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Gouging from banks and corporations continues on and on

Bank of AmericaDid you read about how Bank of America is now charging $12 a month for checking accounts for e-banking customers unless they have a direct monthly deposit of $250 or more or maintain a minimum daily balance of at least $1,500?

This will make it more difficult for consumers with low balances to keep getting free checking.

Just another way for banks to gouge consumers.

Then there’s corporate gouging.

Since it’s the Academy Award season, I’m going to movies for my annual review of movies to see if they’re less violent, sexist, and ageist. I was told last week that I can’t use my Regal Cinema rewards points until I go to its website and give them my email address.

I spent an hour trying to figure out how to add my email to an account. It kept saying something went wrong, try again.

I finally called my local Regal Cinema. I was told Regal is no longer issuing plastic cards for customers, but instead they want you to download an app and use a virtual card. And, I learned virtual card users don’t have to “pay” as many points for their free popcorn, drinks, and movies.

Unfair. I’ll certainly complain to Regal’s corporate headquarters about that.

The ironic thing is that when I called the local Regal theater for help with the website, I was told they already had my email address.

Then tonight I went to a Landmark theater. I asked if they have a rewards program. I was told they have one now, but you have to have a virtual card. It required you to download an app.

This is so unfair to consumers that don’t have smartphones.

The struggle Regal Cinema reminded me that for months I haven’t been able to use my Office Depot rewards points. Same thing. I have to go to the website and give them my email. Office Depot also is going to virtual rewards cards. However, I can still use my plastic card.

Then, there’s American Airlines. It used to take a few years of travel to earn enough awards points for a free ticket. Not anymore. Now, in addition to increasing the award points you need for a free trip, American has reduced the availability for using your awards miles.

Add to that the fact that you now have to pay extra to sit in the front of the plane. It used to be about $35. Now, some of the seats on international flights cost $149.

I don’t know how corporations make these decisions that are so harmful to consumers. Don’t they care that they’re beating people down and the more they screw them the less money they’re going to have to spend?

On banks, avoid them. Sign up to be a credit union member instead.

As for corporations, join your local co-op and buy local when you can.

Comments

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azure

"Don’t they care that they’re beating people down and the more they screw them the less money they’re going to have to spend?"

No, they don't. When a corporation becomes an international entity, one person in the US no longer matters.

Of course, US law prevents US citizens and residents into combining into larger groups that might have far more bargaining power. It's no surprise that unions have been demonized in the US or that it's become so much harder for workers to unionize and most white collar workers don't have unions they can join.

The race to the bottom continues. The US already trails other developed nations in life span, maternal mortality, birth mortality, etc. The DCCC ignores good candidates (reproductive choice, Medicare for all, etc.) in favor of those w/corporate donors. Time for at least 2 new parties in the US.

Rita

Hi Azure,

Laws in the United States don't prevent people from joining together for more bargaining power. However, consumers just don't do it. They identify with their producer interests rather than their consumer interests. Consumers are so influenced by advertising and getting and spending they don't act on their consumer interests. Just think how different things would be if we had strong consumer groups that would boycott the bad corporations. It would change the economy and the world.

Rita

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