So, Congress is clamping down on the excesses of credit card companies (big banks), at the prompting of the Obama administration. It’s about time.
Let me relate a recent personal experience. I don’t use credit cards much, but I do when I travel. So last winter driving down the middle of the country to Florida on vacation, I used one quite a bit. It was a Chase Visa, and the word “REWARDS” is printed on the face of the card.
Rewards? Yeah, right. Get this reward:
Postal service is poor in the part of Florida where we stayed for six weeks, and the mail we have forwarded from Duluth sometimes shows up a couple of weeks late. It meant I received the Chase Visa bill on the date the payment was due. Late upon receipt.
I called Chase but they said mail the money and call back the next month. And of course the next month’s bill had a $39 late charge. So I called back to explain the situation, reminding them that I have a perfect record with the company (payment in full every time I use it), and they turned me down flat. No way were they going to forgive the late fee, even when it was explained that it wasn’t my fault. So I paid it, and threw the card in a drawer were it will never be used again (I have a couple of others).
These guys prey on people who are sucked into huge debt, raising interest rates at the drop of a dime and assessing huge fees for exceeding credit limits and, yes, not paying on time – even if it’s beyond your control.
Go get ‘em Congress. This stuff has got to stop.