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Friday, June 18, 2010

The Small Print

Is it just me, or is the print on just about everything getting smaller?

The other day I had a little problem with my credit card (worn out from over use I suspect) and needed to call someone. I flipped the card over hoping to find a contact number and sure enough, there it was.

Actually, there were three numbers, all of which were in print approximately the size of ant droppings.

I squinted my eyes, then like a trombone player, held the card at various distances... and alas, they came in to focus; but which to call? I suspect this was explained in the few words which preceded each number, but sadly, those were in even smaller print (think baby ant droppings). Thankfully, at least they were not in the center of the card where a number of similar sized words, saying lord knows what, were totally obscured by the recesses caused by the embossing of the card number.

Eventually, I gave up, called the first number and was unceremoniously put in the queue of a rather annoying automated voice response system... which eventually lead me to some 'customer care centre' in India; but I'll save that story for some future day.

In any event, while waiting in the queue, I decided to check the other cards in my wallet to see if the use of micro print was a common practice. Lo and behold, it pretty much was, with the one exception being my American Express card on which the numbers were sufficiently large, but unfortunately the accompanying words were printed in white, on a light blue background.

Needless to say "I was not amused!"

To my younger readers, all this may sound like the rantings of an old grump. But demographic studies would suggest that in many parts of the world, there are actually more of us old grumps than there are of you; and as much as you may not want to hear this, with every passing day, you get one day closer to being one of us.

The use of small print on credit cards, labels and everything else may seem of little consequence to some, but for me they speak volumes of the competence of those who insist on testing our eyesight, not to mention our patience.

Often it's the little things (no pun intended) that make or break the brand.

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