Thursday, September 29, 2011

Huntington Bank: I declare war












UPDATE: So, after I wrote the original blog post below, I posted a link to it on Facebook and I emailed it to my DebLite bloglist and also the list of media folks at Huntington.

Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles - half an hour later I got a call from my mother.

"I don't know what you did but someone from Huntington just called and asked me to have you call them." I told her what I did and she laughed. She knows when I go on the warparth, I mean business.

I was at work, so when I had a sec I called Huntington but the lady who called me wasn't in. I left a message and she called me back. The lady who called me was friendly in that almost-genuine corporate manner that I, too, am guilty of in the course of a day's work.

She informed me that they had, "expedited" fixing CollegeArabella's account, reversing the check and the overdraft fee.

They also took a look at my account and reversed my last overdraft fee that had just missed their 24/hour grace cutoff. Nice touch - seems they took the hint from my post and also from my mother who had tried to explain my issue as well, but I took it a step further.

And, what do you plan on offering my daughter for wrecking her account?

So, they gave her a $25 gift check which was the cost of the overdraft fee and although I think that's what she should have gotten for each day that she could not access her account, that lady's voice was changing from "friendly-corporate" to "keep-it-up-if you dare". I should know. I use that tone myself.

I kinda liked that part actually and that she pushed back. I'm sure dealing with this wasn't a pleasant part of her day. Even if I took this post down, and I'm not gonna, they'll have to be happy with an update, Google cache lasts a good long while. Another reason I'll never take it down is because I had to ask for the additional compensation, it wasn't just offered. And they didn't ask me either, but had they, I might have considered it. Oh well.

I also think I should leave it up because, overall, this incident is a micro-event in the world of what's happening with financial institutions today. It speaks to how banks feel that their customers are barely worth their notice and then only if they really raise a stink. And the result is less than spectacular, just some decent customer service and a Scooby Doo goodbye: We would have got away with it if it wasn't for that rascally blog.

I hope it was just a machine that made a mistake and not a person. The lady who called blamed it on an automated reader and I hope that's the case, because I was honestly worried that my complaint might get someone fired and I would never want that to happen. And the customer service person who took my original complaint was just doing her job and following Huntington's policy. But I do think that a bank as big as Huntington shouldn't be able to do what they did to my daughter and think that fixing it 3 days from whenever is ok.That they did not empower their customer rep, or her supervisor who she originally asked for help, to do more speaks to the type of company they are, not their employees.

On a day like today, when people are literally Occupying Wall Street to get the financial institutions of this country to pay attention to the little guy, my story isn't even really a drop in the bucket. But it is a tiny part of what that fight is all about.


*****Original Post*****

Huntington Bank made a mistake and posted a check to my daughter's account with a similar account number. The check did not belong to either my daughter or me. I called them, expecting this obvious mistake to be easily rectified. They opened a "dispute ticket" saying it can take 3 or more days to rectify.

If I overdraft by so much as a dollar, they would give me 24 hrs to correct it or charge me over $35. Yet, they can take their time fixing a mistake that is costing me hundreds of dollars as well as leave my daughter stranded at college with no money for 3 days or longer and not have to recompense her a dime.

How is this fair?

I set up the account with Huntington because reviews of their online banking were good. You see transactions promptly and they made it easy to transfer funds between accounts.

This is why people go to CheckSmart, Wal-Mart or any other place they can EXCEPT banks to take care of every day financial transactions. Banks, despite their claims otherwise, are meant to take care of corporations or businesses. They have no interest in helping or taking care of the needs of every day people like you and me.

So now, I am going to open a Wal-Mart Money account for my daughter as a backup to ensure that she always has cash for when her bank fails her. If it works well, then I will do the same for my personal account and all but my busines accounts. Those, I will transfer them elsewhere as soon as humanly possible if Huntington does not make this right.

I'm sure they think "making this right" entails merely putting the account back the way it was. But if they deserve $35 for an overdraft of $1, then what should they owe for overdrafting my daughter's account to over $200 and days of inconvenience?

***
Related Articles
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Experiment in Liberty is Over - It Failed

Just where, in this land, are we truly free?

Employers can demand your urine, your credit report and background checks that dig far deeper into your life than simply checking your job history.

We are on the verge of punishing people for the crime of being poor. We already punish the homeless. We have made it illegal to sleep, in public, during the day. We put armrests in the middle of park benches to discourage homeless people from reminding us that we are better off.

We demand that poor people prove that they are "deserving". That they are not drug users or that they are "really poor" not simply just "temporarily poor". We are on the verge of telling record numbers of unemployed people that the benefits they paid into are only available if they pull down their pants, pee and prove that they do not use drugs.

Employers, sports stadiums, amusement parks, and all government buildings have the right to subject you to a search of your person and for women, their purses.

Police officers have carte blanche to arrest, to maim, to kill - only their most egregious and lethal pursuits are investigated - usually with the officer getting off, being reassigned, or hired elsewhere. Police can stop you at anytime for any reason and demand that you prove you are a citizen of this country.

And the income desparity between rich and poor is becoming more and more pronounced. To the point where we believe that there is truly a "class war" in this country.

We are becoming conditioned to believe that to be "poor" is to be "lower class" and that to be "rich" is to be higher class.

In the country I grew up in, we were a nation of equals. Your income, gender, religion, color or nationality of origin did not matter.

And yet, we are perfectly willing to let the media convince us that there are "winners" and "losers" in a class war that doesn't exist.

There is simply what is fair and what is not fair. Either we take care of each other or we don't. Either we are pefectly willing to let some die and other live based on their ability to pay or we aren't. Either we believe that some children have a right to an education and others don't because they are from "lower class" families or we don't. We either believe that some people deserve special rights because they are white and rich or we don't.

There are ideals that move us closer to slavery or closer to freedom. There are ideals that move us closer to equality or closer to inequality.

The Experiment in Liberty has failed. We are no longer free. The question is whether we will do what it takes to regain our liberty.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Creating Businesses AND Jobs

One way to help with the jobs crisis:

Fully fund every Small Business Administration in this country and help Americans start businesses for themselves

First: Hire more people to run and administrate the expanded SBA.These people should be trained tor recognize or already know how to select business ideas that have potential. However all ideas should be considered. Any idea that comes down the pike from home businesses to ideas that can become brick and mortar businesses.

Undeveloped ideas can be sent through development classes that last one year, maybe longer. Ideas that are closer to "shovel ready" can be fast tracked for funding (grants NOT loans). These businesses can be mentored through the SBA for six months to create a business plan.

After that, give these folks the seed money to start their business and get other people hired! Provide them with mentors from startup to creation and even on through the first one to five years until they're ready to stand on their own two feet.

THAT's how you put America back to work. But begging coprorations for jobs they have no intention of creating while there's a black man in the White House is just plain dumbs.

Creating Businesses Jobs

One way to help with the jobs crisis:

Fully fund every Small Business Administration in this country and help Americans start businesses for themselves

First: Hire more people to run and administrate the expanded SBA.These people should be trained tor recognize or already know how to select business ideas that have potential. However all ideas should be considered. Any idea that comes down the pike from home businesses to ideas that can become brick and mortar businesses.

Undeveloped ideas can be sent through development classes that last one year, maybe longer. Ideas that are closer to "shovel ready" can be fast tracked for funding (grants NOT loans). These businesses can be mentored through the SBA for six months to create a business plan.

After that, give these folks the seed money to start their business and get other people hired! Provide them with mentors from startup to creation and even on through the first one to five years until they're ready to stand on their own two feet.

THAT's how you put America back to work. But begging coprorations for jobs they have no intention of creating while there's a black man in the White House is just plain dumbs.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

American Slavery 2011



A lot of people seem to be having raptures of cute kittens, rainbows and orgasms over President Obamas "Jobs Plan" bill proposal speech.

Me? Not so much.

It's just too much too little too late. I'm tired of the Republicans playing Lucy with the football over every single thing the President has expected to accomplish. For three years we've watched this.
President Obama: Tell me your ideas (Hey, let's play nicely together)
Republicans: Here are our ideas. (Come kick this football.)
President Obama: OK. Let's do that and let me add...
Republicans: No, you can't add anything. (Hurry up, we're holding the football.)
President Obama: That's ok. I'm gonna kick the football. Don't pull it away or anything.
Republicans: We won't. We promise. We don't even care that you're black. We swear.
President Obama: AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!
Republicans: Next time we won't pull it away.
President Obama: OK. Tell me your ideas.


And the President, I'm pretty sure like the rest of us, is infinitely sick of this crap. Because while the Republicans are making him fight every single tiny battle over things that should be routine, lots of things are being ignored. Like say, Jobs, Education, Healthcare and the Infrastructure.

Oh, we can attend to War like a mofo, but everything else? Eh, too much effort.

So now, everyone's acting like Obama has done some masterful planning and backed the Republicans into some ideological corner where they have NO CHOICE but to hold onto the damned football.

The problem is, the Republicans have no ideology that doesn't end in them holding all the power, money and resources and everyone else who is not in their monied, well-connected crowd as either useful pawns or outright slaves.

We're born. We live. We die. This is a fact.

How you do this and how well, how comfortably, how much you learn, live, grow and your circumstances when you shuffle off this mortal coil are all things Republicans want to control.

Every minute, every day of your life.

Mind you, they'd prefer you remained ignorant, under their control and that they have the very power of your life and death.

How you have sex. Who you have sex with. When you have sex. Who you marry. Whether you are forced to bear children.

How you raise your children. Making sure they are taught lies and given just enough education to make them "productive citizens" (read useful slaves) but not enough to give them true autonomny or challenge their masters.

Denying access to Civil Liberties, Jobs and Healthcare if you don't have enough money to pay for the "right" to these necessities. Your access to them all is based on your ability to cough up cash or knowing the right people.

How you live once you are too old to work. How you can give your time, effort, energy and entire life to being a "productive citizen" and be tossed aside like so much garbage when you are too old to produce for the Republican machine.

We're going backwards not forwards. We're moving towards slavery not away from it.

White people, you are right to be afraid. But not of the blacks and foreigners you are trained to fear. You need to look at the Boehners and Becks, Roves and Romneys, Perry's and Palins. You need to stop trusting their smiles and their lies. You will not be left out of the slavery pool this time around.

Think I'm fearmongering or prone to hyperbole? Think I'm fearmongering. Then think of this:

America has a history of allowing rich whites to kill with impunity though. No wonder we hear the words "states rights" pop up again and again.

Republicans keep harping on the word "Deregulation" again and again. "Deregulation is necessary for jobs because enforcing rules somehow forces employers to take jobs overseas. And after all, most of the regulations are just some liberal notion that makes it harder for businesses to operate.

The only thing "Deregulation" does is make it easier for corporations to kill you.

When Republicans argue for "deregulation" of course they are actually arguing for rules that make it ok for corporations - which are supposed to be people - to be able to commit murder and suffer no consequences. By that logic, anyone can make themselves a corporation, then kill whoever they wanted. Except if I killed 40 people, you'd call me a serial killer.

Repbulicans are making the case that deaths of 11 people who were killed by BP's negligence were justified. The 29 men who died in the Massey Mine collapse? Just the cost of doing business. It was necessary. There should be no question of anyone who owns or runs these companies being punished? Talk about death panels.

But hey, at least the news isn't all bad. In return for the right to kill, pollute, and demand unfailing obesiance from "productive citizens", they will make sure that some of their wealth "trickles down" to us. And if we're really lucky, they'll sprinkle a few jobs back in the Homeland.

And that brings us back to President Obama's Job Plan.

Sure guys, bring out the football.

No problem. I'm sure there's no way they can kick it away.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Republicans Against Refrigeration for the Poor

I've figured it out. Republicans are upset because far too many poor people have refrigerators. Check out these videos where Jon Stewart explains (snark) how poor people "are living like they just won a Showcase Showdown".

After the videos, check out this article where Scott Walter, the only American governor of a state dumber than John Kasich (OH) and Rick Scott (FL) who suggests that schools, namely teachers, don't need refrigerators at schools and that providing them is a luxury:

Longer Skirts and No Coffeemakers: How Gov. Scott Walker Wants WI School Boards to Save Money






So all that being said...

I think we can all agree that refrigerators are toys that "the poor" can do without. The poorer classes should never try to ape their betters, let alone attempt to pretend at moving beyond their station by having a refrigerator. This type of modern technology should be for those who can afford to buy a refrigerator outright and maybe not even then.

Refrigeration is the key way to tell if someone is either rich or living far beyond their means.The poorer classes should not be allowed to purchase a refrigerator on a payment plan or, heaven forbid, with a credit card. All refrigerators (and any other modern appliances or electronics such as coffee makers, television, VCR's, DVD players, computers, gaming systems, etc) should be removed from public housing, homeless shelters, halfway houses or foster homes, schools and any places where people are employed by the government immediately.

The poorer classes serve one purpose and one purpose only: To work for the rich. Molly-coddling poor people with modern technology, particularly refrigeration, is a waste of time and money and should be discouraged, if not forbidden, at every opportunity.

Republicans Against Refrigeration for the Poor

ThatDeborahGirl — 8/30/11 5:01pm