I use a Big Evil Bank for my checking and savings needs. I understand the Occupy Wall Street protesters would like me to move my money into a small, independent bank, such as Unicorn Credit Union, a small local bank in California. (I've changed the name of the bank so I don't get harassed by the Unicorns for blogging about them. I can be cynical that way.)
A collection agency called me last week, claiming I owe Unicorn Credit Union MasterCard thirty-five dollars. That seemed strange because I do not have a Unicorn MasterCard. My alarm bells started ringing - holy eff! identity theft!
I hung up on the collection agency (somewhat politely) and called Unicorn MasterCard. A customer services rep advised me that I had opened an account with Unicorn MasterCard in 1999 but the account had been dormant since 2001. I do not remember any of this, but it sounds feasible enough: in 1999, I was in college and my dad probably told me I needed a credit card to build my credit rating. (I would not have thought to "build my credit rating" on my own).
I'm glad that 1999 Courtney, and not 2011 Identity Theft Villain, opened the Unicorn MasterCard. But if the card had been dormant FOR THE PAST DECADE, why did I owe the Unicorns thirty-five dollars?
The customer services rep explained that a few months ago, the Unicorns started a new rewards program for their credit card holders. They mailed a notice that the program costs $25 and members had to opt OUT or their account would be charged.
I never opened that letter from the Unicorns. Do you know why? BECAUSE WHEN I RECEIVE MAIL FROM THE UNICORNS, I ASSUME IT'S JUNK. It's been a freaking decade. I can't even tell you what credit cards I was using in 2001. I'm a little surprised I had any credit cards at the time BECAUSE I DIDN'T HAVE ANY MONEY. I receive junk mail from various MasterCards and Visas all the time. If I opened every piece of junk mail that I received from credit card suitors, my hands would never stop bleeding from the paper cuts.
Needless to say, I did not opt out and I was charged $25 for a rewards program for a credit card I have not used SINCE THE FIRST YEAR OF GEORGE W.'S PRESIDENCY. And then do you know what happened? The Unicorns sent me a bill which I did not pay because again, I assumed it was junk mail. SO THEN THE UNICORNS CHARGED ME A $10 LATE FEE AND SENT MY ACCOUNT TO COLLECTIONS.
Are you effin freaking kidding me? There are not enough potty mouth words in the English language to express how I feel about this, but let me try:
And this is the sort of small "friendly" bank that the Occupy protesters would like me to use.