Warning: They Are Stealing From You

27 03 2009


Today I just had enough.

Money doesn’t come easy these days but it seems it is very easy to lose the little that we have.The companies we deal with are doing very little to help the consumer and if we are not watchful they plain steal from us.

I always try to teach my kids how to handle their finances and help them become independent but yesterday we had a big lesson taught to my daughter and me, DON’T TRUST FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. I will not mention the bank I dealt with but I would say that we have been with this bank for over 20 years, in the past they have worked with me and did their best to keep me as a customer, not so this week.

I took my daughter to open her first checking/savings account with this bank couple of weeks ago and in the past it has always been a pleasant experience. They usually explain everything, work with the new client and even offered a bonus for referring the account to them. Okay, they were courteous and tried to explain everything but there are things you need to read for yourself. They said the account was free for students (false). There is a charge for a lot of things and her being new at this and not taking the time to read everything in detail missed some vital information. It has happened to all of my kids, they make mistakes, they get charged and then the officials credit them in good faith because they know how it is. It is not an habitual thing, once they knew what could happen they never done it again and we are always in that bank. All our accounts are there: checking, savings, business, credit card, investments, everything.

Anyway, my point is this. She could not get online for a few days for some reason. And she overdrew on her account 5 times and resulted in a whooping $135 in charges. They usually give you couple of days to cover the charges and don’t add the fee but in this case they did not. There was no way they will take out anything but $35, she lost $100, awesome! You know how long it took her to build that money? And her impression? Banks are thieves, my thoughts also.

Well, there are plenty of banks trying to get new customers and I will close all my accounts with this bank and go somewhere else. I need to be watchful of how they do things and how my money is handled. But let me tell you the same is going on with credit card companies as well. In these difficult times when people can hardly pay the minimum amount on their accounts they triple their interest rates, so how in the world are they going to get ahead if their accounts is next to impossible to pay off??? It is all about them and not the consumer. I am seriously considering going back to the times when nothing was bought on credit and people kept their money under the mattress, it will be safer that way. They only thing will be to give up the convenience to pay my accounts online and not having to get money orders to pay my bills. All I know is that I am losing more money than I can afford at this time and it is my responsibility to manage my money in the best manner possible.

On the same token I received a call from a collection agency trying to contact my son, the Marine. There is an account he needs to pay and I come to find out through him that it might be a cable company he asked to have disconnected before he was deployed. At the time his roommate wanted to keep the connection for another month so they asked to have the account transferred to his friend’s name. They said they would but then they said they needed to call him in order to confirm the change (0f course, to delay the process), hello!! He is on the phone line with you right now making the request why can’t you confirm it right that moment? By the time they called he was already gone (0f course, what they wanted), the transfer never made, the service continued, his friend is gone now also to Afghanistan, they are serving this country, for Heaven sake write off the freaking charges instead of having a collection damaging his credit. My son said he heard the same happening to other Marines. He has an excellent credit rating, so far he managed to build it up to nearly perfect and now this. It is ridiculous!!

Every company is out there trying to pull a month here, a charge there, interest rates, not processing cancellations, whatever they can to steal money from us!!! I am outraged! A well known internet provider used to do the same by offering a free month of connection and letting cancel the service at no charge but you would call to cancel and they would never process the request on time and you would always got charged for at least one month. That’s stealing!!!!! Now a see a free month ANYTHING and run as fast as I can from it.

What are you doing with your money? How are you protecting yourself?



3 responses

28 03 2009

I can well understand your frustration. My credit card company charged me late fees once because it took them a web longer than usual to issue a monthly statement. As it is my custom to make the next month’s payment within a week of the previous month’s due date, this caused a problem on their end because they decided to apply my payment to the previous month’s balance and refused to acknowledge that I had, in fact, made a timely payment. They also claimed that the “protections” I agreed to – and for which I am charged on a monthly basis – did not cover this “missed” payment. They refused to remove the late charges; and as soon as my balance is paid in full, they will be losing a customer.

I also had an issue with my bank similar to your daughter’s. In my case, I made 4 purchases over the course of 5 days. The 4th purchase was an emergency purchase, and I knew it would overdraw my account (where the first 3 did not), so I expected one overdraft charge. When I got the next month’s statement, however, I was assessed 4 overdraft fees. It turned out that they conveniently applied all 4 payments to my account on the same business day, and instead of applying them in the proper order of purchase, they applied in the order of most expensive purchase to least expense. Convenient for them, as that last purchase immediately put me in overdraft status before the three previous purchases were even applied! Not only that, but they also applied a $10 per day fee for each day I was in overdraft status without addressing the issue (of course, they made no effort to advise me of the situation prior to the monthly statement, and I had no reason to think there was a problem until the statement arrived, as I was spending cash on hand only after the planned overdraft purchase until I could deposit enough money in the account to put me back in the black). I protested with my bank, and they refused to cancel the three additional overdraft fees and daily overdraft charges. I had been a customer in good standing for three years, and had never had incidents with them until that day. They did not budge, and they lost me as a customer because of it. I also convinced four friends of mine who I knew to be financially struggling at the time to take their business elsewhere and reported them to the Better Business Bureau, though nothing came of it.

A warning to everyone: apparently most if not all banks make it a policy, when processing multiple charges to your account at the same time, to apply the charges from most to least expensive rather than in the chronological order that the charges were made. So if you make a $10 purchase on Tuesday and a $50 purchase on Thursday but both transactions clear your account on the same day, then they will apply the $50 charge first. They apparently do this to maximize the number of overdraft charges they can apply to overdrawn accounts. Buyer beware!

31 03 2009

We have been working on our debt. Right now were chipping away at medical bills and credit card debt. Ultimately, I want everything (even the house) completely paid for. That’s how millionaires get started.

It’s not that I’m terribly interested in having a bunch of money. I do, however, want to live a prosperous and productive life and be able to bless others with my wealth.

3 04 2009

You know, if only everybody knew the truth about how much power even small ideas have to change our circumstances, especially during a recession!


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