We receive many letters here at VoteStrike, and here's an edited excerpt from one sent to us in response to our article 'I am a terrorist'.
"I had a credit card from "Comp USA", which had a $3K limit- and which I had totally paid off. They were bought out by a company called Tiger Direct. I called and asked them if they would accept my old card or was there a new card offered for past clients of "Comp USA" who had good ratings. They said that I could apply for one of their new cards and that there should be no problem. Their new carrier was HSBC. I had no problem with that as I was just looking to purchase a $99 game. After the whole phone application they say they're re-evaluating my credit, and I'm not approved.
"A week later, I got a notice from another active credit card account (Musicians Friend). They were lowering my credit from $500 to $108...$108?? Where did they get that amount from? I asked why, and they had said that my credit was being re-evaluated.
"Then I realized that is how much I owed on that account! I never missed a payment with them, and in some months I even made double payments. I never asked for an increase. By the way, I'm a sales manager and in 2008 I made $85,000 in earnings. I own my own home and have always had good credit.
"Later that same week, "Best Buy" (another HSBC card) notified me that my credit score was re-evaluated and that my credit limit was lowered from $3300 to $2900, which was again the amount owed on that account. I ventured to check into my other cards and found that 5 out of 7 non Visa/MasterCard/Amex cards are handled by HSBC and that 3 of them had lowered my limits after their "re-evaluation".
"I pay all of our bills directly through my bank "Chase." All the bills are paid this way each month. I had forgotten that the New Year's Day holiday fell on a Thursday and automatic payments are delayed one day during holidays. I went directly to the web sites of Musician's Friend and Best Buy to make the payments, as they're due on the 1st of the month. My paycheck went in as "Pending on the 31st" but said that it could not pay the automatic recurring amounts until the 5th.
I noticed that online these 2 companies say (in fine print) that there is a "$15 processing fee for payment made online with a check" (they do not accept credit cards as a form of payment online.) I called them to ask if they could- as a one time courtesy- waive this fee. They informed me that they cannot do that as their "online pay by check" is operated by a 3rd party, and that any waiving of this fee is therefore NON-NEGOTIABLE.
"I HAD to pay this fee- or I would be then hit with a late charge more than the payment I was making! I just felt that paying a $15 fee in order to make a $15 payment is ludicrous! And they of course don't care. They purposely put people in that predicament.
"I am borrowing off of my 401K just to pay off all of my HSBC cards. I will not cancel them, as I hear from financial analysts that it's bad for your credit. But, I will do what I possibly can to boycott HSBC and to get as many people to follow suit. This abuse of business values needs to stop! And the American people need to do something about it together, as many voices can be heard, where one is simply ignored."
"Business principles and values: The HSBC corporate character defines the values and principles inherent in all our everyday dealings."
So, now we all understand what character they have, and we've seen their values and principles.
It would seem apparent that the only valuable principle we can offer in return is to firmly cut into tiny pieces all credit cards issued by HSBC and their affiliated companies. It's long been time to do some re-evaluating of our own.
From the original article:
Simple Non-Violent Resistance steps:
A. MOVE MONEY OUT OF BIG BANKS ie: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, HSBC (Bank of China), CITBANK Move to local credit unions.
B. Stop using credit cards - every transaction generates an automatic 1-2% fee to the banks from the store you are buying from. Stop using bank ATM's- that generate fees!!! USE CASH and Trade as much as possible.
C. BUY USED CARS, SHOP GARAGE SALES, AND EXCHANGE GOODS/SERVICES ON CRAIGS LIST.
D. BUY LOCAL! look at where something is actually made. Choose the brand that is made closest to your home-
E. Boycott Mobil/Exxon, Shell, Texaco, Chevron - use smaller independent stations, REDUCE GAS Consumption regardless of price decreases- !! We have to stop fueling the oil mongers!!Learn to be a www.hypermiler.com . For conserving gas, you can go to EcoModder.com
F. Stop using and throwing away PLASTIC! It's made with OIL. - no bottled water, buy milk in cartons, recycle everybit of plastic you must use and return all plastic bags to grocery store- including plastic bread and newspapers come in!!
G. CUT ENERGY USE AT HOME AND AT WORK!! best thing people can do against big oil and dirty coal is also good for your local community- help cut energy expenses for local businesses, schools, and public buildings by turning lights off in empty rooms and bathrooms- instead of having that money go to the corps that are polluting and earning billions off of us, help keep that money in our pockets not theirs.
H. PAY OFF ALL YOUR DEBT. If you have a mortgage, secure your home first- pay down the principle by adding a little extra money each month- this saves thousands over time! Paying off mortgage has equal value protecting you in retirement. Once paid off, no matter how deep recession/depression gets or if your 401k never returns- you have shelter- your home.
I. Grow some of your own food if possible if in a warm place. Even just a few plants of your favorite veggies and herbs helps..Raise chickens, ducks, rabbits...
J. RECYCLE, COMPOST, - make effort to reduce trash and weight of trash- which not only helps the environment, but cuts expense for trash in your town. The more trash weighs the more taxpayers pay. Demand your public works enforce recycling and composting of yard waste.
K. IF YOU HAVE EMPLOYER PRIVATE INSURANCE- LIKE BLUE CROSS- USE IT- GO GET YOUR MAMMOGRAM OR COLONOSCOPY, ANNUAL CHECK UPS AND PAPS.-GET YOUR FLU SHOT THAT IS FREE!!!
- IF YOU HAVE MEDICARE OR MEDICAID OR STATE JOB INSURANCE- KEEP UP ON PREVENTIVE CARE BUT DONT ABUSE IT!
L. Cancel cable tv WE ARE TOTALLY ADDICTED TO THEIR 350 CHANNELS FOR SPORTS, MOVIES, PORN, NEWS. As long as they can keep us entertained they know we won't think. Cancel newspaper subscriptions.
M. STOP DONATING MONEY TO MoveOn, ACLU, politicians- Instead, donate food directly to pantries or money directly to people you know need it. Cut out the religious middlemen that are taking millions and using it to gain power not do good!!! Help a poor person or relative weatherproof their home or give them energy efficient light bulbs..
N. REDUCE MEAT/CORN CONSUMPTION- which are a huge corporate factory lobby for DC (unless locally raised beef).
O. Boycott chain stores and malls-shop small independent stores.
P. Move money out of stocks/401ks put money into tax-free IRA-ROTHs.
Q. Boycott state lotteries.
R. Boycott fast food. Eat right.
Whether you call it the world financial structure, the U.S. culture of waste, or the ability of the common man to make a decent living, the system is broken. It's time for the common man to go on strike. Join or support the March on Washingon (more...