Every once in a while I receive an "Important Information Inside" self mailer from a financial company such as a bank, credit card firm, insurance company, investment firm and it normally is a bunch of changes to the agreement they have with me and other customers. It is sometimes unclear if the other customers are all of their customers or just those with certain attributes or account conditions,.
I never use to read these. Always found that these type of fine print boiler plate agreements were prepared by lawyers who work for the financial institution. That in itself signals to me that it is probably never account changes that will benefit me and that the changes will enrich and/or protect the issuing company. In the past, I felt that my government would protect me from said screwing on one hand and that the screwing would not be a total pounding because the issuing firm has some thought that they would want to keep me as a customer.
There are, however, recent developments that many of these same above mentioned companies poorly handled mortgages, refused to renegotiate loans, make wholesale foreclosures, and all at the expense of their own customers. I am well aware that the customer was mostly dense above-the-neck and that the economy, the unemployment, the bankruptcies were, in a large measure, the consequence of not reading and understanding the fine print put together by lawyers.
So now, to my great chagrin, I read these boring mailers. One was from Bank of America in the latter part of 2009 stating that because of how I used their issued credit card, I now would have to pay a yearly fee or I could cancel by calling a toll free number and if I canceled, the card would be void.
Well, for at least 20-25 years, I have paid all credit card debt prior to its being due, so it became obvious that the bank did not like clients who paid their whole debt on time and avoid finance charges. To them, I gathered that customers who can afford to pay the whole bill and are probably more credit worthy are not worth given the same consideration as those who pay interest.
So, I wrote to a whole bunch of places to complain including the Better Business Bureau, state and federal agencies, elected officials, and so forth, and received a phone call from someone who represented high office at Bank of America. It verified that the reason they wanted me to pay an annual fee was my clean credit account's profitability.
Ultimately, I called the toll free number, canceled the card, and now I read all the boiler plates and recommend that anyone out their in cyberspace crazy enough to read my writing, do the same.
If you think this was a rarity, I just received one from the bank that handles Orchard Supply Hardware credit cards and they want to charge $1 for every statement they mail forcing me to either cancel the card or get on-line statements. What I hate about this is that I have to spend time thinking about it instead of thinking about Michelle Pfeiffer.