19 July 2006

Complex Faustian Debt

A few months ago, I came into some money; enough to pay off the last dregs on my credit card. "Hurrah!" you say? Not so fast... I called the card company, and asked for a payoff amount. "How are you intending to pay?" he asked. "Electronic transfer. Why?" Well, it turns out that interest is being calculated every flippin second, and how fast you get the money to them matters deeply. So the young man took a stab at the total amount, which I immediately paid, through the company's web interface. "Hurrah!" says I. But not so fast... Turns out young man overcalculated, to the tune of about $80. So the card company had $80 of my money. Fine. I call them, and ask if they can issue me a check for the overage. "Sure," says the young man on the phone, "but it will cost you a $15 fee." Yup. They are going to charge me $15 to get my own money back from them. Bastards. "Fine" says I, "I'll leave it there." And leave it there I have, until yesterday. Due to one thing and another, I decided I needed that money. So I call the company, and ask if there's another way. "Sure," says the young man on the phone, "you can get a cash advance anywhere. Any bank, any company, even casinos, will give you that money, just flash them your ID." "Hurrah!" you say? Not so fast... I toddle down to the bank that issued the card, step brightly up to the window, and ask for my money. The teenage minimum-wage earning bippy functionary declines. "What???" I say. "I can get that money from a freaking casino! So says the man on the phone!" "Sure," says the teenage minimum-wage earning bippy functionary, "but we have to assess you a fee equal to a percentage of the total advance and subject to the current interest rate on cash advances." "Get me a manager, and someone who can operate a calculator!" I cry. "All I want is a zero balance! You can't have my money, I don't want yours, can't we get some sort of detente going on, or is this Hezbollah and Israel over Gaza?" The teenage minimum-wage earning bippy functionary blinked at me, clearly not understanding a word of what I'd just said. She then blinked again. "I'll get my manager," she finally decided was the prudent course of action. "Does your manager know how to operate a calculator?" I asked? "I'm not sure", replies teenage minimum-wage earning bippy functionary. "Why do you need one?" I slip into Mighty Homeschooling Mama mode. I don't even realize I've done it. "Well," I explain, "if you're hellbent on charging me a fee for extracting my own cold cash from your greedy bloodsucking imperialist claws, we're going to calculate the percentage fee and the APR (which incidentally it is wholly illegal for you to apply on a credit overage, but you don't know that, apparently), and then I'm going to request a cash advance amount that will result in me owing you three cents, so that your company's greedy bloodsucking imperialist accounting department will have to keep going through the hassle of billing me for three stinkin pennies, and since your billing costs far more than that, in wages, in paper, in mailing costs, your greedy bloodsucking imperialist employer is going to go into the hole a minimum of $10 every single time they dare screw with me and my simple request to right a wrong." She popped her gum at me, and asked me to step aside so she could help the next customer, clearly unmoved by my challenging of authority. Eventually, I left, clutching my card, my cash, and my dignity around me. I had challenged the behemoth, and I think I won. "Hurrah!" you say? Not so fast...let's wait until the next billing period.

3 Comments:

At 7/20/2006 08:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not just buy exactly $80 worth of useful stuff...

...nevermind...I understand that it's the principle that matters...

 
At 7/24/2006 09:08:00 AM, Blogger LadySeduction said...

HURRAY for you!!!

And you improved that young whippersnappers vocab a thousandfold plus kept her informed on current events...

I now dub you SuperHomeSchoolingMamaGoddess!!!

 
At 8/01/2006 05:41:00 PM, Blogger jjujju said...

WAY TO GO! ;)

 

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