Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Day 32 - Guarding your money with an Umbrella
I recommend this to everyone by the way. Sometimes the proper chain of command does not get resolution to your satisfaction so a complaint with the BBB goes right to the top. 99% of the time a fair resolution is made once you can reach someone empowered to make a good customer service focused decision. The Vice President agreed by silence that this particular decision in my case was unfair but stated I had a choice. I told him, "This really isn't a fair choice but you've left me no other choice as a smart business person but to close the account to continue the lower interest rate." I know many people who have had no chance to even make a decision. If they are trying to balance their money and still feed their families, they opt to pay what they can. Suddenly ALL of their credit cards are shut off. Even the ones they are paying on and keeping up to date. How fair is that?
I know people who called their mortgage companies to work out a temporary solution while they were out of work and they were told, "We can't do anything for you until you are three months behind on your mortgage." So at the advice of the bank, they default on three months of mortgage payments and call back. They then tell them, "We can't do anything for you because you are behind on your mortgage payments!" WTF. They then filed a BBB complaint and waaallaaaa. They are magically in touch with a loan refinance solution specialist and they work out a solution, only to find out that the bank has rolled an additional $8000 into the loan modification which is illegal.
I constantly scan my bills to find additional charges that suddenly appeared on the bill for no apparent reason. I call the cc company and they remove it. So how many other people don't do this and are charged illegally for no reason? Thomas Jefferson (remember this was 200 years ago) knew this challenge. He wrote, "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies." Deregulation has been the slippery slope which has enabled all of this to happen. What about all the senior citizens that don't know to look for these hidden charges. It's disgusting what the financial institutions are doing to their customers.
This is why when a special offer comes in the mail to make money, without guilt or hesitation I jump on it. We received a letter from Buick that if we test drove a car, we would receive a $50 gift card from Visa or American Express [I can't remember which.] We drove the car, came home and entered the code online. $50 bucks easy. We received an offer from American Express that if we applied for a "PASS" card and recharged it once, they would reload it with $25. Ok, Another free $25. Online purchases offer $5 off each item if we subscribe to a magazine to which we can cancel within 45 days. As soon as I get the item, I cancel the subscription to the magazine I didn't want to begin with. Another saved $5.