Sorry, I don’t do unpaid surveys

This week was an amusing coincidence of mail. 

This was the week where one of the banks that I have checking with, Chase, decided to say that they’re going to unilaterally charge a $15 handling fee.  If I see that on my next statement, I’ll be in the branch the next day to close the account. 

Checking accounts make money for banks.  People don’t actually stand in line writing checks these days, I write about 1 check every two months now and usually it is because I used the wrong credit card and can’t get into the website in time to pay it off.  Their logic is that they have extra handling to manage the account, which is frankly nonsense.  Chase swallowed up the bank I was with, Washington Mutual, when that bank failed.  So in order to pay for their upper management’s homes on the Hamptons, or their yachts via obscene bonuses, they’re going to try to include another nuisance fee. 

There are better answers such as a Credit Union or one of the many competitors out there that have free checking.  They’ll make their money by not paying interest on the amount you have sitting in the account to keep the minimum balance for not paying the fee.   Chase needs to cut their expenses instead of that sort of action.

On the other hand a rant by me won’t really have that much effect other than my sitting back and saying that every time Chase buys a bank I am a depositor in, I’ll close the account and move on.  It has happened three times to me.

The other part of that coincidence was when Chase emailed me a “marketing email” asking if I wanted to be on a survey panel.  For entertainment sake, I sat back and began to fill the thing out.  They promised me a chance to win some sort of discount on some nebulous items or some cash back… but never outright said that for my time I would be directly compensated.  

I got about to the fourth nosy question and clicked the close box.  Realizing that the survey itself was going to take about 10 minutes, I decided that I had donated enough of my time to Chase for the day.

(sounds of my fingers hitting the keyboard opting out of both the website and future “marketing emails”)

There are websites to work on, graphics work to do, and a blog article to write.  Why donate time to a bank that makes obscene amounts of money on the backs of their depositors for very little service?

Following that, I noticed that there was this contest on a website that all I had to do was click “like” on facebook to be entered.  That’s easy.  There’s a facebook group for this blog, and I have my own personal one so it’s been liked.

Now how about that free iPad Mr Web Site? 

Someone?
Anyone?

Beuller?

(Sound of crickets…)

Basic Firefox Security Hint: Don’t Save Passwords and User IDs

This was first going to be a rant against my bank.  I started here with a Washington Mutual Account.   When their loans went bust, like many banks they got bought by a larger bank.   Chase got them, and me in the bargain.
This month when I went to do the banking and balance the checkbook, I logged into WAMU and was told that Wamu is becoming Chase.   When I got to the check account it said go to Chase.   Chase said that basically they couldn’t find a cookie and that made them a Sad Panda.  I could make them happy again by jumping through hoops and registering my laptop with them by their putting a brand new spanking cookie on my machine.
Oh Freakin’ Joy.
What this misses is that I am security conscious.   I have a laptop.   They get stolen.   I keep very little on this machine and I have Firefox set to delete all cookies when I close it.   So next month, I’ll go to Chase and will have a Sad Panda... Again.    Bloody stupid pain in the bollocks.
Ok, So Security training has gotten me irked.   But it brings up a very important problem that the banks cannot solve this way.   Saved Passwords.
Repeat after me:  I WILL NEVER SAVE A PASSWORD OR USER NAME IN MY BROWSER!
Why?  Because Criminals will break into your house and look for your computer, CPU, Desktop, Laptop, Mac, what have you and make it their own.   If you save your password, and you save your cookies because the bank is more needy than your 16 year old girlfriend when you were in High School, then they turn it on, start up your browser, find your history and links … you’re toast.
I have a very comprehensive list of saved bookmarks.   In fact its so big I have to back it up so I don’t have to try to recreate the thing.   But nobody has my user name or password.   I have to remember them myself.
On the other hand, even I don’t have a saved cookie so I’m the Sad Panda. 

So If you find this interesting, useful or entertaining, feel free to click on an ad.  Heck, even if you don’t… You’ll make me happy when I look at the stats.  Thanks!