Saturday, July 05, 2008

New Service - The Rolling Pin

Today I decided to start a new service on Retro Housewife - I am calling it the Rolling Pin. It is not about baking, but it is about dough... the green kind - yours and mine and those companies out there which try to take it from us using sleazy tactics, that I am sure are legal, but which I believe are unethical!

For example: Today I realized that I have been paying for a "service" since 2002 that I was totally unaware that I had. I noticed this charge on my credit card statement:

MP PRIVSRCE ###### 8002439404 .... $99.99

So I called 8002439404 and it turned out to be Privacy Ver or something which will allow me to access my credit reports for free. Apparently I was trying to activate my Bank of America credit card back in 2002 and inadvertently signed up for this service. I am quite sure I didn't want this service as I can already access my credit reports for free, by law. (I usually don't volunteer to pay for things that are free.)

After canceling the service - for some reason my refund will only be $82 instead of $99 - I called Bank of America Credit Card Services explained the situation, and was transferred to another BofA department. This was another "privacy service" offered by BofA, similar name, but not the one that was charging me.

After a conversation with the customer service lady which went something like Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first" comedy routine, I got her to transfer me back to credit card services. I listened to the usual call system blather, then another lady came on the line and I said:

"For quality purposes, this call is being recorded...by me!"

At which point she said she would not be able to speak with me. I asked to be transferred to her supervisor and the next thing I heard was:

"If you would like to make a call, please hang up..."

It was at this point that I realized how absolutely helpless we are as individuals against these large institutions and corporations, and how they can do with us what they will, and there isn't a darn thing we can do about it.

Except maybe I can do something about it, because this site gets a fair number of visitors each day, and I can't be the only one this is happening to! So if you have ever been bullied by the big guys into forking over your lunch money, this is for you. I am going to look into getting our lunch money back - and hopefully I will get to Bonk a few over the head with my rolling pin. (Symbolically, of course!)

RH (Mad as HECK!)

Update: May 27th 2009:

I just used LegalMatch to see if there are any law firms around who are interested

I run the website below - details are on the blog page. I have been collecting email addresses of people who were also charged $99 for a credit report service they never signed up for. I paid this fee for years before I noticed it - I blogged about it and started hearing from people who had the same charge. If any law firm is interested in suing BOFA I will turn over my names to them and wish them luck. I don't want to hire them or collect any money from a law suit, I want somebody to stand up to Bank of America.

Feb 22 2010 Nothing Came of the LegalMatch attempt - If you are surfing by and happen to know a lawyer who may be interested, reply to this post or send me an email @ mrs@retro-housewife.com. THx

Meanwhile, This just came in via email: mp privsrce
"We have been getting billed $12.99 for months before I questioned my wife about it. I called 800-243-9404. They directed me to the website https://privacysource.bankofamerica.com. and showed me how to sign in using my member number, etc. They said I would be alerted if someone tried to open a new account (or apply for a loan) in my name. It turns out I have been paying for this service since 2006 and have not heard anything from them until just recently. Good luck and God bless. Mike" Feb. 22, 2010

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Hey, It's Firing In California Again!

Yup, Happy 4th of July Everyone... We got back from Germany only to discover that half of the state is on fire again. I spent last night and most of today trying to reach my parents house which is under mandatory evacuation orders.

Then once I was able to sneak past the police line, and reach the house, I spent the next hour or so trying to convince my father that it was not a waste of water to wet down some of the more flammable areas of the house. I was unsuccessful and got yelled at. He absolutely refused to leave so I rounded up my crew, packed up the photo albums and went home.

I hope stubbornness is an effective fire fighting agent. If so, my parents will be fine because their neighbor across the street who is about the same age also refuses to leave. I went over to check on him and got pretty much the same lecture as my father gave me - so I quickly gave up any idea of offering him a ride out and just stayed and chatted for a bit about what his kids are up to.

His daughter is in San Diego, and I am pretty sure she is worried about him, although I have never met her - but just in case you are she or a she like her, - and me, You won't talk him into it.

RH and Daughter Of a Stubborn Father