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The 7 Most Hated Fees & Price Bumps

by J. Money on Monday, December 5, 2011

$50 charge

I was dozing off to Money magazine last night (cuz it was 3 a.m., not cuz it was boring! haha…) and one of the blurbs was on the their readers’ most hated fees and price bumps – which of course snapped me right back up ;)  Who doesn’t love to complain with their fellow man every now and then?

Here’s what their 7 most annoying fees were – from worst to least-worst:

  1. Airline baggage fees  — Hands down my most hated one too. Without a doubt.
  2. Premium increases on employer health insurance — True true… but you know what’s worse than that?  Having to pay ALL of your health insurance! You entrepreneurs know what I’m talkin’ about…
  3. Fees on debit cards — Oh yeah, wtf?  My wife used to get charged 50 CENTS every time she swiped her M&T card. Isn’t that insane?  To access HER OWN money??  She switched to pushing “credit” at gas stations, and saying “Debit” whenever asked for that or credit, and using her EXACT SAME CARD the fees magically disappeared.  Just for saying a different word, ridiculous.  Double check that YOUR bank isn’t charging you for this too!!  At least Bank of America TOLD their customers about their $5.00 debacle, unfortunately not all banks do (or I should say, their representatives. Every bank is *supposed* to tell you all the rules and fees/etc when you sign up, but when put in practice not all customer reps care to divulge every last dirty dirty – it’s up to YOU to pay attention.)
  4. College tuition hikes — Haven’t been involved in anything college-related lately, but I can only imagine how loony these are getting over the years.
  5. Netflix price change — Haha… I think I’m one of the only 3 people left in the world NOT signed up w/ Netflix, so this one didn’t phase me at all ;)  Not that I see the big whooptie-doo anyways.  It still seems like a helluva good bargain to me!  And actually we’re considering finally giving it a shot this month… the DVD portion, not the streaming one or whatever.
  6. New or higher annual fees on credit cards — Yeah new fees suck on everything really, that’s a given.  Never affected by “yearly fee” credit cards though since I always make a point NOT to sign up to them in the first place.  That make me either an idiot for losing out on all the extra rewards they give (??), or crazy smart cuz I never pay a penny for any of ‘em!  I like borrowing all that money for free ;) They make my budgeting life much much easier.
  7. Bank overdraft protection fees — Hmm… isn’t this service usually free?  You just link your savings or credit card with your checking account, right? If you’re paying for it, I think you need to change banks.

I think these above are a good start, but there are a few more the wifey and I would like to add to the list too.  Though mainly her, since I try not to break the law as much she does ;)  Maybe you’ve got some good ones to add too?

  1. Speeding tickets — They always get you when you least expect it! Or you’re late to something! ;)
  2. Parking tickets — But if there’s anything we hate more than speeding tickets, it’s PARKING tickets.. arghh… and usually because we’re more mad at ourselves for getting caught than anything else (Am I right?). Though the wife once got a $250 hit cuz she didn’t want to walk home late at  night and all our spots were taken outside our house… she ended parking on a yellow line at 3 a.m., and when she came back at 6 a.m. to move it she’d already been ticketed!  Don’t think she remembered that cop that lived around the corner from us ;)
  3. Tolls — I don’t mind these *as* much as all the others, but the only time it really gets you is when you either end up in the WRONG lane and you can’t get to the cash one in time, OR it’s 100% electronic and no coins or dollars are accepted at all!  If you’re  not paying attention, or you’re not from around there, it’s super easy to get caught before you can do anything about it, and next thing you know you have a nice fat bill at your home 3 weeks later.  Who can ever like that?
  4. Coat checks that cost money  — I feel like if you’re running a restaurant/bar/club/whatever in the middle of the winter, then you should be able to provide this simple service charge free if we just shlepped through it all to get there. It’s not like you can go around w/out a jacket or anything,  unless you want your wife/mother yelling at you for it (Hi mom!))

What did we miss?  Any of these bring up any sore memories for you too?  Nothing like a nice bitch-fest on a cold Monday morning !;) Haha… Happy Holidays!!

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(Photo by zappowbang)


{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 KC @ PsychoMoney December 5, 2011 at 6:22 am

I hate tolls with so much. I live pretty close to a toll road that I have to use to get pretty much anywhere fast.

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2 NDchick1 December 5, 2011 at 7:17 am

The Washington Metro’s annual fare increases. It isn’t as if they are making my commute any quicker/shorter/with fewer delays/working escalators. If my fare hike resulted in operable trains/elevators/escalators and better signage, I might not be so bitter.
I would really appreciate more and better service as I pay more money for the status quo, WMATA.

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3 Andrea Travillian December 5, 2011 at 7:39 am

I think the fee the makes me the most mad is ANY banking fee. I go out of my way to ensure they are as close to zero as humanly possible! Believe it or not I can actually accomplish this, by paying attention, only going to approved ATM’s and using a credit union.

I think my second least fav would be the airline fees. Just build the extras into the ticket. So much easier for everyone to budget and plan for. I hate packing based on how many bags I want to take.

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4 Brad Moore December 5, 2011 at 8:50 am

After reading this, I am getting a little emotional. Here’s why…

So my wife and I are trying to watch her spending cause I am starting my own biz and she is working as much as she needs to (she would rather be at the house w/ our 3 boys!). First, we get a speeding ticket cause we begin to speed up, knowing that the speed limit jumps up to 70 MPH in one hundred yards. The small-town cop from Henderson, LA is just sitting there – not concerned at all with safety but wanting to pad the small-town police budget. Drives (pun not intended!) me nuts but I’m not done.

We arrive back in N’awlins and we receive two more tickets in the mail. Do any of you have photo-enforced tickets? So this camera takes our pic going 5-10 MPH over the limit with no other cars in sight! What a menace to society we were! Anyhow…3 tickets in a week or so for a total of about $350!!!! So much for watching our spending. I suppose, however, I learned my lesson. We avoid all those intersections now!! YES…I HATE TICKETS TOO…ESPECIALLY PHOTO-ENFORCED!

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5 Nick December 5, 2011 at 9:30 am

I agree with Andrea about ATM fees. Oh, and for those folks who are still “cool,” what about cover charges just for the privilege of getting into night clubs and spending $10 for a beer?

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6 Trinnie December 5, 2011 at 9:37 am

ya had to bring up speeding tickets, didn’t ya…*sigh* I’m never gonna live that one down with the husband.

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7 Well Heeled Blog December 5, 2011 at 9:48 am

OK, here’s a counterpoint – I actually don’t mind baggage fees. Airlines need to make money somehow, and if they don’t charge baggage fees, everyone is just going to pay more. What I don’t like about baggage fees is that people who try to take their giant suitcase as a “carry-on”. Flight attendants are getting more strict about measuring those bags, and I say that’s a good thing for the rest of us who actually follow the rules.

I really dislike ATM fees and merchants who charge you more because you use a credit card. I understand it, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it!

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8 Stephanie December 5, 2011 at 10:32 am

The husband and I have the Netflix streaming-only plan. It’s something like $8 and we definitely get our money’s worth. We used to have streaming plus the 1-DVD-at-a-time plan, but we found we would keep the DVDs for months at a time and not even watch them! When they finally implemented the price hikes, that was the kick in the butt that we needed to switch to streaming-only.

@Brad – The next town over from me just put in red light cameras at two intersections. There’s been a big debate over this, because it seems like it might just be a money-grab on the town’s part since they keep talking about all the revenue it will bring in, moreso than any talk about increasing safety. They made a lot of money the first couple of months, probably because they didn’t put up any signs warning motorists about the cameras and a lot of people don’t seem to realize that you’re supposed to come to a full stop before turning right on red. I’m interested in seeing what will happen if there is a precipitous drop in revenue now that people know what’s going on and are either more careful, or just avoid those intersections altogether. Apparently the companies that install the cameras are known for giving the towns a hard time if they aren’t bringing in enough revenue…

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9 Nicole December 5, 2011 at 10:33 am

My biggest pet peeve…not really a fee, but a charge.

I usually order iced tea at restaurants (when I’m not pounding beers). Iced tea is a free-refill drink. So, theoretically, I could drink 10 of them and only pay for one. I also enjoy coffee with dessert. So, sometimes, I will order a coffee, after having my dinner. Coffee is also a free-refill drink. So, I could have 10 coffees for the price of one.

HOWEVER…and this is where I get mad. If I drink 1 iced tea with dinner, and 1 coffee with dessert, I get charged twice. That drives me INSANE. They are both free-refill drinks. I could have abused the policy and had 20 iced teas for the cost of one, but I had one of each and they charge. And, you cant tell me its because they are washing more cups, because usually a refill is brought in a new glass.

I’ve written to restaurants about this. The response from Olive Garden was too bad, thats our policy. Though, when I wrote to LongHorn, I heard back from the regional manager of the entire midwest. He completely agreed with me. He said what I said was totally logical and they should let people switch between free-refill drinks. He sent me a bunch of free appetizer coupons and his business card with his name and signature saying I get free coffee with my dessert! lol

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10 So You Think You Can Save December 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

My biggest pet peeve with a price bump is when the amount you get in a package is reduced but the price stays the same.

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11 Lauryn Doll December 5, 2011 at 10:45 am

OMG!

1. Tolls – I live in Staten Island, NY – the most underrated borough of NYC – call it baby Jersey. We have 4 bridges that cost 13 – 15 because of tolls… limited transportation and a ferry. We can’t get a simple train line to Manhattan or Brooklyn yet?!

2. Bank Fees – I agree bank fees are ridiculous. And charging me a fee because I have no money? How is it that I can’t afford to be broke?

3. Upcharges on everything – Um, please read “Just Give ‘Em the Pickle!”

I can go on and on and on. This is why I finally opened up a USAA bank account.

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12 Ashley @ Money Talks December 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

I’m not signed up with netflix either. :)~ I hate pretty much all fees, so I can’t pick one.

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13 Lauryn Doll December 5, 2011 at 10:51 am

Yes photo enforced tickets and “more” fees for the convenience of a credit card is just GARBAGE to me.

This blog is bringing out my heat!

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14 Jen @ Master the Art of Saving December 5, 2011 at 11:49 am

I can’t think of any extra fees, but it reminded me of my credit card. They charge me an annual fee but charged monthly of $3.00. I don’t use it, but I can’t close it either because it’s my longest revolving account and it would bring my credit score down. :-( It’s annoying though, because I gotta make sure to pay them $3 each month to keep my account looking spiffy.

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15 Kevin @ Debteye December 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm

In Chicago, we enforced street parking on the first Wednesday of every month. They usually put signs up to warn you, but sometimes they put it up at like 2AM. Last year, I had over $800 in parking tickets in Chicago =(

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16 Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager December 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Not really a fee, but I live in a state where there is no sales tax. When I go out of state it bugs me that I have to pay that tax.

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17 Hunter - Financially Consumed December 5, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Tolls – the ultimate regressive tax

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18 Edward Antrobus December 5, 2011 at 3:25 pm

I hate debit card swipe fees. I think they started appearing when Congress joined the rest of the developed world in limiting what card companies could charge merchants for interchange fees. So, instead, the just shoved the cost on to us without the merchants lowering their prices to reflect their reduced costs! And yes it is rediculous that the exact same piece of plastic that access the exact same money costs (in the case of one of my banks) $.25 if you hit debit and is free if you hit credit.

I also hate bank service fees for accounts that used to be free. In October, our other bank decided to start charging $10.95/month if you don’t have direct deposit into the account or have at least a $1500 balance.

I don’t know how you got from the airport when you were here in Colorado a few days ago, but E-470, which is pretty much the only toll road in all of CO, has raised its tolls 50% in the last 3 years.

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19 Jeffrey Trull December 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I didn’t have a big problem with tolls until it cost me like $30 to drive from Connecticut to DC. Crazy!
I actually don’t mind airline bag fees since I almost never pay them. I bet it keep the price of my ticket down at least a little bit.
And seriously, why are we still talking about Netflix? It’s like $10 a month and most people have dozens of things they spend more on per month and probably get less enjoyment from.

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20 Bryan at Pinch that Penny! December 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Ditto on speeding tickets. I just finished online traffic school last night to get my last (and only) speeding ticket taken off of my record. I got it for passing a slow-poke as I was driving home after spending Labor Day with my family. 70 in a 55 zone. Oh well. Between the ticket and the traffic school, I got shaken down for about $400.

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21 Basil Siddiqui December 6, 2011 at 12:12 am

Speeding tickets, baggage fee, parking tickets and tolls are the fees that annoy me the most. Especially since moving to Cambridge… I routinely have to cross 2-3 tolls in a 10-15 min drive!

Anyways, you’ve really never had a fee card? Does that include business cards? You should do an analysis of the rewards fee based cards offer vs. the fees they charge and if it’s worth it!

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22 YFS December 6, 2011 at 12:45 am

Speeding tickets have to be the worst. Especially, when it’s the machine generated ones in Maryland and not from when a police officer pulls you over. What a croc of crap!

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23 J. Money December 6, 2011 at 1:15 am

@KC @ PsychoMoney – Oh man, that must suuuuuuck. I’ve never had to go on ‘em daily or anything, so I can’t even imagine how annoying that one would get.
@NDchick1 – HAH! Every damn escalator is always out whenever I use it too. Def. a shame.
@Andrea Travillian – It’s amazing how much you save when paying attention, huh? :)
@Brad Moore – OUCH! That blows… kinda like how you BLEW THROUGH those lights! (too soon? ;))
@Nick – Haha, right? There is a trick to that though – just bring in two hot girls along with you ;) Works every time.
@Trinnie – Oh yeah! haha… I totally forgot you got one the other day. Awwww, sorry my friend!
@Well Heeled Blog – Hmm… yeah, def. have a pt. about not passing on the charges to others who don’t check in bags like some of us do. I just miss the old days of not even having to think about it.
@Stephanie – Wouldn’t it be GOOD for the town if you got a lot of revenue in though? Like if it went to police/teachers/etc? Then the town would be more safe :)
@Nicole – Haha nice! I have never EVER even thought of that either, but yeah – makes sense! Though it also makes sense for them to keep charging for it though I’m not entirely sure why… guess it’s just been engrained in me over the years :) If it’s all self-serve, you could alway pour the coffee into the your iced-tea cup? And have massive caffeine overdose?!
@So You Think You Can Save – Oh yeah, that’s happening more and more lately too! Bleh.
@Lauryn Doll – Yeah USAA account! You know what’s up!
@Ashley @ Money Talks – Let’s join at the exact same time amd see what happens ;)
@Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – Oh yeah! Never even thought of that but true… maybe you could increase all of your other cards’ limits to help the debt-to-credit ratio, and then kill the card and take the bump before you need to access any large amounts of credit? Unless you’re buying a house or car or a motorcycle/etc, you don’t really need the credit to be perfectly perfect righ now.
@Kevin @ Debteye – Damnnnnnn that’s a lot. So random too? One Wed a month? What do they do on that day – clean the streets?
@Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – You’re not getting any sympathy from me ;)
@Hunter – Financially Consumed – They’re not my friends.
@Edward Antrobus – I didn’t have to go on that road! I skipped the tolls entirely :) Which was good, cuz the guy at Enterprise car rental said there’s no way to even pay with cash??? It would have charged Enterprise later, and then they would have charged me down the line for it. Really glad I didn’t have to deal with that.
@Jeffrey Trull – I agree! Maybe the poll was old?
@Bryan at Pinch that Penny! – Dannnng. Plus I bet your kids made fun of you while you were getting pulled over huh? Or did they think it was cool to talk to the policeman? :)
@Basil Siddiqui – Nope, never! Even my Amex Biz card — always 100% free :) (And if I had the patience I’d TOTALLY compare cards like that to see what’s the best out there… just bores me to freakin’ death)
@YFS – Haha… they get ya every time ;)

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24 Stephanie December 6, 2011 at 9:54 am

@J. Money – I’m not saying it would be bad for the township to increase revenue, but I’m just concerned about their methods on this one. If the red light cameras achieve their goal (increasing safety by ensuring people come to a full stop before turning on red), then revenue will be low. And if revenue is low, the company that installed/owns the cameras will probably give the town a hard time. So really, the town would see the most financial benefit from people driving in a dangerous manner, and THAT’S what bothers me.

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25 J. Money December 6, 2011 at 10:55 am

Ahhh, haha.. yes! That would be scary!!! Good point :)

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26 Money Wizard December 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm

I really don’t like offers where, once you sign up, you are bound to the service if you don’t cancel within a specific period of time. Years ago, these offers used to cancel themselves and you were responsible for contacting them if you wanted to keep the service going. Now, if you forget to contact them, you will be billed each month until you either cancel the service, which is nearly impossible for most of the companies that market their services in this manner, or call your credit card company and tell them not to authorize any more charges. To me, these are basically “hidden” fees that can really bite you hard if you don’t create a cancellation reminder on your phone.

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27 Matt, Tao of Unfear December 7, 2011 at 1:37 am

I’m pretty sure I’ve only been to one place here, a club, that actually offered to check coats. Yeah… we’re just that casual here.

I dropped Netflix like they were ice cold long before there were ever any price hikes because they don’t support linux with their streaming service. If I pay good money for the service, I expect to be able to use any of my devices which has the hardware to do so. If you are going to bite that bullet, I would definitely get the streaming service. It’s not bad, for what it is. I watched more documentaries than I knew what to do with.

As far as luggage fees are concerned: when I spent a week in NOLA, I only packed whatever I could fit in a small backpack. I didn’t even use overhead bins, let alone check baggage. It was so much less stress (and less pricey) to have all of my stuff with me at all times. Not that minimalist travel is for everyone. I definitely wasn’t packing the big bottle of conditioner and the apricot scrub. ;)

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28 Edward Antrobus December 7, 2011 at 10:58 am

J, I always wondered how they dealt with rental cars. Apparently, if you have a temporary tag in a tinted window, the camera can’t see it.

Money Wizard, Earlier this year, my wife made the mistake of getting her credit report through freecreditreport.com. When she tried to cancel, their customer retention specialist actually brought my wife to tears.

Matt, For the limited travel I did, I traveled that way before I got married. That ended when I got married. Minimalism is not something my wife could be accused of. :)

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29 J. Money December 7, 2011 at 1:30 pm

@Money Wizard – Yup, the more automated subscriptions the better for companies — one of the best tricks in the book. They leave it up to US to do all the work and bring in the dough in the meantime… on the plus side, it’s also GREAT for those who want to keep the service live and in action. I’d be pissed if I had to contact all of them to keep it going all the time – I’d much prefer to call to cancel.
@Matt, Tao of Unfear – Haha… if it weren’t for my mohawk I’d be able to do the same thing too ;) Do you know how much hairspray and items I need to get that thing up every day? (you don’t want to know) Though I also travel with a billion extra clothes too cuz I’m a girl like that. To me it’s worth the fee to have all the options I want when out in another land, but of course I liked it a helluva lot better when there weren’t any too ;)
@Edward Antrobus – HAH! Yeah, not as easy being married traveling unless you’re BOTH minimalists.

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30 Matt, Tao of Unfear December 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm

@J$ Oh, I know how much it takes! I rocked the Knox back in the day while I was sporting a 5-6 inch ‘hawk. It’s a lot of work. :)

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31 J. Money December 8, 2011 at 4:06 pm

@Matt — Awesome! haha.. I knew I liked you :)

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32 Money Wizard December 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

@J. Money – I can see that. I don’t know about you, but 9 times out of 10, I don’t want to continue the subscription. But, you also have to think about how companies will make it easy for you to continue the service. Many of the companies who engage in this kind of practice make it nearly impossible to cancel their service. A phone call, text, or e-mail would be all that’s needed to remind leads to continue the service.

@Edward – Yeah, I’m afraid your wife ran into one of those companies that make it difficult to cancel. That is actually the one service I use now, but only because it provides a little peace of mind. But, I did the same thing as your wife with FreeCreditReport.com a few years back before they got scolded. I ended up having to just tell them, “Look, you either cancel my service and refund my money for the month you charged me, or I will just call my credit card company and dispute the charge. They cancelled it and refunded the money they charged me because dealing with me is easier than dealing with credit card companies. Use what you have as leverage and trust me, companies like that don’t want to be investigated by credit card companies.

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33 Jen December 14, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I can’t STAND tolls. I live in upstate NY so there’s no tolls. But I have to drive to my parents in NJ every month for drill (thank you army for having no openings close to me for my job) so I end up paying a ton in tolls. Thankfully, I’m pretty sure I can claim all of them and the gas on taxes due to having no other option in the reserves (since I’m traveling over 100 miles). Oh, and for paying so much in tolls the roads aren’t that great.

I can’t stand that we downgraded our internet through time warner and the bill is exactly the same because of a price hike. So much for trying to save money there. We’ll probably end up getting rid of the cable next.

The best I can do with our 2 cell phones with the cheapest plan is $129. That’s insane. We have a couple more years and then I think I’m switching to straight talk.

We buy less and less food every month, but our food bill seems to always go up even though I basically buy the same stuff. And I use a lot of potatoes and beans, or I substitute with those so we can save money somewhere.

I really hate the bottle deposit (5 cents for every glass or plastic bottle drink you buy in NY, so if you buy a case of 12 waters, you get charged 60 cents). You get it back if you bring the bottles to a redemption center, but sometimes I just want to put it out with my regular recycables.

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34 Jen December 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Oh, I remember when I was in college and 18 I opened a bank of america bank account and they were charging me $4 a month to have a debit card. Seriously? Let’s just say, sometimes I ended up in the negative JUST because of that. My car insurance ($1200 for 6 months), cell phone, and food were more important than $4. But I’d have the money for all those but be at like $3 something or a a couple cents and then they’d tack on the $4 charge. It was really annoying. Needless to say, I changed banks real quick.

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35 J. Money December 15, 2011 at 5:31 pm

OUCH. I really do not like Bank of America – it’s rare that they look out for their customers… and double ouch on those tolls too! haha… unlike banking, you sometimes don’t have many options w/ roads :) Hope it gets better!

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