November 24, 2009
-- by Dave Johnson
Digby writes about a scam by Bank of America, where they switched the envelope to look like junk mail, so people threw it away, and they collect million upon millions in late fees. Credit Card Companies Are Using Dirty Tricks to Force Us to Pay Late Fees: Why Won't Congress Do Something?
It was clearly a sneaky trick. Yes, it's my responsibility to know when my bills are due, but I had been in the habit of putting the bill into the "to pay" file and paying it on the following Monday. It didn't occur to me that the bill would suddenly come in an envelope with no return address or label on it that didn't look like a bill and so I tossed it into a junk pile and didn't look at it right away.Chase ran a scam on me. I didn't realize it was a scam until I was talking with someone else and found out exactly the same thing happened to her. I had automatic payments set up. They stopped the automatic payments, and charged me late fees. And when I got them to reverse the late fee, they applied a fee reversal fee!
And that's what people are dealing with all the time as consumers, with their health insurance, their credit cards, their mortgages, their pensions -- overwhelming complexity designed to trip them up and cost them money or deny them benefits to which they believed in good faith they were entitled. And its all perfectly legal -- or at least there's no visible accountability for it.
Here's the thing. Nothing is getting done about any of this big-corporate corruption! Democrats have a huge opportunity to demonstrate that they are on the side of regular people -- but just enough corrupt Democrats in the Senate are joining with the totally-corrupt Republicans to keep anything from getting done.
I just don't get this. This is a populist moment and with the exception of a few liberal economists and professors and a couple of Democratic congressmen, the whole field is being left to the teabaggers. This populist fever doesn't just affect the rural working folks, it affects people in the big urban centers and the suburbs just as much. Everybody's getting screwed. Somebody needs to address that or the wrong people are going to be blamed.
Posted by Dave Johnson at November 24, 2009 1:48 PM
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