The credit card companies have a mission, to make money, no matter what.
Even though now Congress has passed both the Dodd-Frank financial ?reform? law and the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure or CARD act of 2009, credit card companies are still up to their usual tricks and tactics in order to get more money from consumers.
In a recent article at ?Future of Capitalism? the author gives an example of two pieces of solicitation mail from the credit card companies that he received recently. The first offered a complimentary $10.00 to activate a service that ?monitors websites and chat rooms where identity thieves are known to buy and sell personal information?. But when you read the fine print the service costs $9.99 a month.
Okay, monitor these chat rooms, what benefit is that to the consumer who is paying $9.99 a month? Besides that if they ?know? where the identity thieves hang out, why don?t they just notify authorities instead of just ?monitor? them? This entire concept is just so wrong in so many ways!
The next piece of mail offered a 0% APR for the first year. Except at the bottom of the page there is a small disclosure that each transaction will cost you 4%.
4%!! But let?s not call it APR. We?ll just tack on the fee at the end. You know, ?a rose by any other name??
The author of the article claims that in his mind it makes the Democrats and the President look bad because they passed the bills and it was supposed to be cleaned up.
However, the opposition tends to claim, ?Business will monitor itself?. But we all know that never happens. As the TARP bill, which expires in 2 days, proves.
Don?t know what the answer is?
The bills that were passed probably curtailed at least some of the most egregious tactics.
And truly, these two examples seem like the credit cards are really grasping for their profits.
The lesson for the consumer, every time and always, is not to trust the credit card companies but always, always, read the fine print. And keep it simple. Why in the world would anyone, I mean anyone, need to monitor a chat room or website where identity thieves hang out??
Be a smart consumer; don?t be hoodwinked by the credit card company?s tactics.