Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The New Credit Card Tricks

the-new-credit-card-tricks: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

Let me put it another way...what if you went into McDonalds and ordered a burger.  While you were getting your money the cashier reached over the counter and grabbed an extra $5 from your wallet.  What would your reaction be?  I would hate to think of it.  Then when you demanded to know why they took the $5 the cashier told you it was because you were too slow at taking the money out of your wallet.  Then the cashier turns around and gives your $5 to his manager who slips it into his pocket.

Or, what if the reader board at the drive thru said that the Big Mac cost $1.99.  When you got to the window they told you your total was $5.99.  You ask why.  The cashier tells you that the $1.99 price is only for those who get to the window in 45 seconds and you took 60 seconds.  And, an additional surcharge was added because you had not been to McDonalds in over a month and had supersized your fry the last time you were there.  They further tell you that you should have read the fine print on the reader board and that if you do not pay the entire $5.99 they will report you to the fast food hotline and that you will not be able to buy fast food anyplace in the country for 7 years.

What would you do?  How many times would you continue to go back to McDonalds? 

This is what customers have been experiencing with the major banks for the last few years.  And, yet they are still in business.  Why is that?  It is because the American people continue to deposit their paychecks. 

This is not the fault of your local teller who works hard and does their job just like everybody else.  The policies that dictate this go straight to the very top and are now being battled at the congressional levels.  Rumors of the battles are filtering down to the people who keep depositing their checks every week.  What makes things worse is that some of the officials who are elected by the people are actually siding with the banks.

Don't stop looking over your shoulder yet. If you still have credit cards the banks are still trying to eke out every fee possible. They are definitely tenacious. Every time a law goes into effect to block exorbitant fees they find a way to go around it.

So, have you changed your bank yet? Have you closed your credit cards? Are you tired of paying for someones fancy lifestyle while you continue to cut corners?

It's your money.  It's your choice.


Molly said...

I closed all of my credit cards with the major banks. Then, I did some research and found a local bank (supported by local deposits that did not take bail out money-they didn't qualify) and have a credit card through them.
The tricky thing is that some local banks and credit unions may be supported by local money EXCEPT for their credit card division. You need to ask questions and not assume!

Carol said...

Good for you! I didn't realize that the small banks might be using bigger centers for credit card services. Thanks for the heads up.

I too got all my credit cards paid off and closed and have a smaller local bank who has always been "hometown helpful". The bigger banks are making it very hard for them to stay in business. We compound the problem when we drive by the little fish and give our money to the sharks. It is the money we put on deposit that allows them to lend. The more we support the smaller banks the more they are able to support their communities.