Consumer Reports: “Stay out of my life!!”

Posted: January 12, 2007 in Banking, Blogs I'm reading!, Budget, Consumer Issues, Credit, Finance For Youth, Financial Institutions, Life, Saving, Spending

As promised, I haven’t forgotten you.  I’m still working on Finance For Youth: The Book, doing a whole lot of writing for school, and trying to have some semblance of a life outside.  But I had to warn people about what your parents are going to be doing.

 I have a subscription to a little magazine called Consumer Reports.  Generally, I trust what they say as unbiased reviews of how things work.  I don’t expect them to tell me what to do, but I appreciate that they run products through several tests and let me know their opinion of the best one.

I couldn’t believe what I saw in their latest issue, which I just got this week.

In the February 2007 issue, on page 61, the following excerpt under the title “Consumers’ to-do list for the new Congress”:

“The November elections were like a starter’s pistol for Consumers Union and other groups that work on consumer issues.  Not that CU had slowed its pace, but the power shift in Congress may enable some hurdles to be cleared that have, until now, been frustratingly high.

Here are some of the improvements [italics added by me] for consumers that CU seeks from the new Congress and from the Administration.”

I understand that Consumers Union is a supposed advocacy group, and that paragraph is only there because of the italicized word.  The next excerpt is the truly galling part, and if you are of voting age, you need to contact whoever your congressperson is and beg them to not be persuaded to take such a dunder-headed suggestion seriously:


Curb unfair credit-card and banking practices such as LONG CHECK HOLDS, and limit EXCESSIVE FEES FOR ITEMS INCLUDING LATE PAYMENTS AND BOUNCED CHECKS.[Bold and italics added by me]

This is one of the stupidest things adults have ever done when it comes to finance.  These morons over at CU (and yes, I’m piling on the insults extra high– these people need someone to tell them how stupid they are and I seem to have been elected) are trying to eliminate any accountability they have for not learning the basic tenets of personal finance (such as Finance For Youth teaches).  It is their hopes that instead of actually teaching people to budget for the occasional hold that may be placed FOR THE CUSTOMER’S (YOUR) PROTECTION on checks deposited in any number of ways, and instead of teaching people to PAY THEIR BILLS ON TIME AND NOT BOUNCE CHECKS, they can just ask Congress to stop letting the big, mean, banks and credit unions operate a business.

Some of you may be thinking that less fees is good, and I agree.  But if you never bounce checks, and many people never do, and you always pay your bills on time, you will still be paying for those people who choose not to take some personal responsibility.

Think about it.  Let’s say Bank A charges $50.00 (ridiculously high) for a bounced check.  Congress passes a law that says they can only charge $20.00.  The bank stands to lose $30.00 on every bounced check (minus what they have to pay for special handling), or a metric butt-load of money each year.  No business can survive operating at a loss, and they aren’t going to even try.  Now banks will DECREASE the yield on SAVINGS ACCOUNTS and INCREASE OR CREATE OTHER FEES.  You will now be paying even more than you already did, because you weren’t the person who bounced checks.  YOU LOSE!!

Frankly, I’m ashamed on behalf of the entire Consumers Union, adults, children, people of average intelligence, people of slightly below-average intelligence, and anybody else that this idea has even floated across someone’s desk and not hung up like all the other office jokes that float around.

File this under “I”, for “I can’t believe someone would be so stupid”, or “I hope that Congress has bigger issues on their plate (ending a war, passing meaningful laws, protecting the rule of law, not taking bribes, wearing really nice suits, just to give a few suggestions) than frivolous legislation like this”, or simply for “Idiots”, because that is what the good people at CU have proved themselves to be.

Next, Finance For Youth grades BofA and Wells Fargo in services for young people.

  1. Bakchos says:


    Thank you for your great post, i am always looking to improve my home for my familiy, and your post have given me some insperation, thank you very much

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