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We recently reported on Bank of America’s $5 debit card fee. In the brief time since then, their customers have given them an earful about it.
Bank of America, which has received taxpayer bailouts in recent years, decided to slap the fee on some of their accounts beginning in January of 2012. This is due to the swipe-fee regulations that have recently taken effect. They and other companies are seeking ways to gain revenues, as they are anticipating lost revenues from the new regulations – and this is 1 such method.
In response, customers have taken to the Internet to voice their frustration with the company. Via social media sites and comments on articles, customers have unleashed a fury that has drawn national media attention. While we’re on the subject, various major media entities, such as the Philadelphia Inquirer and Chicago Tribune, have also condemned the company. Basically, there aren’t many happy campers on Bank of America’s side these days.
The addition of a $5 fee came at a very bad time from a public relations standpoint. With citizens already occupying Wall Street in protest of corporate greed and Warren Buffett’s recent injection of $5 billion into the company, it was sure to be seen as a money-grab. Additionally, with a 9.1 percent unemployment rate – a number that is quite low by some estimates – corporate greed was surely to be seen as a motive in this situation.
From a realistic standpoint, the most you will pay per year with this is $60. That is not going to sink you financially. However, you can always shop around and will probably find a better deal if you do so.
In the short term, you can just use a credit card, cash or checks to pay for your purchases. In the long run, check out our previous article (first link above) for tips on how to avoid this fee.
In the end, if you don’t want to pay an extra $5 a month to a company that has received taxpayer bailouts already, that is understandable. You could choose to stop using your debit card until if and when the fee is dropped or just stop doing business with the company in general. Also, remember this when you vote next year so that you don’t end up paying taxes for such bailouts again!