Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Identity: Avenging Angel.

This is a long IM conversation... but you should read the gist to spare your own teenage sister from bankruptcy. Also, if you have any ideas for action that we could take, please let me know.


baby sister (04:11:37 pm): hiya

turg nerd (04:11:40 pm): hey.

turg nerd (04:11:45 pm): what's up?

baby sister (04:11:51 pm): i set off a security alarm at staples

baby sister (04:12:05 pm): isn't that sooooooooo wonderful of me?

turg nerd (04:12:22 pm): poor baby.

baby sister (04:12:39 pm): and claire, NEVER EVER EVER EVER get a greendot card EVER

baby sister (04:12:45 pm): it's like a debit card type thing

baby sister (04:12:46 pm): butttt

baby sister (04:12:49 pm): it has like

baby sister (04:12:59 pm): countless hidden fees

baby sister (04:13:07 pm): and i've got one

baby sister (04:13:15 pm): but i have to get rid of it soon

baby sister (04:13:20 pm): because it's just awful

turg nerd (04:13:25 pm): oh no!

turg nerd (04:13:33 pm): countless hidden fees? that seems BAD!

baby sister (04:13:40 pm): it IS

baby sister (04:13:49 pm): there's a 5 buck monthly fee

baby sister (04:13:57 pm): a 5 dollar reload fee

baby sister (04:14:17 pm): ummmmm a 10 dollar introductory fee

baby sister (04:14:20 pm): i mean, it's insanity

baby sister (04:14:32 pm): FIVE DOLLARS ADDS UP, DONTCHA KNOW!!!!!!

turg nerd (04:17:21 pm): that is RIDICULOUS

baby sister (04:17:27 pm): i know

baby sister (04:17:31 pm): it stinks so bad

turg nerd (04:17:32 pm): I can't believe you'd have one of those

turg nerd (04:17:40 pm): FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH IS CRAZY!

baby sister (04:17:45 pm): WHY DIDN'T I JUST GET A STUPID CHECKING ACCOUNT, MAN????

baby sister (04:17:48 pm): I FEEL LIKE A RETARD!!

turg nerd (04:18:06 pm): Don't feel like a retard. Someone lied to you and sold you something.

baby sister (04:18:22 pm): that's what mom says

turg nerd (04:18:27 pm): Just CLOSE your greendot account... CLOSE IT. Open your own checking account and you will get a debit card.

baby sister (04:18:36 pm): I WILL

baby sister (04:18:48 pm): but i'll probably get charged a cancellation fee

turg nerd (04:19:05 pm): see here's the thing. does the Better Business Bureau know about this? do they know you're 13? how did this happen?

turg nerd (04:19:19 pm): And pay the cancellation fee; it's better than A MONTHLY FEE THAT IS CRAPTASTIC.

turg nerd (04:19:26 pm): Do I have to beat someone UP?

baby sister (04:20:20 pm): yeah, I’m going to get rid of it like a hot potato

baby sister (04:20:24 pm): i was so ticked

baby sister (04:20:40 pm): i'm like, YOU HAVE TO BUY IT TO SEE THE FINE PRINT!!!

turg nerd (04:20:54 pm): how did you get it?

turg nerd (04:21:21 pm): do you realize that's 20$ for ONE month, ONE reload, and ONE introductory fee?

baby sister (04:21:36 pm): i KNOW

baby sister (04:21:39 pm): i'm soooo mad

baby sister (04:21:41 pm): anddddddddd

turg nerd (04:21:44 pm): HOW DID YOU GET THIS? HOW?

turg nerd (04:21:51 pm): BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU THAT CRAP!

baby sister (04:21:58 pm): mom accidentally had to get me another card because of this mistake she made

baby sister (04:22:01 pm): and that was 8 dollars

baby sister (04:22:16 pm): ugh

turg nerd (04:22:27 pm): Write Good Housekeeping!

turg nerd (04:22:29 pm): I am serious.

baby sister (04:22:30 pm): they ROBBED FROM ME!!!!!!

turg nerd (04:22:32 pm): Call the POLICE.

turg nerd (04:22:40 pm): You are THIRTEEN. No one should be taking your money.

turg nerd (04:22:44 pm): It's like kicking a puppy.

turg nerd (04:22:51 pm): A thirteen year old, blond puppy.

baby sister (04:22:59 pm): yeah

baby sister (04:23:00 pm): i know

baby sister (04:23:05 pm): it's...AWFUL

baby sister (04:23:31 pm): i'm getting out of it as soon as possible

turg nerd (04:23:32 pm): I am reading lots of blogs right now from furious people who got this card.

turg nerd (04:23:37 pm): You should TAKE ACTION.

baby sister (04:24:00 pm): i know, i'm on their site RIGHT NOW to see how i can get my money back

baby sister (04:24:09 pm): I'LL SUE THEM IF THEY DON'T GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK

baby sister (04:24:14 pm): actually, i won't

baby sister (04:24:17 pm): but whatever

turg nerd (04:24:53 pm): THEY HAVE A LIQUIDATION FEE

turg nerd (04:24:56 pm): but whatever.

turg nerd (04:25:02 pm): you'll pay it because you MUST CANCEL THIS CARD

turg nerd (04:25:10 pm): Was DAD ok with this?!?!??!?!?!?!?

baby sister (04:25:24 pm): HOW MUCH IS THE LIQUIDATION FEEE??

baby sister (04:25:34 pm): i am going to get a checking account

baby sister (04:25:48 pm): as soon as i possibly get my little pingies on my cold, hard cash again

turg nerd (04:25:51 pm): IT DOESN'T SAY ON THE FAQ!

turg nerd (04:26:06 pm): I'm really angry, actually.

turg nerd (04:26:31 pm): This is taking advantage of people who don't qualify for credit cards and think they can get away with this and taking advantage of minors.

baby sister (04:26:37 pm): i know

baby sister (04:26:44 pm): and you seriously have to BUY it to read the fine print

baby sister (04:26:55 pm): because it's inside the packet that you buy

baby sister (04:27:10 pm): and you can't get your money back from the flippin' store

turg nerd (04:27:15 pm): I know

turg nerd (04:27:18 pm): I'm sorry, Boo.

turg nerd (04:27:33 pm): Again, I have to ask: was Dad ok with you getting one in the first place?

turg nerd (04:27:41 pm): because it sounds like something he would not be ok with.

baby sister (04:27:59 pm): he didn't really know what it was

turg nerd (04:28:02 pm): WHEN did you get this? did you get it today at staples?

turg nerd (04:28:13 pm): how long have you had this plastic moneysucker?

baby sister (04:28:31 pm): i just got it in the mail today

baby sister (04:28:34 pm): and i hate it

baby sister (04:28:36 pm): with a passion

baby sister (04:28:40 pm): WITH MY SOULLLLL

turg nerd (04:28:45 pm): I wouldn't let my kid carry plastic, just fyi. Like--if you were my daughter, I would not be ok with you having a checking account.

turg nerd (04:29:02 pm): Do not pay any fee that you don't have to.

turg nerd (04:29:12 pm): Have you loaded any money onto it?

baby sister (04:29:33 pm): OMG

baby sister (04:29:43 pm): it STILL does not tell me the fee!!!

baby sister (04:29:54 pm): what the heck?? THIS IS HIGHWAY ROBBERY!!!!!

turg nerd (04:30:04 pm): what is it?

baby sister (04:30:29 pm): the cancellation fee thing.

turg nerd (04:30:33 pm): how much?

baby sister (04:30:34 pm): it didn't tell me how much it was.

baby sister (04:30:40 pm): i don't KNOW

turg nerd (04:30:53 pm): don't pay it. say, "screw you, big corporation, I'm 13 and you're taking advantage of me."

baby sister (04:30:59 pm): they're like, trying to confuse me by NOT TELLING ME HOW MUCH I'M PAYING!!!!

baby sister (04:31:01 pm): yeah really.

turg nerd (04:31:05 pm): FIND A LAWYER!

turg nerd (04:31:17 pm): Find someone who is into business law and see if you can get away with not paying it.

turg nerd (04:31:21 pm): Call the company.

turg nerd (04:31:45 pm): The customer is always right, right? Usually if it's a big company and the customer raises a big stink, then they just give in so you won't go nuts and get on the news.

turg nerd (04:31:55 pm): seriously, get journalism on your side.

turg nerd (04:32:05 pm): call Fox 8 and make them do an expose.

baby sister (04:32:09 pm): and seriously, it's not telling me how much the fee is

baby sister (04:32:24 pm): yeah i should do that

baby sister (04:32:30 pm): wow, you're really taking my side.

baby sister (04:32:31 pm): thanks

turg nerd (04:33:13 pm): you're welcome

turg nerd (04:33:23 pm): I mean, for real... you're my sister, for one thing

baby sister (04:33:33 pm): yeah

baby sister (04:33:42 pm): and for another thing, they stink like a poocat and you know it

turg nerd (04:33:45 pm): but for another, you are 13 years old and a piece of plastic is sucking your money/our parents' money away for NO GOOD REASON.

turg nerd (04:33:59 pm): there is NO GOOD REASON for you to have this particular card.

turg nerd (04:34:14 pm): there's not really a good reason for you to have a card at all but that's just my opinion

baby sister (04:34:26 pm): i know

baby sister (04:34:32 pm): i didn't know about all this

turg nerd (04:34:38 pm): I don't think it's cool for you to be either carrying around a lot of cash or something that can be used to oh... GET ALL THE MONEY OUT OF YOUR BANK ACCOUNT

baby sister (04:34:40 pm): i wanted a debit card so i could buy stuff online

turg nerd (04:34:46 pm): I see.

baby sister (04:35:02 pm): and i thought that this was a good idea since i had no IDEA that it cost money at all

turg nerd (04:35:02 pm): poor Booey.

turg nerd (04:35:06 pm): RIGHT.

baby sister (04:35:10 pm): i thought it was like, a gift card to anywhere

baby sister (04:35:16 pm): hey, i'm naive, okay???

turg nerd (04:35:32 pm): It's OK and this is why: I might have done the same thing if I were in your shoes.

baby sister (04:35:53 pm): IT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE EMAIL SO THAT I CAN COMPLAIN!!!!!!!

baby sister (04:36:09 pm): THEY KNOW THEY ARE A HORRIBLE COMPANY, AND THEY DON'T WANT ME TO HAVE ANY WAY TO COMPLAIN!!!!

baby sister (04:36:18 pm): EXCEPT BY SNAAAAIL MAAAAAIL

turg nerd (04:36:18 pm): ok... what greendot card do you have?

turg nerd (04:36:23 pm): mastercard? visa? what?

baby sister (04:36:27 pm): visa

baby sister (04:37:37 pm): i cannot find the fee!

turg nerd (04:38:23 pm): your card expires if there is 0 balance for 60 days

turg nerd (04:38:29 pm): I did find that out

baby sister (04:38:33 pm): that's nice

baby sister (04:38:42 pm): but i will still be charged some fees

baby sister (04:38:54 pm): but i can't find a cancellation fee, are you sure there is one??

baby sister (04:39:11 pm): because if there's not, i'm going to do it this very second

turg nerd (04:39:18 pm): I'm looking

baby sister (04:39:28 pm): if there is, i'm going to find out if there's anything i can do to get more people on my side

turg nerd (04:39:41 pm): here's the thing

turg nerd (04:40:06 pm): contact VISA or greendot card WITH an adult, like mom or dad so they can edit your email and you will know what to say

turg nerd (04:40:09 pm): but be YOU

turg nerd (04:40:13 pm): don't make them do it for you

turg nerd (04:40:25 pm): because they will feel like horrible people for stealing from a 13 year old

turg nerd (04:40:34 pm): https://corporate.visa.com/ut/contactus.jsp

turg nerd (04:40:48 pm): that link takes you to "contact visa;" you write the email in the window

baby sister (04:41:05 pm): k cool

turg nerd (04:42:48 pm): and I am serious... IF visa gets their panties in a wad... talk to the BBB

turg nerd (04:42:58 pm): because maybe what they're doing isn't ILLEGAL, per se

baby sister (04:43:17 pm): hahahahahahahahaha

turg nerd (04:43:20 pm): but see if you can get them scared about "misleading advertising" or "improper selling practices"

baby sister (04:43:25 pm): it is

baby sister (04:43:27 pm): they are

baby sister (04:43:35 pm): you HAVE to BUYYY it to find out about the fees

baby sister (04:43:39 pm): You MUST

turg nerd (04:43:55 pm): read this from the BBB website:

turg nerd (04:44:01 pm): BBB strongly encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve complaints directly with the company, however BBB will not reject a complaint if a consumer has not taken this step. All complaints are processed by local BBBs, most often the BBB where the company is located. Historically, over 70% of complaints filed through BBB are resolved. In some cases, BBB mediation or arbitration may be offered to assist in resolutio

turg nerd (04:44:17 pm): Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 calendar days.

baby sister (04:44:32 pm): cool

turg nerd (04:44:49 pm): there should be at least some fine print available before people buy that card

baby sister (04:45:02 pm): i know

baby sister (04:45:20 pm): there's none of that information on the commercial, none on the card you buy

baby sister (04:45:34 pm): i mean, unless you look on the internet

baby sister (04:45:49 pm): which i, in my stupidity, did not

turg nerd (04:45:56 pm): right

baby sister (04:45:59 pm): unless you look online, you won't find any of that stuff

baby sister (04:46:07 pm): and that is just plain THIEVERY

turg nerd (04:46:11 pm): well, they're banking on the idea that most people will buy this card, like you did, without doing the research first

turg nerd (04:46:32 pm): which isn't a good idea but it's understandable

turg nerd (04:46:39 pm): and it's really vague online

baby sister (04:47:01 pm): yeah

baby sister (04:47:05 pm): so it's vague all over

turg nerd (04:47:09 pm): but do you read Good Housekeeping? Do you know people write letters to them every month with their consumer complaints, and GH goes to the company and makes them fix things?

turg nerd (04:47:56 pm): GHtotheRescue@hearst.com is their email address... if VISA itself won't fix your problem, go to the BBB and here

baby sister (04:48:07 pm): nice

turg nerd (04:48:09 pm): GH probably won't fix your problem... unless they feature it in the magazine...

turg nerd (04:48:14 pm): but it's a nice threat

baby sister (04:48:19 pm): i am going to cancel my account

turg nerd (04:48:22 pm): good.

baby sister (04:48:30 pm): and if they have ANOTHER hidden fee, i WILL contact SOMEBODY

baby sister (04:48:42 pm): because i did not find that information anywhere on the site

baby sister (04:48:49 pm): if they rip me off again, i will not stand for it

turg nerd (04:49:03 pm): how do mom and dad feel about this?

turg nerd (04:49:19 pm): when you cancel the account, do you do that online or by phone?

turg nerd (04:49:45 pm): because you should do it by phone if you can help it. it's harder to take money from an actual person, it's easier to take it from a computer

baby sister (04:49:45 pm): mom feels so seething mad

turg nerd (04:49:50 pm): I bet she does.

turg nerd (04:49:52 pm): I'm seething mad

baby sister (04:49:55 pm): and dad is still a little out of the loop

baby sister (04:49:58 pm): yeah

baby sister (04:49:59 pm): well

baby sister (04:50:03 pm): i'm doing it online

baby sister (04:54:29 pm): if it costs money to cancel it, they will hera from me

baby sister (04:54:56 pm): *hear

turg nerd (04:55:03 pm): absolutely.

turg nerd (04:55:05 pm): do not back down.

turg nerd (04:55:07 pm): be fierce.

turg nerd (04:55:12 pm): I believe in you.

baby sister (04:55:13 pm): i won't

baby sister (04:55:33 pm): but mom did this thing

baby sister (04:55:40 pm): and accidentally put the card in her name

baby sister (04:55:46 pm): so we had to make another card

baby sister (04:55:49 pm): that was in my name

baby sister (04:56:01 pm): sooo that's gonna probably come in the mail tomorrow

baby sister (04:56:09 pm): and so i might have to do this all over again

turg nerd (04:56:13 pm): DO IT

turg nerd (04:56:17 pm): do not pay if you can help it,

baby sister (04:56:26 pm): I WILL NOT PAY!!!!!!1

turg nerd (04:56:27 pm): I'm serious about GH and BBB

baby sister (04:56:31 pm): i know

baby sister (04:56:54 pm): i've always been a kid that complains to people

baby sister (04:56:57 pm): well, not my parents

baby sister (04:57:01 pm): but like, companies

baby sister (04:57:04 pm): and governers

baby sister (04:57:07 pm): and websites

baby sister (04:57:08 pm): and stuff

baby sister (04:57:14 pm): so this'll just be another complaint

turg nerd (04:57:59 pm): yeah

turg nerd (04:58:01 pm): be assertive

turg nerd (04:58:03 pm): write the President

baby sister (04:58:13 pm): haha.

1 comment:

ominousoat said...

I've developed a new rule of thumb over the years, if it's any kind of card, credit, debit, greenspot,membership or otherwise, it will get me into debt.

Also, Vonnegut was by and far my favorite cantankerous old coot. While taking speech last semester I ended up doing a small eulogy for Vonnegut the day he died as a mini-improv speech. I believe it was something to the effect of "Today Kurt Vonnegut died, and the world now that much less funny and acerbic."

The saddest part was my teacher was the only one in the entire classroom who had ever heard of him. *sigh* Speech was a depressing class.