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choreplay's avatar

How close to home is the Occupy Wall Street Movement to you?

Asked by choreplay (6285 points ) October 15th, 2011

How close to home is the Occupy Wall Street Movement to you?

With the main themes of the Occupy Wall Street Movement being stopping corporate greed especially special interests impact on the political process, economic inequality and joblessness, an unjust government.”

On a personal level what are your experiences with all of the above.

To start:
I have been affected by the ridiculous spike in oil prices over the last four years. I was disgusted with the reports of Exxon’s record profits.

We were involved in an auto accident in late 2008, but because the insurance companies would not pay a dime until a final settlement and we could not afford to foot the ridiculous medical bills (even with health insurance assistance) our credit went downhill.

As we were footing the medical bills and as the credit went down hill and I was late once on some credit card payments (we kept low levels of credit for what we could have had), the credit card companies spiked my interest rate up to 29.9%. $150 payments went to $500, and we had about four different accounts, go ahead do the math.

I could come up with many other but just one more. With my income half of what it was three years ago we do struggle to get things paid on time. Currently we pay well above $200 a month, almost every month in late fees and late-payment-over-the-phone processing fees.

All of this has converged on me as a perfect financial storm and is the result of corporations getting away with gouging because they have Washington by the balls.

I disclose a lot of very personal matters here for the greater good.

What’s your story or experience?
No debates or partisanship please, just tell your experience.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

10 Answers

choreplay's avatar

or a story about someone you know that’s been a victim of crap like this.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The OWS movement directly affects me, because I am the victim of price gouging by large pharmaceutical companies. In the debate over extending drug coverage to Medicare recipients under Pres. Bush, those companies lobbied hard to keep the federal government out of the business of finding the best prices for drugs covered by the plan.

When the Obama administration successfully passed its landmark health care act, this did not change. Drug companies are free to charge whatever they want in the US for their products while they have to negotiate prices in the rest of the world.

As a result. 10% of my meager disability income goes for my co-payments on my medication. (One of the drugs costs $900/month, and my portion is $115.) I have a very stringent budget that I must adhere to in order to live each month.

My credit rating has also taken a beating, because I was unable to continue working after I got sick and unable to continue making payments on debts. I am considering bankruptcy as a way to deal with the situation.

jerv's avatar

I live in Seattle

I spent 13 months on unemployment, and have been told that it is my fault because I am lazy and unskilled. I currently earn half of what people in my position (CNC Machinist II) generally earn; >95% of them earn more than I do, thus proving that the free market doesn’t always lead to competitive prices or wages.

Response moderated (Spam)
augustlan's avatar

[mod says] We had a glitch and I had to delete the last two posts on this thread. They were off-topic, but refused to be moderated for some reason. Sorry about that!

mattbrowne's avatar

There’s one in Frankfurt, Germany now. Plus in other German cities too. Wonderful! They got my full support. I support ethical banking, but I disapprove of casino-style capitalism which leads to human suffering.

choreplay's avatar

Oh, I have some other personal doozies to share. A couple of years ago in reviewing my Verizon Bill I notice “Data” charges. They had billed me for up to $25 in some months for up to a year and a half back. I call and ask what the data charges were, they said “you have been surfing the web on your phone”, I said, “not even once”, they said “we have a list of the web sites”, I said, send me a list because I know it’s bull because I have never been on the web on my phone”, they said, “you would have to subpoena them” I said, “I will take your to small claims court or court”, they laughed at me and said, “In your contract you agreed to subrogation only”. I said “I wanted the charges reversed”, they said “they would reverse a couple months worth”, I said “unacceptable”!!!
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I joined a class action lawsuit that went no where because Verizon couldn’t be sued. The government steps in and instructs Verizon to pay back pennies on the dollar for what they miss billed people. So I call Verizon and bring up the data charges again, I forget the details but they basically said that didn’t apply to me.
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As part of the class action lawsuit they found a former Verizon employee that said all the accusations about surfing the web and all were from a script list that they used for everyone calling about these mis-billings. Turns out the issue was between old and new technology and people with old phones were somehow getting hit with data charges that weren’t legitimate but some sort of tech glitch.
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I refused to pay their data charges, have that on my credit and until I changed my phone number got harassing collection calls.
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I now use a Trac phone and get the same coverage for about $200 a year (phone and minutes). It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as the new phones but for the price difference, I’m good. This just proves how much they are gouging the American public for phone service.
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link
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link
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I never saw any refund made to my account.

jerv's avatar

@choreplay Could have been worse; could have been Citibank. When you deal with them, you can be arrested or killed!

BTW, when I had a TracFone, it wound up costing me far more; closer to $80/month. Yes, there is no contract and no billing, but be warned that they are not the best choice for everyone.

choreplay's avatar

@jerv, I’m a little blown away at the lack of participation in this question. Either I/we are in a small small minority here or people just don’t want to put their experiences (experiences of big business just getting too big for their britches) down. Might be one of the problems of the OWS movement, in that everyone wants to complain but no one wants to step up and share their stories. Hmmmm
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I would really like to see statistics on credit scores and how much of the population is no longer worthy of credit. About that though, I think there are the regular part of that group that are irresponsible to their obligations but there is also a large portion that have just been thrown under the bus by the system, good people without jobs or under the weight of medical bills and on and on.
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I think it’s hard for the OWS movement to take a solid form because the experiences that fueled it are so widespread, taking so many forms. The unaffected population has no idea how many of us are on the cliff or over the cliff financially because of flaws/abuses in the system. I’m slightly jealous of those who have opted for bankruptcy, but don’t personally want to go there and hope to eventually shed any debt we have by ultimately paying it off.

jerv's avatar

I think that the unaffected know, but blame the victim.

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