Manoj has a very important piece of advice for Consumerist readers: don’t carry a large balance in your Skype account. We actually published a post last year entitled, “Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Carry A Large Balance In Your Skype Account,” but it’s an important lesson that bears repeating, like “keep your receipts for major purchases” or “don’t shop at Sears.”
Keith has had the same bank account for eight years, but during that time “his” bank has been four different banks thanks to mergers. Ameribank became First Union, which became Wachovia, which in turn was gobbled by Wells Fargo. That’s just how the history of American banking has worked: what’s the big deal? For the first time in all of these mergers, additional fees will be imposed on Keith’s account. He wants to keep things the way they’ve been for the last eight years, and Wells Fargo wants to move on. Well, it wants to move on to taking more money out of Keith’s wallet.
Michael was having a pretty minor problem with playing television programs in iTunes. Sure, it doesn’t even rank as the a serious first world problem, but he contacted Apple to get it resolved, because that’s what Apple is supposed to do. A senior representative tried to resolve the problem by resetting his iTunes password. Nice idea if it had worked. It didn’t. Now this cord-cutter, who uses his Apple TV to catch up with favorite shows, can’t watch those shows at all. Being locked out of his iTunes account and all.
Helpful and supportive person that she is, Isis is a co-signer on her goddaughter’s Comcast account so her goddaughter wouldn’t have to pay a deposit. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem unless the youngster defaulted on her payments or ran off with a half-dozen cable boxes. The problem is that the act somehow tied together her account and Isis’s, and a $435 payment was applied to the goddaughter’s account by mistake. This has led to biweekly disconnections, fruitless promises by Comcast employees to take care of the situation, and an existential question: does Isis have two accounts, or only one?
Here’s an excellent example of how a company will put more effort into getting you to notice its junk mail than any important account related information. David says this happens to him all the time, and it’s usually a serious notice (as in “impending disconnection”) thanks to a recurring billing error.
A tipster wants to know whether adding his name to his mother’s accounts will open him up to credit issues should something go wrong.
It hasn’t even been a month since our last dead Bank of America customer story, but here the bank is at it again, refusing to let a woman’s son close her checking account no matter what he does. Although she lived and banked in Tennessee and he lives in Pennsylvania, the latest nonsense has the bank demanding that he visit Texas in person to get a document notarized.
Despite Xbox recently changing its policy to allow folks to describe their sexual orientation in their gamer profile, Super Street Fighter IV fan Shmoo found his Xbox Live account suspended for breaking their Code of Conduct. His gamer bio states, “Bio Ich bin ein homosexueller Mann in einer groÃŸen schlechten Stadt. Ich mag kleine Kuchen und Cheeseburgers.” Which translates from German to, “I am a gay man in a big bad city. I like cupcakes and cheeseburgers.” This, apparently, was verboten.
Nick went shopping recently at Banana Republic and applied for a store credit card. Now he’s being called by a collections department and receiving contradictory stories about whether or not the retailer has his correct address on file.
AT&T knows it needs to step up if it wants to be taken seriously these days as a wireless provider, so it’s been beefing up 3G coverage, rejiggering data plans, and of course ramping up the speed at which it leaks your private data to strangers. In fact, according to multiple reports from AT&T customers, the company has managed to pull off the neat trick of logging customers in to strangers’ accounts today during the iPhone 4 pre-order fiesta. See? You no longer have to wait until you’ve got the device in hand to worry about privacy issues.
Citibank Freaks Out Customers With Weird 7-Day Rule On Withdrawals, But It's Not As Devious As It Looks
Some Citibank customers recently received notice that the bank reserved the right to require 7 days written notice before authorizing a withdrawal on checking accounts. (It’s also on page 23 of Citi’s Client Manual [PDF].) As you can imagine, this freaked some people out. A Citibank rep quickly moved to clarify the rule, and he pointed out that it’s actually required by federal law for certain types of accounts, and it’s not unique to Citibank, and they don’t intend to enforce it.
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo got Citibank to agree not to implement its new monthly fees on formerly free checking accounts, at least for some customers. If you signed up for one of Citibank’s EZ Checking or Access Checking accounts between January 1, 2009 and November 5, 2009, the new monthly service charge will be waived until this time next year. If you’re one of those customers, there’s nothing you have to do–you’ll get a notice in the mail from Citibank.
Last month, the Huffington Post launched a campaign called Move Your Money that urged people to support community banks. The idea is that by moving your money to a community bank, you can help put the “too big to fail” banks on a diet so that they get smaller, while at the same time help a local bank remain competitive. The NPR program All Things Considered took a look at the campaign over the weekend, and talked to some experts about whether it’s worth making the switch.
Stephanie just encountered a Chase CSR who I’m pretty sure will never fall victim to social engineering, and who would likely be unbreakable in a courtroom cross-examination, too. Of course, in Stephanie’s situation this just means that the CSR refuses to help her in any way at all, which isn’t the kind of thing you hope to find when you call customer service.
Even if you always look for skimmers and hidden cameras when you use an ATM, you still might be a victim of identity theft if the ATM is later sold on eBay or Craigslist.
When Campbell changed his phone number with Sprint earlier this year, the company immediately assigned his old number to a new customer. They also gave that customer full access to Campbell’s account.