Pirates of Finance

Master Pirates of Montreal

I used to think when the sailing ships were all gone, that all the pirates had gone into roofing. I would see men, standing on the edge of a roof, calling down for "ahoy, a stack of shingle, arrh, and a pot of tar, my matey, and run it up the mizzen brace and be quick about it or I'll be feeding you to the squid".

Until I had to activate my replacement credit card as my current card had a looming expiry date. Options presented on the letter with the new card were to do a cash withdrawal, presumably at an ATM, or do a purchase at a store. (I tossed the letter, long ago, else I would show a pdf here.) Since I never use the card for store purchases, and why would I go looking for COVID, I used the ATM at a branch of the bank that has its brand on my card. All good.

But, then I got my monthly statement. They charged a $5.00 cash withdrawal fee, and then charged daily interest on that fee. So I ended up with a $5.40 piracy charge. I am sure all this was spelled out in some agreement long ago never read or if read, promptly forgotten, but, who would expect a 5 dollar charge on a 20 dollar withdrawal. Ever.

They did not present on the letter two other options: go into the branch and have a teller activate the card (why would one?) or a telephone number to call to activate the card (they have clearly showed this option in the past). I was steered ("groomed", really) towards a method that would incur a charge. Which I paid, grumbly, and was prepared to forget.

But, then I recalled my bank had sent me a request for feedback on their services. Silly bank. That request was independent of the card renewal, but I took the opportunity to spell out my rage at their machine in the online survey. I gave them a 0 for would you recommend our bank to a friend/colleague/relative.

And I waited. And soon enough, the phone rang, with some hapless soul at the branch dragooned into calling to enquire about my survey response. So, I ranted and raved, and made clear that I thought the 5 bucks was predatory and the daily interest was piracy and nothing he could say would satifsy me to recommend his bank to anyone. Ever. This poor sod mentioned the other options, but I assured him those were not spelled out on the letter. Upshot was, they will reimburse. First rule is, complain. They will remimburse (but be aware they will probably foist the charge onto someone who doesn't check their statement).

All of which needs a song.

I am the very model of a major credit cardinal,
I've no information about things decent and sympathethical,
But know all about profit-raking monumentical
And am well-versed in stuff financially fantastical
I can write a user-policy with clauses parenthetical