Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Capitalism Sucks!

Growing up and going to school in these United States I was always taught that a capitalistic "Free Market" Society was the best way to go. The economic ideals of socialism and even communism were always regarded as 'bad' or 'evil'.

Now I'm no economist (far from it), but the way I see it capitalism sucks! At least today's incarnation of it. It seems to me that corporations get bigger and bigger and it is they, not 'the people' who rule the roost. Now I've had my run-ins with various corporations over the years, and I even worked for Citigroup, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, and as time goes on I'm beginning to realize that you cannot fight a corporation anymore. Even when you feel like you're in the right.

I'm currently having a problem I'd like to share here. I've had a credit card with another huge financial conglomerate, Bank of America, and l pay it as I pay most of my bills, through online banking. With Bank of America, I go directly to their website and process the payment there.

It just so happens that last month's bill was due on February 11th, a Sunday. I logged in on Saturday the 10th and paid my bill as I always do. Lo and behold I get a message, "Payment must be on a business day." I was forced to put the 12th (Monday) as the payment date.

No, mind you, the payment amount that was due was a whopping $17. I just got my new statement and BAM, a $39 late fee and loss of my 'promotional interest rate.' I immediately sent a message to customer service and guess what? I was basically told that "A late fee is assessed to an account any time the minimum scheduled payment does not post to the credit card account by the due date." No shit! Then I was given a laundry list of ways to make my payment like I'm some sort of idiot or something.

Like I said, I worked for Citibank for over 13 years. I know that making refunds, no matter how valid or invalid the charges were was "giving money away." I ended up leaving this career largely because of this type of attitude towards customers and fees. Bank of America is the same. By refunding my $39 and returning my rate to the original promotional rate, they're just giving money away. After all, it's not their fault they made the payment due on a Sunday, encouraged me all along to use their online banking, and then wouldn't accept my payment the day before it was due. Fuck them!

Am I wrong?

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