Sunday, October 2, 2011

Paying to use Your Money!

Remember when there was such a thing as a bank giveaway?
Ah the good old days when businesses treated customers as important. Well, important to their bottom line at least. They tried to make the customer feel wanted and good about doing business with them.
One could even get a toaster for a qualifying deposit. (Certain fees and restrictions apply and requirements must be followed and met. Early withdrawal will be met with disapproval and demands that any items received as a result of the offer must be returned and/or paid for with fees and charges equal to at least seven times the value of the gift received through the offer and the customer assumes all responsibility for his or her actions in attempting to defraud the innocent bank out of whatever he or she received as a gift through the program. The customer will then be ostracized for a period of no less than one year and be forbidden from receiving or entering into any new offers from this or any other bank within the confines of these United States. Complaints about the penalties will be met with sinister looks threats against family and loved ones and possible jail time or death depending upon what state the culprit resided at time of his or her willful fraud against the poor bank. Have a nice day.)
A Solid Institution built with your money
And when the banks held your money for at least a month or so you received interest.
This interest was never anything to write home about mainly because it was at such a low rate that a stamp cost more but at least you got something in return. And speaking of return, no matter how much the banks begrudging gave you for holding your money they received far more by loaning your money out to other people.
Banks have always been a middle man of sorts making money by taking from the poor and middle class and loaning it out at ridiculously unfair rates to other poor and middle class people.
Banks also got together and decided on fees for everything under the sun including the absurd notion that an ATM would give you back your own money. Oh you got the money but you also got a fee for doing so.
After we the people complained the banks were forced to remove the fees as long as you used your own banks' ATM.
They then offered credit cards which are essentially a plastic doorway to a loan.
The angle here was that even though you were not charged for using the credit card, the retailer with whom you used it was and he naturally passed along that fee to you!
And if you did not pay your bill in full at the end of your cycle you were subject to usury rates of up to 30%!
Were these rates unfair?
Well loan sharks were jealous so you decide.
Of course if you could not pay your bill at the end of the cycle you should have to pay an additional charge but then you should not have had such a high credit limit in the first place.
Should we forget about personal responsibility?
Well banks do!
In fact they, well bank on it!
They make fortunes on the inability of the user to pay his bill. And in the same week a delinquent user gets a notice that he owes more than he ever thought he may also get an increase in his credit line!
Other fun fees include but are not limited to:
Fees if you take YOUR money out of a savings account too many times in a month. (Note you are not charged for depositing too many times.)
Using another bank’s ATM. (Total no-no.)
Insufficient funds to cover a check (this one is legitimate.)
But they take the fee out of the account that did not have sufficient funds to cover the check in the first place thus automatically forcing another charge.
Or they could also take the money from your savings account thus putting you over the 6 per month rule - More fees!
Want to know if they count on these fees to make billions? Just note that they hire people whose only job is to find new and exciting ones!
But I have left the best for last.
Debit cards may be used to pay for anything by instantly taking money out of your account at time of purchase. This way you will never bounce a check.  Don't have the cash in the bank - no purchase allowed.
But how can a bank make money if you do the responsible thing?
No problemo!
Bank of America is now charging $5 per month just for the pleasure of using a debit card.
In other words they will now charge you to use your own money.
Who the hell are these crooks?
How can we allow such scams to continue?
Maybe we should threaten them to not bail them out the next time they screw up?
Well we could stop it by giving Congress larger bribes than they currently receive from bank lobbyists but that would be hard to coordinate.
We could vote out the corrupt members of Congress and try to vote in honest ‘untouchable’ law makers but they have not been born yet.
We could promote anarchy and burn the banks with their board members still inside but that could be messy and besides we may lose our safe deposit box contents.
Or we could stop using banks that offend us.
If all of us chose to use credit unions or smaller banks who do not play the games these con artists do we could make a dent in their profit margin.
Put them out of business by removing every penny.
Take a page out of Bedford Falls’ good old Bailey Building & Loan; only deal with people in your community.
Banks say they cannot help those of us drowning in a terrible economy because of uncertainty.
But truthfully, the only uncertainty banks have these days is how many people to invite to their next toga party in Crete.

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