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Another sign of the downfall of the US Dollar

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posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 02:55 PM
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I had an interesting experience to post about today. I went to go pay my cell phone bill today at an AT&T store. Its due in a couple of days and I'd rather not have it cut off to pay an additional $30 dollars to reconnect and being that I work near a major mall it wouldn't be an issue to stop in and pay it as i've done with other service providers.

When I went to the mall (this is a major mall) the parking lot was fairly empty. I said, hey great for me, parking near the enterance. Upon walking into the mall it looked like a ghost town. When I got to theat&t store, its empty just like the mall. Hardly any stock of phones, no employees, and no accesories which anyone that has ever worked retail knows that the majority of profit is made on accessories.

After speaking to the Customer Service employee and explaining to her that I was there to pay my bill she was more then happy to assist. She pulled my account and let me know how much I owed. When asked for payment method she asked me for my drivers license because upon verification, they could just charge the card I used last month. I said no thats ok, i'll pay in cash. At that very moment, it was like silence was on a volume control and someone cranked it up. If I was paying attention I'm sure I would've seen a tumbleweed go by. She replied to me 'IN CASH?' like I was crazy. I said yes, and proceeded to pull out the $180 dollars that I owed for my family plan. She immidiatly got on the phone and told me afterwards, i'm sorry but in order to pay in cash there's a $5 dollar surcharge. I honestly was astounded and infuriated. No longer are the days when you could barter or haggle because you're paying in cash. I used to work retail, so I asked her why, she said its policy and she appologizes, it would just be easier for both of us if I used a card. So i walked out of the store, went and bought a pre-paid credit card for a dollar, and used that to pay instead and received NO hassle about it. Who would've thought they would've been more likely to take a card without a legitamate name on it then actual money.

This is a very sad state for the US dollar. Its almost as if they're paving the way for the RFID or Amero currency as the dollar is really hurting.




posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:01 PM
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Wow, never heard of such a thing. Did you ask her to show you the policy in writing? Maybe she was just looking to get some $$ for lunch?



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:16 PM
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I'm familiar with service charges applied to credit purchases. If what you say is true than the dollar right there in your hand is worth less than the promise that imaginary worth (credit) will come through.

Crazy.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by surfinguru
 


She had no signage of that policy anywhere in the store, nor behind the register but she did show me how it auto-prompted on the register when cash was the selected tender.

When I let my girlfriend know this who's on my family plan, she spoke to a customer service rep on the 800 number and they verified that indeed if you pay in cash there is a $5 dollar surcharge.

During these times when everyone is scraping for money and getting ready to hold down what they have, it is a big deal that a big company such as AT&T is extending this dis-courtesy to there customers. I'm beginning to think that i'm gonna jump into a different service provider. As I haven't heard great things of AT&T's privacy policy anyway.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:29 PM
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posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:30 PM
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Here's an article about this from last April -

Paying cash? That'll cost extra

Last April it was $2.00. It went up to $5 shortly after.




[edit on 10/7/2008 by yeahright]



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:33 PM
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reply to post by HighwayDrifter
 


Thanks for the follow up. This is indeed crazy. I'm pretty much a cash guy nowdays since I've shed my credit cards, but wow, a surcharge for using cash? I understand the fees on CC, PayPal and other credit transactions, but this befuddles me.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:37 PM
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It seems like credit is the way the government wants us to go but look what has happened because of it. We really need to get back to basics here in the United Socialist Of America. Here's something interesting about liquid assets.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you will have $49.00 today. If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today. If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you will have received a $214.00. Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle. It is called the 401-Keg. A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year .Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon! Makes you proud to be an American!

Looks like I'm going home today and drinking an ice cold brew.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:39 PM
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The lesser reason is because most of their workers are so "short term" that the company runs a real risk of their representative stealing from the till. If they run a cashless shop, employee theft is reduced. And they treat their workers so poorly that its a serious concern for them, "trusting" their own workers with cash.


The greater reason they want your credit card is that next month, when you don't pay, they plan to "auto-bill" your credit card, without your permission. When you use a credit card, they get information regarding WHO you are and what other ACCOUNTS you maintain.

That way, when you get behind, they will demand an "electronic bank draft" on the account you last paid from. They will even send it through without your consent. That's the plan.

"The right relationship is everything."



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by yeahright
 


Thanks for the link to help me back my claim. Being that its been in effect since May, you would think the store would have signage regarding the policy. I do normally pay by Debit, but it might still be enough to push me over to another provider. Its not even about the $5 dollars anymore, makes me wonder if they knew something. Maybe during a time when there wasn't that much financial turmoil, an additional $5 dollars might've snuck by. God forbid they would've put this policy into effect a couple of days ago, people might have started to raise eyebrows. Pretty strategic planning if I do say so myself.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 04:02 PM
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Iam also forced to wonder if this policy, which i have heard of previously and not only from AT&T, also amounts to a " poor tax " or "lack of credit fee " for lack of better terms...

In essense financially punishing those amoung us whom attempt to not use credit unless absolutely necessary or those without credit.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 04:07 PM
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More and more US employers are not issuing paper pay checks anymore. They give the employee a "debit card" that has their payroll direct deposited on it.

People really do look at you funny these days if you use cash for anything over $20.

I believe they are conditioning us to more easily accept a cashless society. Looks like they (Bankers) want to initiate it on a world wide basis.

Why else would you punish someone for using cash?



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by canuck7500
 


In the link provided by the mod, it seemed like the correct term for it is pay to pay. Its concerning that people would prefer to have a promice of payment as opposed to the actual payment. I mean, does that mean the method of payment my credit/banking institution is different then the currency we're currently using?



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 04:18 PM
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Im going to do a little research on this, but if I remember right they are doing this illegaly. US currency cannot be refused, and the debtor can not charge you for payment in cash if I remember correctly. It has something to do with the statement "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private". If anyone has legal knowlege of this please add it, until then I will look around and see what I can dig up.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by redhatty
 


Its funny that you mention that Red! This morning I got a call from my friend whom I got a job with my company. He called me all upset saying that our Senior VP told him that he had to do direct deposit and it was mandatory. I told him I still get paper checks because I dont trust whats going on with the financial markets and I didnt give in my direct deposit forms. They haven't said anything to me about the 'mandatory' direct deposit since.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 04:30 PM
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It looks to me like it is simply a case of "we care more about getting new customers" than "pleasing the customers we have."

redtape.msnbc.com...


"It is a way of saving money ... it helps us keep our costs lower," said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel. "We want our associates to spend their time helping customers as they are thinking about their wireless plans or looking at phones."


Kind of like how our politicians are willing to spend loads of $$ to get into office, but bend us over once we put them there.

There is a solution to it. They get away with it because people in general are a not motivated to demand change. We are naturally apathetic once we have a thing about going out and getting a new, better thing. Same reason they can offer double your money back for a useless product that doesnt work. They are counting on you not having the get up and go to ask for that money back, or they make the process complicated enough that you give up in the rare case you DO make a half hearted attempt.

So, dont give up. Write them a letter, tell them that you are going to fire them for being jerks, and then do it when your contract is up. And tell your friends to do so too. Make sure you tell your new company why you left your old one. They are assuming that having to make a change will cost you more than the pain of being ripped off a little bit here and a little bit there. As long as they dont rip you off for more than it costs you to change they figure you wont change.

I guess you have to ask yourself if that is the kind of logic and business policy you want to support. If enough people say "no" it will stop. If it doesnt cost the ones on the front line, expect to see it everywhere in a few years.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 04:41 PM
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I'm afraid I can;t be as apologetic about the incident as many would be.

I believe what this means is something much larger.

These companies, for the most part, are owned ultimately by the same corporate conglomerates that derive the bulk of their revenue from credit services. Therefore it behooves them to discourage the use of anything other than money for which they get a transactional bonus.

It also does make sense that insuring a business operation would cost much less if it were cashless. But then... I'm becoming a pessimistic cynic about business behavior like this.

I actually thought there was a law or regulation that stated in this country no one can refuse US legal tender in exchange for goods and services. But then, that's probably on that "G-damned piece of paper".



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 05:08 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


I would like to think that a customer of 5 years of on time payments (well 59 out of the 60 months) is more important then someone who will sign up on a whim to probably leave on a whim when the next gadget phone pops up. This was the first time that I've paid in cash in 5 years, so it doesn't affect me financially. What it did affect and is going to affect is all the customers that pay in cash, and other companies who will see them succeed in this 'cash tax'. It does seem like things are leading to a world where physical money is obsolete and my spending habits alone over the past 5 years with this company is enough to prove it to myself. It wasn't until I inconvienienced them by giving them actual REAL currency that I personally became aware of the downfall of the US dollar not worldwide, but here in the US as well.



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 05:08 PM
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I have been looking for a law that says you cant impose a surcharge for paying cash, but all I can find is one saying you cant impose a surcharge for paying with a credit card.

www.creditcards.com...


However, this is where things get complicated. Agreements between retailers and credit card processors, such as Visa and MasterCard, prohibit stores from charging more for purchases made with plastic than for those done with cash. However, it's OK under these agreements to offer discounts to customers who pay with cash. Even though they essentially amount to the same thing -- it's cheaper to pay with cash than plastic -- a semantic loophole means one is fair game and the other isn't.

In some states, it's more than just against Visa and MasterCard's rules, it's against the law. New York has a law that prohibits retailers from charging a surcharge for credit cards.


Clearly the Credit Card companies are squeezing merchants with legislation like this in order to gain some percent of the sale the merchant is making by not allowing the merchant to pass the cost he is forced to pay the CC companies on to the customers. Not allowing the merchant to pass the increased cost of using a CC on to the customer means more people will use cards than they would if they had to pay the extra percentage that it cost the merchant. That is clearly a racket set up to benefit CC companies.

Since merchants have been fighting back by offering a discount for cash payments, (rather than charging a surcharge for CC payments) who knows what we will see next. Credit card companies clearly want all payments possible to be made with Credit cards so they profit from both the transaction fees and also interest payments if the consumer carries a balance.

This other thing COULD be another form of Credit card blackmail, but from the article it isnt clear that that is the case. Hopefully, someone will sue and we can see how it plays out. In the meantime, refusing to do business with companies that do this is our best bet.

[edit on 7-10-2008 by Illusionsaregrander]



posted on Oct, 7 2008 @ 05:16 PM
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I don't use credit cards, either, but I do have a Visa debit card, which I think is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I almost never carry cash and if I do it's almost never more than twenty dollars.

I don't think that the issue at hand here has anything whatsoever to do with the value of the US dollar, since no matter how you pay, you are still paying in US dollars.

[edit on 2008/10/7 by GradyPhilpott]




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