OK, So I am feeling some better. Everyday I take fewer drugs and feel more normal. I am also beginning to feel reality. I still have some foot pain and tingling in my toes and some leg cramping pain that I had before the surgery. I guess there is some nerve damage/irritation that might clear up more in time. Also, having a good bit of cramping and pain from lying around all the time. So I did get out in the shop last evening from 8PM to 10:30PM and Jake and I built the pedal power head part of a spinning wheel. But then I was whooped.
So I am catching up on office work and research…or trying to.
I got a letter from my Chase credit card company informing me that they have merged with JPMorgan. No problem, those companies merge all the time. Except this time they send me one of those papers that looks like standard junk mail advertisements. Since I have time to read it this week, I do so. And inside the fine print it seems they are informing me that if I do not challenge the plan by sending them a note saying I reject their “new deal”, then my contract with them will be replaced by a new one without my signature. Basically, they want to void my legal contract with them that I signed when I opened the account, but they want me to authorize them doing so simply by my doing nothing. Which I am sure is what tens of millions of customers are going to do.
In the new contract, customers lose almost all of their rights to trial by judge and jury. All disputes are to be settled by outside arbitration by some company whose job it is to make such decision. It’s a complete circumvention of the US legal system. Also, it frees the company from any joint efforts, like class action lawsuits.
Also, while they are in the process of changing everyone’s legal contracts behind their backs, I guess they decided to go all the way. There are several other changes to everyone’s contract. Previously fixed interest rates equations become “at our discretion”.
Minimum payments , originally fixed with “never-change” status have gone up.
A set of online features that was a part of my original contract for free have now been lumped together to form something called “My CHase Plan” with an associated fee of 1.72% of all charges involved. I don’t use those services, but for those who do, they will start being charged this fee without knowledge unless they spend the 3 hours I have digging into this complex form of legalise.
There is much more, but my point is this guys. Be careful that companies like this don’t slip things by you without you noticing. Find a credit card company that does not require binding arbitration agreements. And then, like this one, be careful they don’t try to slide it by while you’re not looking.
The right to the legal system and trial by jury etc. are some of the most precious rights we have. Don’t sign them away just because some giant corporation wants to avoid getting taken to court. Reject their “new deal”, if you want to use binding arbitration to settle a problem later on, then you can decide to do that when you need to. It makes no sense for anyone to sign away their rights ahead of time. And that is why they don’t really want anyone to understand what is going on…They just hope everyone will throw it in the trash and not notice what has happened.
On a similar note concerning credit cards. I have to put my encouragement in here for people to use them properly. We have all seen many people destroyed by debt. Personally I think of credit cards as a convenient way to use money that I already have. We pay them off every month without exception. And now with rewards point programs, it makes more sense to use them for more purchases, etc. As long as you’re ok with big brother knowing what you’re buying. We don’t use them as credit…except until the end of the month.
I know everyone has the right to do as he pleases, and I’m not trying to preach to everyone on the subject. But we also have more young people on here as time passes…Some of them might need to hear a voice of reason on the subject.