DEAR ABBY: Certain credit-card companies have adopted a practice that you and your readers need to be made aware of. An advertiser sent me some junk mail sponsored by a credit card that I owned. It concerned a 50 percent discount in green fees at selected golf courses. Since it was junk mail, I glanced at it and threw it out.
About a month later, a charge that I didn't recognize appeared on my credit-card statement. I called the credit-card company to have it removed from my bill. It turned out to be from the advertiser who had sent the junk mail about saving money at certain golf courses. The credit-card representative then informed me that this company had an agreement with them that silence means acceptance. In other words, somewhere in the small print in the junk mail, it stated that if I chose NOT to accept this offer I'd have to notify them; otherwise my credit card would automatically be billed!
I think this practice is sleazy, immoral and should be illegal. Please warn your readers that they must thoroughly read all junk mail sponsored or endorsed by credit-card companies. -- DISGUSTED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR DISGUSTED: I, too, think the practice should be illegal. But until it is, you're absolutely right: The only protection a credit-card holder has is to carefully scrutinize mailings that have been authorized by their credit-card company. The only alternative would be to cancel the card and find a company that doesn't use these tactics.