A bank robbery used to be when a masked bandit walked into a bank and stuck a gun in the teller’s face and demanded money. No more! These days a bank robbery is anytime an unsuspecting citizen walks into a bank and deposits money, puts money into a CD, or requests a credit card from the bank.
The looting of the major banks was hardly an accident. This is a repetition of the S&L scandal of the late eighties which stunned most of us when that bunch of thieves made off with taxpayer money to the tune of 800 Billion dollars. Now this one is likely to cost us trillions with no end in sight. Congress was complicit. We need only look at the campaign contributions funneled to the two sackers in Congress to get the big picture.
The “bonuses” funneled to the AIG thieves has the stench of hush money all over it. Suppose these guys had been fired and suppose there had been the usual race to the court house to sing and suppose the public had found out how badly they were ripped off? John Stewart has suggested that the AIG perps should be pitch forked in the street.
Unfortunately this kind of greed-head mentality has percolated down to all the banks. There are other smaller robberies perpetrated on the public every day. Singly these are what Bertol Brecht called bread crumb sins. Aggregated, they amount to rip-offs costing the public millions.
There is a radio program out of Atlanta called the Clark Howard show. It is the only useful program on the local hate radio station, and Howard is forever railing at the theft and fraud committed by banks against their customers. Two recent encounters with banks, both of which brought my blood to the boil, illustrate this kind of theft. The first was with a large bank with which I have done business for over twenty years. Let’s call it the Muckup and Theft bank. Unfortunately this bank has changed hands twice over the years and each time the level of service collapsed. In the latest go round they imported executives whose purpose, no doubt, was to attempt to steal as much as possible from the customers. The previous manager whom I have known for years is apparently now a teller. I had a modest CD in bank which they rolled over at well under market rates after sending me a letter in which they clearly stated that they would notify me of the new rate before it went into effect. Needless to say they did not notify me, argued that the letter in plain English did not say what it says and refused to allow me to withdraw the money without penalty. My recourse was to find a new bank and I now wouldn’t walk across a parking lot to whizz on Muckup and Theft Bank if it was on fire.
The second incident was with Bunko America. I have had a credit card with them for ten or fifteen years. The card accumulates USAir frequent flyer miles. I recently got notice that my card had been “upgraded.” I am wise enough at this time to know that with the “upgrade” comes reams of fly- speck type designed to screw the consumer. When I got the new cards, I cut them up and called them to decline the “upgrade” and asked if they had a no fee card. I carefully explained that accumulating frequent flyer points on U.S. Air was a bit like shooting oneself in the foot, having spent too many days in airports after flight cancellations, delays and other screw ups. Well, yes, they said they had World Points no fee card and would roll the account over and send me new cards in a week or so. A week or so later, I wanted to use my credit card to purchase some small item on the internet and found that the security code had worn off. I called Bunko America back and explained that I needed the no fee cards. I also had to walk the person through the whole spiel again, which was a bloody waste of time. And when I tried to pin the person down as to when I would receive the cards I got a carload of bullshit and baffle gab. No problem they said. Then one morning shortly after this conversation, Bunko America’s s “World Class Customer Service” called me, and I wasted twenty or thirty minutes on the phone explaining why I had not activated the “upgraded” USAir card, and that I had switched to a no fee card. The bottom line it turned out was that Bunko America was going to insist on charging me for a card I didn’t want and no longer had any use for. I patiently went through the scenario again for Miss vacuous blonde of the month and then for some dickwad, frat-rat, weenie sucking supervisor, neither of whom understood the English language: I am not paying a fee. I do not want the USAir card. Got it? Apparently neither had the brains to get it. They both insisted that because of the terms and conditions of the original card they could and would charge me the as yet undetermined fee.
Aside from the fact that I spent an hour and a half to two hours on the phone screwing around with Denny Dimwit and his cohorts at Bunko America, it is likely that they will lose a loyal and long standing customer, although when I called the Customer Service number on the letter they sent me confirming the changes I requested, the guy I got on the phone was civil and promised me that the change over would go smoothly. We will see if that is the case or if they try to rob me.
I promised Bunko America, who by the way is taking billions of Taxpayer bailout money while it attempts to run these scams and thefts against the public, that if they charged me a card fee I would pursue a fraud complaint against them with the Maryland Attorney General’s office.
Hooray for Clark Howard. The American public has had it with this kind of theft. As for AIG, when John Stewart said we ought to pitch fork them in the street, I think he got it just right.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009