The Amish Cook from Oasis Newsfeatures

Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Congress is about to enact the strictest credit card restrictions in a generation and it is long overdue.  There is capriciousness, greed, and just plain nastiness that the big corporate titans impose on the rest of us.  Here's a silly, evil one:  my wife Rachel has a Kohl's Department Store charge card.  The payment is due at NOON on a particular day, so if she pays it at 1 p.m. then they add a late charge.  Such shenanigans will now be illegal and outlawed under the new regulations.  I hope this begins a trend towards more fairness in business and banking.  At some point in our capitalistic history it became acceptable to punish society's poorest.   If you only have $50 in your bank account and you accidentally (I know there are crook consumers out there, but I am not talking about those, I'm talking about honest people who make honest mistakes) bounce a check for $52, you get a $35 NSF fee.  Uh...hello, if the person can't pay a $52 check, it is okay to add $35 in fees???   I love the way our local power company, Duke Energy, treats its customers. I remember struggling in the past to pay my bill.  Say I owed $300 past due on the bill.  If the power were to be cut off for non-payment, you have to pay the whole bill plus a horriible deposit and re-connect fee.  Um...duh, if the person doesn't have enough to pay their bill, um...how can they afford a deposit and re-connect fee?  They can't.  It's "corporate punishment" and I think it's atrocious...I hope this new bill is the beginning of the end for such greed.   And, the Amish angle to this?  Some Amish DO use credit cards....I don't think it's a huge percentage, but some more prosperous Amish entrepreneurs do use them.  Click here to read more.

lorraine stoddard's picture

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

We don't have any credit cards!  However we do have a debt card.  A credit card is okay if you pay off the balance on the due date.  If not all your doing is giving the company extra money plus interest.  To me that is throwing away hard earned money.  No credit card,means no extra bills!!

 

 

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

I had a JCPenney credit card that's payment was due on the 15th of the month.  No big deal, pay it on the 15th.  About 6 months ago they changed the terms of my card to where it is due every 25 days. When I called and complained about it, I was basically total SOL.  Needless to say, I almost have it paid off and it will be cancelled.

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Me too!! I was fortunate enough to pay mine off, and it gave me inordinate pleasure to cut it up!! When I cancelled , they tried all sorts of gimmicks to get me to reconsider. I am really happy to be rid of that "noose". Good luck!

TomK's picture

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Use to have them, but with the advent of Debit cards being almost the same thing that is what I use instead - much better control of what money you have available...

 

eggcetra_farms's picture

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Yes, we have a debit card now that we got rid of the credit cards but even that has been used a lot less lately as we've mainly gone back to cash.

TomK's picture

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Which is just as good as money...

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

We have excellent credit and never keep a balance on our cards.  When we moved here, as soon as the phone was hooked up I called and changed all of our addresses with our cards.  (I waited until we had a land-line, because they always want that number). 

WELL...the Chase credit card that we had had for years went ahead and sent the bill to our old address in Quincy.  By the time it was forwarded to us, it was already overdue!  I immediately called them, and they tacked on a $36 late fee, even though it wasn't my fault it was late.  I argued and argued with them, but they wouldn't budge.  So I paid the bill off, and canceled the card.  Of course, when I called to do this, they did their best to talk me out of it.  I said "Refund me my $36 then."  They wouldn't.  So I said forget you, I will find a card that takes better care of their customers.  And I did.  My friend had a bill with her CC that was late due to the fact that it arrived when she was on vacation, and they took the late charge off for her! 

Someone called into the Clark Howard radio show the other day, and said their CC company unexplainedly raised their interest rate to 63% or some similar number.  He didn't believe them, so they faxed him a copy of their bill! 

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Hubby works in credit - not credit cards, nor a bank, nor financial industry... He knows the "right" things to say, I don't, companies never adjust or budge for me, especially when the person on the other end is a woman.  However, my Hubby gets a woman on the other end, and two minutes later the whole thing is fixed! This does sort of churn the belly a bit!! 

My favorite line is the [computer] system won't let me do that!  I say well then get me your supervisor, if they try the same story I remind them of their "human" state and that computers can always be overridden; they don't care for it much. I have taken care of issues, but I push, and push, because I know after years in business that when push comes to shove, they are trained to please the customer. It's the Momma Bear syndrome!!

Once, a gal tried to "pull rank" explaining her "title" with the company and all their "rules", I then explained to her that I was the CFO of this household and what our rules were... Oh she had a cow, the "rules" for my company were not valid according to her, I think she ended hung up on me! I laughed, later then Hubby called, got a different person and resolved the issue.

I've mellowed out in this area and don't judge myself by what these companies print on their bills, but it has taken a while to get there. 

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

My mom and I both agree, and I try to tell Matt...no matter how informed and educated you are, it is just sooo hard for women to get taken seriously in business matters!  I had a huge blunder happen with an online order I placed... they kept saying they fixed it, and 3 times it got messed up even more!  I can't tell you how many times I was on the phone with them, repeating the whole story to a NEW customer service rep.  Well, finally Matt called, got it fixed with one call, PLUS they gave him a $50 gift card for his trouble!

eggcetra_farms's picture

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

We cut up our credit cards a couple of years ago and I couldn't have been happier to do it.

 

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

We do not have any credit cards anymore, either . We do have a debit card through the credit union that we belong to. That's nice, because it will work as a credit card, as well. BUT, if there are no funds to access, it won't work. Keeps us out of alot of trouble!!

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Did you know that banks each day purposefully deduct from your account your highest check first?  They get more NSF fees that way.  for example:  your account balance $100.00.  5 checks come into the bank for payment from your account in the amounts of $10  $15  $20 $25 and $95.  The $95 is subtracted from your account first leaving a balance of $5 - not enough to clear any of the remaining 4 checks.  Yipee --   4 NSF's at $35 each!   The bank could have paid the first 4 checks first and bounced only the $95 check!

I was once an Ass't VP in Operations at a bank and argued that this policy should change.  Did no good.  Management's argument was that most customers would want their larger checks paid first - these larger checks would usually be mortgage and car payments, and customers don't want those checks to bounce.  But me - I didn't want the local grocery, local drugstore, local hardware, cutting off my credit!

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Yes, Chucki, that is another perfect example of "make your blood boil" banking practices...ugh

Re: Credit Card Reform Is Here!

Well, I have to say that this is probably the first thing I've agreed with Mr. President on! Remember when banks were regulated?  Then de-regulation came, I think this is a correction that is long overdue.