Friday, November 23, 2007

I'd Like To Be Ripped Off Please

You know, the last time I checked, I thought that I lived in America. I thought that this was the best Nation on Planet Earth. Not that it isn't, I just seem to have found out that everywhere you go, people are only after one thing, and that's your money.

I ordered a box of checks, some deposit slips, and a new check book cover since mine was on the verge of breaking in half. I did this online through Bank of America. The total was like $54 dollars total. Cool right? The thing is that this order posted to my account in 3 separate transactions. What's wrong with that you might ask? Here it is.

I have been with Bank of America long enough to know how they are beginning to do their dirty work. They used to be a good bank, but over the years they have turned against their own customers and began to rip them off. So what really is wrong with the 3 transaction thing? Here's why they do it. For fee's. That's how a bank gets a good chunk of money that they bring in. And it's not from non Bank of America customers either. It's from their own customers. That's right. You see when I ordered the checks, deposit slips, and checkbook cover, the total for all was $54 dollars. My account has 3 transactions. One for the checks, one for the deposit slips, and one for the check book cover. Now, lets say that I was just plain broke. What were to happen if just one of those transactions were to put me over the limit? I would get a fee for going over my limit. Now, what would happen if I was to go over and then do two more transactions. Both additional transactions would get me a fee each. However, in this case, if I was over and this caused me to go over, I shouldn't be charged three fee's because it was one transaction, they just decided to put it on my account as three fee's.

Now, I can see some poor person or some high school student getting into trouble in this manner. I personally pay all of my bills by electronic checks. That is one of the coolest things that is out there. When I first started it, what would happen is that when ever I would send out an electronic check, it would be deducted out of my checking account right then and there. The very second that I pushed "send", it would be out of my account. Then Bank of America changed their policy. They changed it to where they would send out the check, but they wouldn't take it out of your account until the person you sent it to accepted it. If you had a company that didn't accept electronic checks but you still had Bank of America mail a check to them for you, that check had to be cashed just like a regular check. It used to no be that way as I said before. When this all started I was very confused. I could see someone getting themselves into serious trouble when this all started by not letting them know and then they think that the money was already taken out of their bank and then they see that they have a lot more money than they really do.

I have a friend that over drafted her checking account. She did it on purpose. Why? Well her dog was hit by a car. She had to take the dog to the vet and the cost was more than she had in the bank. She knew this so she wrote a check knowing that it would bounce. She thought that her bank would give her one fee. Instead her bank charged her a $35 dollar fee for everyday that she was over.

Ok, so lets look at that. One fee for everyday that she is over. If a bank charges you one fee for every day that you are over then all they are doing is helping you stay over drafted. Most jobs pay on a monthly or bi-weekly basis. Hardly do places pay weekly anymore. So depending on when this happened, it depends on when she will be able to bring her account back into the green. If she is charged a fee everyday that she is over, she may never get her account in good standing. Most people do not overdraft their account on purpose. In this case yes, but normally no. What is her bank? Washington Mutual or Wamu as some people call it.

Banks can change their policy anytime that they want to. They never have to tell you either and they don't, believe me. Why can they do this? Easy. You gave them permission to. Don't believe me? If you still have your contract with the bank when you signed up, look through it and you'll find a part in there that states very clearly that they can change their policy at anytime with or without your knowledge. If you do not have a copy of this then go to your local bank and ask for a copy. I'm sure that they would be more than happy to point that out to you. If you never agreed to that, trust me when I say that you would not be a member of their bank.

Now this goes far beyond banks. You seem to get ripped off everywhere you go. If you go to a medical facility for one reason or another, if you don't have medical insurance then your pretty much screwed. The cost of medical or dental is outright outrageous. There is no reason that it should cost as much as it does.

Pro sports is another one. Want to go see your favorite team play? Chances are your going to fork out some money if you want to see them, unless you want to see them from the furthest point in the whole arena. Even then it might cost you $30 or $40 bucks.

Movies. How much does it cost to go to a movie? $10? What if you want popcorn or a coke? $5 for a bag of small popcorn and $4 for a small 20 oz. drink! Are you kidding me?

But I can tell you why this happens. Because we as Americans allow this to happen. We just go with the flow and pretend that everything seems that of the norm. Used to if people didn't like the price of things they wouldn't but them. Over time when no one would buy them, the prices would go down. Now prices keep going up because we as a society keep paying them instead of putting our foot down. If we did, then this country would not be like it is now.

Here's something to think about. Do you think that our forefathers intended this country to be the way that it is now when the Declaration of Independence was written? I seriously doubt that. Justice for all as it says in our pledge. But where is the justice? How come some people can afford to go to the doctor and some cannot?

If everybody would just put their foot down and take a stand then this country would be a great Nation again.

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