For the first time in my life, I have actually taken somewhat of an interest in the Olympics. I installed the 2010 Olympics App on my iPhone and tracked the men’s ice hockey event. I never actually watched an entire game, mind you, but I used the app to keep track of Canada’s status. That was pretty much the extent of my patriotism, I must admit. When it comes to Olympic branded merchandise, I still could never bring myself to spend good, hard-earned money on what I consider very overpriced souveniers. For those who are not like me, however, purchasing Olympic merchandise can be difficult, if not impossible.
We don’t take MasterCard!
My sister, who herself takes little interest in the Olympics, wanted to buy her husband an official Olympic toque from the vancouver2010.com website for his birthday, since he is an avid fan. There was only one problem. They wouldn’t accept her MasterCard. In fact, the vancouver2010.com website does not accept any form of payment other than Visa.
When my sister told me this over the phone, I couldn’t believe it. So I went to the website myself and sure enough, there was a Visa logo with the caption “Visa Payment Only” and the following message:
In recognition of Visa’s long-standing support of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, we proudly accept only Visa cards on vancouver2010.com.
I was astonished. What was the Olympic committee thinking? “Oh well, the world’s already blown $2.5 billion on us, so let’s try not to take any more of their money by limiting our sales of merchandise to Visa card holders only”? Isn’t that discrimination? There must be a law about that someplace.
I hate fees
Personally, I refuse to get a Visa because I am unaware of any Visa card that does not charge monthly or yearly fees. I love my MasterCard, the balance of which I pay off every month. I pay no fees, no interest, and they even give me free groceries. But apparently, the Olympic powers that be have something against my kind, because they won’t let us buy their merchandise online unless we switch our credit card allegiances.
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Proud to be stupid
My favourite part is the phrase stating, “We proudly accept only Visa.” Apparently, they think that by adding the word “proudly” they can justify the stupidity of the “only”. My interpretation of their “proud” statement: “We’re too lazy to implement more than one form of online payment system, so if you don’t have a Visa you’re out of luck.” I wonder if PayPal turned them down…
Visa is better!
I’d love to see the business model that supports the turning away of paying customers on the basis of not having a Visa card. Someone please explain this insanity to me. Am I missing something? The only company benefitting from this is Visa. No one else. I wonder what kind of dough they had to cough up to be the exclusive payment method of the Olympics. It must have been more than the estimated total merchandise sales from all the American Express, MasterCard and other credit card holders of the world combined.
Oh well. Now that the Olympics are over, we can all get back to using our inferior credit cards again.