Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Big banks capitulate on debit fees
The Occupy Wall Street movement is demonstrating that it is possible to fight giant corporations and their incessant nickel-and-diming consumers to death.
In September, bailed-out banking giant Bank of America announced they would soon begin charging a $5 a month fee for their customers who use debit cards. In the past, this would have been grudgingly accepted by their customers because there really didn't seem to be any point in complaining. There was an old expression from when I was a kid, and it was "you can't fight AT&T." Well, the government broke up that monopoly, and as a result we have hundreds of regional phone companies that often have to compete for customers, resulting in better service for lower prices.
The banks are just one of the industries in this nation that have been operating for a long time as a sort of cartel, where one bank would announce a new fee or policy, and soon most or all of the other would jump aboard.
Except because of #OWS, this time it backfired.
The unifying reach of the Occupy movement has taken hold in the minds of many citizens. The power of a single person is limited; the power of the masses is unstoppable. There were SO many people who changed banks or signed petitions saying they would change banks should the new fee go through that it caused nearly all the banks, including the gigantic Bank of America, to rescind the new policy.
This is the power of a unified citizen's response!
Of course, this is just a small victory in the long war against huge corporations who have been gaming the system through sympathetic (or apathetic) politicians for so long that it has become the status quo to screw the consumer. It is a situation where companies who have long felt a sense of entitlement are suddenly being put on the defensive and are forced to actually listen to their customers!
THIS is a positive result of the #OWS movement. Sure as shit I haven't seen anything nearly this useful come out of the hate-filled rhetoric with zero results behind it that emanated from the Tea Party movement for nearly two years. Hell, I'd bet most of those idiots would gladly pay an extra $60 a year in the hopes that the big banks would go out of their way to create more jobs in return!
The war against the corporatization of America continues. Rest assured, the banks are already working on strategies to make up for that lousy $5 a month they would have gotten in the past, and they'll probably find a way to increase their profits by sticking in a hidden fee or revamping their rate structure or something like that.
Because they are insidious and don't lack in creativity to find ways to squeeze every last penny out of all of you if they can find a way.
Oh, they'll keep trying.
And we need to keep watching them, and acting when needed.
Posted by CT Bob at 11/01/2011 03:45:00 PM