Oct 13, 2009
Mrs. Sneed and I are permanent mail-in voters. Maybe if you live in a progressive city, town or village, this is no big deal. Here in the sticks it is very cool and the latest and greatest in voting. Perhaps you are wondering what are the burning issues in the November elections here in Hooterville, AZ? Well, we have several of our city council members up for reelection, as well as measures to increase property taxes to fund more cop and firefighters, give the Hooterville Unified School District more money and to let the City of Hooterville override state law as it pertains to busting the budget. Here's how I voted. New Guy New Guy New Guy No NO NO. I hate to be such a curmudgeon, but times are tough for all of us. Plus our council is made up of buffoons. Here's something else. Longtime readers know that Merle Wayne Sneed isn't much of a credit guy. I generally only use credit when I can use it to my advantage. I have an Amex card that gives me 5% cash back. If I use it, I always pay off the balance in full each month. Each February, Amex sends me a nice little check. Recently I bought a plasma television from Best Buy for about $900. Best Buy was willing to give me a year to pay them back, no interest. They are hoping I won't actually get it paid off in a year and they can stiff me for 28% interest. They will be disappointed. But, sometimes hassles happen in the pursuit of free money. About two months ago, I bought some new clothes at a local department store. Every item I bought was on sale for 30 to 40% off. When I got to the register, the guy ahead of me had a coupon for 20% off, if you used your store card to pay. For one reason or another, he couldn't use it and asked me if I wanted it. When I told him I didn't have a store card, the cashier piped in that if I applied for one, she would give me another 15% off. The discounts were flying around so fast that I figured they were about to start paying me. When all was said and done, I applied for the card and save a lot of moolah. I got the bill from the store the first week in September, and I scheduled my bill pay service to send them a check. It was mailed on September 22nd, due on October 1st. The store evidently doesn't accept electronic payments unless you do it on their website, so the bill pay people had to send a snail mail check. A couple of days ago I got a new bill for $32. It was a late fee because they claimed they didn't get the payment until...drumroll please...October 2nd. What a surprise. These credit card outfits are shameless in their pursuit of fees and interest. I'm supposed to believe that it took the the fine people at the USPS 11 days to get the payment to them. I called the store's 800 number and bitched at them. They are waiving the charge, "this time", as a gesture of goodwill. Good thing, too, because "this time" is the only time I will ever use their card. Unless I get a really good discount.