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Bank Service Agreement

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Every time I receive a new service agreement from a bank or a credit card company I know they've devised a new way to profit from the consumers.

Remember when many credit card companies shortened the payment cycles (grace periods) from a full month to three weeks or less. That was their ingenious way to snare more consumers into their penalty list, charge them extra interest, and jack up their interest rates.

Or another time when they changed their dispute policies by curtailing consumers' right to lawsuits, replacing it with arbitration. No doubt their hand-picked arbitrators would always side with the banks, forcing consumers into unjust settlements.

Here's another Service Agreement I received recently addressing online payments:

We may delay or cancel a request to transfer or charge money back to the Pay From or other account at our discretion including if the payment:

  • Looks suspicious or fraudulent
  • Appears to have incorrect amount or recipient information
  • Seems to duplicate another payment
  • Of course this is spun to appear as if the bank is attempting to protect its clients against fraud. But what it's really saying is that the bank has given itself arbitrary and broad powers to do as it pleases, including charging fees, if it the transaction doesn't seem right, based on its own vague definition. Look at the verbs used: "Looks", "Appears", "Seems". What kind of rules are these? I mean why even bother with a service agreement? They should just replace all that with a terse statement like: "We will charge you whenever, however, and whatever amount we feel like. Have a nice day."


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