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Job Descriptions: The Credit Card Service Rep


Snap judgments about a headset-wearing, plastic-pushing phone jockey.


Here in the US, we consumers aren't much for discipline. We have a hard time denying ourselves anything and, to some extent, define ourselves through our purchases (this is starting to change, but probably not forever). And so it is that the customer service representative at your credit card company -- the one with the unobstructed view of your spending history -- knows you better than most.

When, for example, "Las Vegas Electric Company" appears on your statement 3 days in a row -- and to the tune of $600 -- they have a pretty good idea what that is. Even if your significant other doesn't. No one uses that much power when they're in town for a convention.

In recent months credit card solicitations have slowed, but by no means to a crawl. You won't stop receiving flattering direct mail from American Express (AXP) telling you "you've earned it" -- the privilege to pay exorbitant interest, that is -- you'll just receive less of it. Nor will you stop using your Discover Card, you'll just be more circumspect about how you use it.

Good thing the credit card service representative -- de facto guardian of your plastic purchase power and charge-reverser should your information fall into the wrong hands -- will always be a friendly voice on the other end of the phone.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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