Heard about the new UK credit card &more? In a previous life it was the storecard of Marks & Spencer, a UK department store chain. M&S recently informed all storecard holders that their storecard account would automatically become a bona fide credit card account, and sent a replacement card featuring the new brand.
“Hold on,” cried the UK’s Office of Fair Trading, “you can’t do that!” The OFT have insisted that customers must opt-in to the scheme, so existing memberships are automatically invalid and must be cancelled. Oops – heads must roll, surely.
Apparently not. As reported in the Times today:
M&S stands by executive in botched credit card launch – Marks & Spencer has insisted that the executive in charge of its botched credit card launch, Laurel Powers-Freeling, would not lose her job after the Office of Fair Trading accused the retailer of inertia selling. M&S was forced yesterday to alter plans to automatically replace millions of store cards with its “&more” credit and loyalty card after the OFT accused the group of acting unlawfully.
The Times 9/10/2003 p 27 – Jon Ashworth, Joe Morgan
Am I the only one thinking “yeah, right”? I predict, at best, a reinforced glass ceiling. More likely is a “politician’s resignation” in a couple of months, or perhaps “strategic changes” at senior level.