as well and some secret recipes for a Manhattan, but I don't have all the details and I'm not sure Eric can share. Business is business, after all.
Congratulations, or, as they say in Madrid, felicidades!
Eric Reiss accepts the coveted "Best Professor" award via video at the IE Business School commencement ceremony in Madrid, Spain. Notice the Manhattan in the lower right-hand corner...