American businesses can be ruthlessly self-serving. You only have to look at the headlines to realize that. And even if, as is the case with me lately, you never get past the headlines, itís pretty clear that thereís not much people wonít do to wring an extra buck out of the next guy down the food chain.
Banks are notorious for inventing new fees and charging for services that used to be free. In fact, most of the ďservicesĒ used to be considered part of the way banks did business, back when there was such a thing as your local banker who knew your name and was part of the community. Now the branch where I do business has a new manager every month. No wonder they can get away with charging for returning checks with my statement.
As diabolical as the business is, though, I have a hard time believing that the credit card company deliberately kept their web site off line all day, just because today was the due date for the payment I wasnít able to make last week because of my personal cash crunch. I mean, really. How could they know?
And yet, it was kind of suspicious when the site came back on line shortly after the deadline, so that my online payment would be posted tomorrow, a day late (and therefore subject to exorbitant fees and possible loss of favorable rates). Iím not saying they did it on purpose. Iím just saying it smells funny.