Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Cramming happens when a phone company takes money from a third party to get information from their customer accounts. They sell your information, could even be medical information, to the highest bidder. And they also take money from third party customers to access information about where we go and how we spend our money and what is important to us. Bogus shell-companies make up services and charge them to a phone company customer. And then those charges appear on your phone bill. Verizon has been doing this and some people have had these charges add up to over $200 in a month. That's not the phone bill, that's the amount added onto the phone bill to pay these phoney companies to get our personal information - and they give the phone company a fee for the privilege of gathering and sorting information about everyone. This is a pretty big deal.

The phone companies are making a ton of money so they don't lift a finger to help their customers get a refund and they don't block the culprits from doing this to another one of their customers. But they can sure turn off your phone if you don't pay your bill on time. They could so cancel an account of someone who is ripping people off. That isn't impossible for the phone company to do. They get complaints and they check their records and they do their job and the problem is solved. But they don't cooperate with their customers who are complaining about these charges because they are making too much money selling their customers out.

I have a cell phone that I only use when I'm driving somewhere. Only a very few people have my number. And yet I constantly get messages, unsolicited from ATT and unknowns and I get charged every time I get one of these calls. I'm going to go to the store and see how I can put a stop to this. If I can't I'll write about it.

I think it should be flat out illegal for anyone to sell our information to anyone else. If we have to give ID information to make a purchase we are giving our ID to make that purchase. We do this so if we need to get billed for anything we might need to pay later, the merchant knows where to send the bill. That doesn't mean that everyone in the world should have access to what we do, who we are and where we live.

Banks and credit card companies used to do this too. They stopped only after the feds, thanks to Obama, made them knock it off. I used to get envelopes almost on a daily basis from banks trying to get me to borrow money. If I want to borrow money, I know where the bank is. I don't need anyone wasting time, money, paper and resources on trying to get me to borrow money. Now I don't mind if a bank makes some money to stay in business. That's fair. Though they do have access to our money in the grande pool sort of way, while it's in there. But I do think the conflict of interest in the term alone, investment banker, speaks volumes.

Think about it, if the banker or an investment broker has more information than you do, to make a decision about where to invest your retirement money, you are already at a disadvantage.

The banks will charge surprise fees and huge interest rates and take people's houses and pretty much run them out of town, if the right buyer wants to "invest" in a community. Even if the investors they represent intend to tear everything down and put a highrise building up there.

Cramming and hacking and phone companies people who have access to our personal information and finances well, it's all a stinky murky mess. I think the best thing to do is buy less, do less, read more, walk more and stay as far out of the loop as you can because if you stay in the game long enough, you just might lose everything.

No comments:

Post a Comment