Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The View From The Ditch Bank

THERE ARE WINNERS, AND THEN THERE ARE WINNERS: A few weeks ago I received in the snail mail, an envelope from someone. A law firm or someone like that, I believe. Inside was a lot of papers, basically saying that someone who holds a popular credit card had filed a lawsuit against said credit card company, and had hired an attorney. This was subsequently turned into a class action suit, and according to the credit card company's records, I qualified to receive an amount of money, should the plaintiff's be successful. I had some options. I could toss the papers and do nothing. And if a settlement was reached, that is what I would get. Nothing. I could hire my own attorney and join in the lawsuit on my own. At my expense. Or I could sign my acceptance of the law firm that had been retained, and then receive an amount of money when a settlement was reached. Depending on just what, exactly, my status was with said credit card co. I would receive an amount, credited to my account, somewhere between $30.00 or so up to $57.00. Yep, tops, $57.00. Well, a $57.00 credit on my account, sometime in 2011, would be fine,and since all it cost me was the price of a stamp, I signed said paper and sent it back. By the time this all comes to an end, I will probably have forgotten about it. Oh! and the law firm. If they win, they receive $12 million. Clearly the big winner. Well, maybe not. I am sure there are enough card holders to make the $57.00 each add up to probably millions more. So the Card Co. is the big loser. Well Maybe. This situation has been going on for 15 years or so. How much money did the card company make in that 15 years. Did they anticipate this coming up and put money aside, in an interest bearing account, to combat this, in the event it did come up? Don't know. I do know, however, that governments and company's do accounting different than us common people do. They don't say "Well, I have a hundred dollars, I can spend a hundred dollars without going in the red. Nope, the government raises taxes and company's raise prices and do other accounting things that I don't understand. By the time said company actually pays the attorneys, and the card holders, they will have figured out ( probably already have figured out ) a way to take a tax deduction, or whatever they do to show a loss, without actually losing, and will do all the other things that company's do to spread this around. So they will not actually lose any thing, in the long run. And my credit card statement. Oh I'm sure it will be charged a fee somewhere and somehow along the line, that will make back the $57.00 for the company. And after that, they will keep on receiving that fee. And while I may be a little winner for a time, and the attorneys will be a big winner, I think in the long run, the Credit Card Company will turn out to be the Biggest winner of all. And That Is The view From The Ditch Bank.

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