Steve Schklair of Altadena, California received a "one-time courtesy" letter from Spectrum threatening to ruin his credit record unless he resubscribed to the cable service.
"A well-established credit history will more likely allow you to qualify for lower mortgage rates, better chances for obtaining credit cards and approvals for home rentals," said the letter. "You have worked hard to build a great future for yourself and your family. We look forward to welcoming you back."
In other words, "Nice credit record you got there, it would be a shame if something happened to it."
From the LA Times:
A Spectrum spokesperson confirmed the letter's authenticity and called it "an opportunity to reconnect" with the cable company. Spectrum partners with the Los Angeles Times on a nightly TV show.
All subscription-based businesses work hard to retain and renew customer relationships. It's common for such businesses to entice former subscribers to return with discounts and sweetheart deals.
I've never before seen a pitch that so blatantly threatens harm unless you come around.
The Spectrum letter tells Schklair that, despite his alleged fiscal irresponsibility, resuming cable service will allow him "to come back in good standing as a new customer."
"And when you become a customer," it says, "we will both remove your debt and cease reporting it to any credit bureau."