Mike and the Bank of America.

Mike and the Bank of America

Mike is a frequent visitor to the Corner. He lives in his van. He has had—and is—a long, strange trip. He goes to swap meets a lot and shows up with some very colorful women he’s met, especially at the San Diego one. He drinks half & half and smokes a lot, and has probably done whichever drug you’re thinking of. Today, Mike got a few things at the Vons and decided to make them into a sandwich and eat them on the strip of grass next to his van.

Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 57 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,900 retail banking offices and approximately 18,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 29 million active users. Bank of America is among the world’s leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange

I just canceled two credit cards.

Zeroed out balance, they were crap ghetto credit, goodbye.

1) HSBC. Polite and pleasant operator transfers me to “win-back” guy. He talks too fast reading the script and is hard to understand due to an accent, but very nice. After two attempts to sell me back, including a fairly pathetic 2% cashback offer and waiving the membership fee, he folds and agrees to cancel it and send me written confirmation.

2) Juniper/Apple Credit. Same type of operator transfers me to win-back guy. He is a “relationship manager” which makes me think of Dr. Neil Clark Warren. He doesn’t try to give me any deals. Instead he first tries to sell me on how great the card is, and is not chagrined at all to learn that I have 8% less interest and ten times the limit elsewhere. Then he issues a warning: if I cancel the card, it could have an adverse effect on my credit rating! He says this once and I point out that closing the account after paying it off is probably not a minus. In a more ominous tone he asks me to reconsider because it could seriously be a negative MARK on my CREDIT RATING if i canceled. “Oh no you don’t,” I say. “Enough with the threats; that is not cool. Immediately cancel the account and send me written confirmation.” He folds too.

Nice bullying, Juniper/Apple!

Two bizarre events which require explanation

  1. A few weeks ago, I reported a software bug to Bank of America. Their alert system was properly notifying me when my credit card was used overseas, but the amounts in the alert email were multiplied by 100. This caused a seizure the first time, but after I got it, I called them. A nice smart person said she’d forward it to Engineering. Last week the bug was fixed.
  2. Today, my T-Mobile Sidekick decided it was a brick instead of a phone, and refused either to see my SIM card or to see the network. I called up T-Mobile. “Joe” answered on the second ring and told me I needed Sidekick Tech Support. I punched in my phone number and hung up. Five minutes later they called, and the nice smart tech walked me through resetting my radio firmware. In a total of 15 minutes the phone was totally fixed.

consumer advice: change your ATM PIN

No, really. Change it. A lot of debit cards have been compromised in a big ripoff due to crap software at large retailers that retained the PIN instead of throwing it away, apparently.

http://www.consumerist.com/consumer/the-russian-connection/atm-fraud-update-walmart-officemax-sams-club-office-depot-suspected-159725.php