Just recently, my parents were turned down for service by the popular TV provider, Direct TV because they were supposedly poor credit risks.
I’m sure lots of people are labeled poor credit risks every day, but what was different in the case of my parents was that:
1. They were not applying for credit-just for a TV service connection which would be paid monthly, like the average person pays an electric bill.
2. They had a steady income so paying the monthly bill would be no problem.
3. They had NO debts at all other than utilities. Their house has been paid for for years, and their car and pickup were paid for with cash.
4. They didn’t even own a credit card, because they didn’t believe in buying anything unless they already had the money on hand to pay for it.
To me, and to most other people, it sounds as though my parents would be just the kind of customers Direct TV would be looking for. Not so.
My parents spent some time looking at new television sets and talking to a salesman in the local electronics store that also represented Direct TV. The salesman did an excellent job of explaining how the new service would work, and told them of a good deal the store was offering on new TV set purchases–$100 off the set if it was purchased at the same time you signed up for Direct TV service.
Since their old set was pretty old, my parents talked it over and decided to purchase one of the new sets they had looked over and take advantage of the $100 price. They informed the salesman of their decision and told him that they would be paying cash for the set. It took a while to fill out all the papers required for the Direct TV service so my parents browsed in the store as they waited patiently for their transaction to be completed.
Imagine their surprise when the salesman returned and informed them that they had been turned down by Direct TV as a poor credit risk. My father explained that they had always paid their bills on time, had not owed debts in more than 30 years, etc., so the puzzled salesman took them over to the phone area to wait while he called Direct TV again and explained to them what my father had said.
Direct TV was adamant. They could not find my parents listed when they ran a credit check so my parents were a poor credit risk. (Mind you, the service they were requesting was only in the range of $35-$40 payable each month as soon as the bill was presented.)
The salesman, about to lose his commission on the TV set my parents had planned to buy, got quite irate on the phone with Direct TV, but to no avail. They would not accept my parents—unless they paid a $400 deposit.
Needless to day, my parents left the store that day with no plans to use Direct TV as their TV service providers and with no new TV. Not that the salesman was at fault. He was just as upset over the situation as my parents were. Even more so, I would say, because by the time I learned of the situation, my parents thought it was pretty funny, and were starting to look for a new provider.