Wednesday, January 27, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 647

I use credit cards. For me their advantages include convenience, and document proof of my purchases. Also that I have to make only two credit card payments a month. I’m never late paying. Ever. So I reckon credit card operators don’t like me much – as I don’t make them much profit. At least not as much as customers who run up a credit card debt. I feel privileged I’m in a financial position to pay my card balances in full each month. I pity those who can’t. Especially when I see what exorbitant interest rates the operators charge them. As I’ve never had a credit card debt, I didn’t know until I read in last Monday’s Age [1] that the operators – well, many of them – are more unscrupulous than I thought. For example if a customer were to underpay a $2,000 bill by just $10, interest would be charged on the whole $2,000. The consumer advocate group Choice named American Express, Bankwest, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Westpac as the most unfair credit card providers. The article says fairer – note the wording – operators included Bendigo Bank and some building society and credit union cards. Predictably the bad guys sanctimoniously deny wrongdoing, and say potential customers should read the fine print. To hell with them. Gouging the poorer and usually less educated members of our society is reprehensible. Shame on the regulators, and also the government for letting the amoral gougers get away with it.

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