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Why Neiman Marcus Won't Take Visa and Mastercard

jbc217

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This is a tangent to the thread I posted earlier regarding Chicago sales, in which I mentioned the lecture I received from Neiman Marcus staff about why they only accept AMEX and Diner's Club. I certainly don't endorse their practice, but here's how it was explained to me:

In short, I was told it is part of their commitment to "superior customer service."

"How," I asked, "is it 'customer service' when you make me walk across the street to withdraw cash to pay for clothes I could have bought with my Visa?"

And here's where it gets interesting: I was told it is because Visa and Mastercard sell their client lists and thereby violate NM's uncompromising commitment to discretion and customer privacy. NM is apparently "very concerned with keeping the details of all transactions confidential" and insist they are protecting customers by not accepting Visa and MC. Quote: "We like to keep things on the up and up." Um, OK.

But shouldn't customers get to decide and be responsible for worrying about their own privacy?

Side-note: I didn't push the argument further because, well, I was exasperated by another revelation: during NM's pre-sale, you can't pay with cash, only with AMEX, DC, or an NM card...or, I found out, an NM gift card which you get by walking over to customer service and...GIVING THEM CASH. Literally, I bought a gift card for $16.43, walked back to the cashier and finally was able to do them the honor of buying their clothes. I made the mistake of saying (playfully) how glad I was to have won "the game"...BEWARE: "game" is apparently a watch-word which will send the nearest NM employee into full-on desperate lecture mode: "Game? What do you mean 'game'? NM certainly does not play games with its customers. The pre-sale is a service to you. We want you to have the benefit of the best deals. We don't take cash for the pre-sale and we don't charge pre-sale purchases until the real sale begins because we don't want to make interest off of your money." "Huh?--but you just took my cash in the form of a gift card." [Head explodes, etc.]

Brad
 

kabert

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Banned?

In any case, NM has undoubtedly ticked off many thousands of people with its limited credit card policy. We're a credit card society, so it is pretty odd; nevertheless, they seem to be sticking with their policy.
 

Mike

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A thread similar to this one set into motion a flame war that lead to The Great Kalra Banning Of The Summer Of 2004.
 

FIHTies

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Originally Posted by kabert,Feb. 01 2005,23:24
Banned?
A thread similar to this one set into motion a flame war that lead to The Great Kalra Banning Of The Summer Of 2004.
http://66.170.193.77/cgi-bin....80;st=0 Thats the thread...However the actual "Banning" undoubtedly iinitialized with this thread happened a bit later. Edit: PS: Mike, is that the Great Kalra or The Great Banning...? I still think that he is, Is not, Is so, Is not... well...never mind...
 

Alias

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I think these NM managers have way too much spare time on their hands. Maybe they're just doing their best to look busy and useful by coming up with all of these schemes.
 

Andrew V.

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Rich person never pay with gift card, always cash.
 

AlanC

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I am a firm believer in paying with cash and not on credit, but such policies are hard to believe. If your job is to make money then one should make it as easy as possible for people to give money to you. It's as simple as that.

And Brad, your post is hilarious. The 'game' section is great.
 

johnapril

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I just read that locked thread (I'm a poet and didn't know it). Boy, and I thought the political discussions globetrotter and I have been having were bad. There was no real point to any of that NM thread.

By the way, anyone know if that karla dude was the dude he said he was?

I caved in and took out a NM card once over, yes, you guessed it, a pair of shoes. No cash with me, and I wasn't aware of the two card policy. I did so with a promise to myself to pay off the balance right away. I think the interest rate is around 21% on that card.
 

oldskool

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I used to be bothered by this, but now I run my life thruogh amex for the points and so it's ok with me.
 

imageWIS

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I just read that locked thread (I'm a poet and didn't know it). Boy, and I thought the political discussions globetrotter and I have been having were bad. There was no real point to any of that NM thread.

By the way, anyone know if that karla dude was the dude he said he was?

I caved in and took out a NM card once over, yes, you guessed it, a pair of shoes. No cash with me, and I wasn't aware of the two card policy. I did so with a promise to myself to pay off the balance right away. I think the interest rate is around 21% on that card.
No, of course he is not who he says he is. Many obvious indications of his fraudulent identity are readily available through the archives of the forum. I believe the discovery and accusation of the dissemination of his identify started in the Cars. thread.

Jon.
 

imageWIS

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I used to be bothered by this, but now I run my life thruogh amex for the points and so it's ok with me.
AmEx is really a good card compared to others:

Great Customer Service
Non-expiring rewards program
A multiplicity of upgrades available for just using the card
And now you can even revolve balances on the "˜regular card' if you want

Jon.
 

bryce330

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AmEx is really a good card compared to others:

Great Customer Service
Non-expiring rewards program
A multiplicity of upgrades available for just using the card
And now you can even revolve balances on the "˜regular card' if you want

Jon.

IMO, these benefits are outweighed by the hefty annual fee (even more ridiculous for Platinum cards) and the fact that they are always calling you and sending you junk mail to pitch insurance, investments, and other financial products.
 

imageWIS

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(imageWIS @ Feb. 02 2005,08:03) AmEx is really a good card compared to others: Great Customer Service Non-expiring rewards program A multiplicity of upgrades available for just using the card And now you can even revolve balances on the "˜regular card' if you want Jon.
IMO, these benefits are outweighed by the hefty annual fee (even more ridiculous for Platinum cards) and the fact that they are always calling you and sending you junk mail to pitch insurance, investments, and other financial products.
Not necessarily, depends on how you use the card and how much money you put on it every year. If you have enough points to go to say purchase something worth $1500 and the annual fee is $395, then you actually saved $1105 on whatever the item purchased was. As well, if you travel a lot the frequent flyer programs and upgrades pay for themselves. Jon.
 

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