Over a barrel
When Congress recently passed laws regulating bank and credit card charges passed on to its customers, my first reaction was … Yippee! It’s about time someone’s finally looking out for us. However, I should have known better. I should have known that banks and credit card companies are way smarter than our esteemed representatives, and that the ‘money lenders’ would find a way around those laws to continue raiding our pocketbooks.
And they did! In case you haven’t heard, Bank of America, the largest bank in the nation (didn’t we ‘bail’ them out not too long ago?) is tacking a $5 service charge onto your bank account each month if you use your debit card – even once – during the statement period!!!!
Following in Bank of America’s footsteps is Wells Fargo, who will charge $3 for using your debit card. All the other banks won’t be far behind.
That’s $60 a year I could make better use of – like an extra fill-up for my gas in tank to make up for the ‘highway robbery’ at the pumps. It’s also a nice meal for two, or three, at a cheap restaurant (all I frequent these days) – or $60 more I could have deposited in a savings account for ‘that rainy day’ (which could be closer than I think).
So, folks, they have us over a barrel. Either way, we just can’t win.
And what about all those ‘extra’ charges on our electric bill? According to my monthly bill, half the total amount is for “fuel only”! What’s the other half for? Administration costs? Paper to print your bill? Postage to send your bill? Or maybe it’s to finance the CEO’s Christmas bonus???
And, please, will someone explain how the telephone company gets away with all those little ‘extra’ charges on our monthly bill that, in my case, add up to nearly $40 a month.
I just don’t get it. I have a basic ‘flip’ phone. Nothing fancy – but it gets the job done. But my college-age son sports an iPhone – with all the ‘extras.’ Both phones are on my one account (since I pay the bill!) but MY phone number, which used to be the main account number, is now relegated to second-rate, ‘add-a-line’ status! Apparently, SMART phone users are ‘preferred customers’ at the phone company.
Anyway, all those little ‘extra’ charges, like ‘hook-up charges,’ ‘connection charges,’ city, state and federal taxes,’ 9-11 access – and ‘servicing the space satellite,’ for all I know, are DOUBLED BILLED on my monthly statement. How do they get away with charging me twice!
The point is – who’s looking out for us? Is ‘moaning and groaning’ about being fleeced by providers of commodities and services we depend on all we can really do?
I’m just about fed up enough to shoulder a placard, and join any protest in favor of “Consumer’s Civil Rights.”
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