Monday, September 27, 2010
Discover Cards PART 2
Scott's Tip Of The Day: About two hours after sending my email to David Nelms, CEO of Discover Card, he emailed me back.
This is what he wrote:
25% of US households have Discover Cards, our acceptance is better than American Express (we are getting closer to Visa and MasterCard), and we pay out over $750 million/year in Cash Back Bonus awards to our Customers who use us more than 1 billion times each year. We do market prospects to let them know about our no-fee awards program (which is the largest in the industry) and industry-leading customer service. Perhaps you might be more interested in our high-yielding FDIC-insured CDs and Moneymarket accounts which you can view at Discover.com? I will request that you get added to our "do not mail" list, and apologize that our marketing was not appealing to you.
Oh Snap! Did I just get served? After taking the weekend to think of an approrpriate response, I sent the following reply to Mr. David Nelms 10 minutes ago.
Mr. David Nelms,
I live in New York City and was out and about at multiple birthday parties and informal get-togethers this past week. i am a 27-year-old attorney who is friends with other young professionals. Bankers, accountants, lawyers, advertisers. I asked probably 100 people if they had a Discover card (or any interest in obtaining one) and not one said yes. Some were puzzled as to why they should even be interested in the card. I also asked my father, who is in his early 60's. His response was "They should call that card 'Undiscovered' because no one uses it." He sure is a jokester.
Is your card more popular in other geographic locations or among other socio-economic classes? Given my informal polling I find 25% to be a really high number. None of the bars or restaurants I went to in NYC accepted Discover either.
Even though your statistics appear grossly inflated and I am not inclined to accept them as 100% accurate, I appreciate your quick response and I know you are a busy guy, so it's cool you took the time out to answer my email. Thank you also for addressing my problem with all of the promotional material appearing in my mailbox. Now there is room in my mailbox for magazines and the mailman doesn't have to drop them on the floor.
If you ever find yourself in NYC on business and you want to pick an average guy's brain, hit me up. I'll tell you what the man on the street things. I can bring my girlfriend and she can tell you what the woman on the street thinks. We can go grab dinner. Or drinks. Bring cash though because they probably aren't going to accept your Discover Card. :-)
If I get a response, you guys will be the first to know. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He responded within 5 minutes!
Scott: Yes, NYC is probably our worst market (and it's Amex's best market)--in part because there are so many small retailers vs large chains (Discover leads the industry with the largest national retailers). This is changing quickly because of our newer open business model in which all of the same providers of Visa and MasterCard are now including Discover (enabled a few years ago after DOJ vs Visa/MasterCard antitrust case). I think you should notice a big improvement in acceptance (and card usage) in your area over the next few years. Thanks for your interest.
He doesn't seem that interested in going out for drinks though. Lame.