Thursday, March 17, 2011

Those credit card annual fees

Mitchell of San Leandro was notified recently that next month his Wells Fargo credit card which he has had over 20 years was now going to hit him with a $45 annual fee.

Banks describe this annual fee as a a yearly charge for basically the convenience of having a credit card.

"I was out of work for a bit, so I had to charge my credit card," he said. "Now I have to pay that yearly fee on top of the interest because I need to keep the card."

If your credit card decides to charge you an annual fee, they are required by federal law to notify you 45 before it becomes effective. You can reject the fee by opting out and closing your account, but this could possibly hurt your credit score.

David Lazarus of the LA TImes wrote about Bank of America charging one customer $59 for their annual fee.

"I feel like an indentured servant," Sue Laman told Lazarus. "But what can I do? I can't refuse their annual fee. They know I have no choice except to pay."

With the banks being checkmated on late fee limits and over charge drafts, someone had to come up with a new way for money to come in.

In Lazarus's column he writes:

Bank of America recently notified about 5% of its cardholders that a $59 annual fee will be imposed beginning April 11. The bank says the fee is to address such issues as payments being too low or balances too high. It also says in letters to some cardholders that the annual fee is a response to "a review of your banking relationships with us."

Betty Riess, a Bank of America spokeswoman, said the annual fee is generally being imposed on "customers who would not qualify for a new account today." "They have a choice," she added. "They can reject the fee and pay off their account."

"It is equivalent to increasing interest rates and is yet another example of banks employing bait-and-switch tactics that place unfair financial burdens upon their customers," said Odysseas Papadimitriou, chief executive of, a credit card comparison site.

Remember the days of free checking, free checks and no minimum balance ? If one million customer are charged a $59 annual fee that comes to, yes $59 million a year.

Do you think that is fair ? I sure don't.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Visual CV provides resumes with your photo

Visual CV provides your resume with your photo. take a look.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

We all need jobs, don't we

Looking for and landing a position seems to be tougher than ever. Sending out resumes in the "black hole" for job postings can make you weary. Trying to locate a job in the "hidden job market" means getting past rocks, firewalls or gatekeepers.

With the current economy not showing much change, sometimes it helps to come up with a different and unique approach to landing a job. There was the sandwich board guy in New York who was featured on CNN. Some places like schools, churches and groups have started reverse job fairs.

Howard Friedenberg decided to take matters into his own hands. Specifically to a website and to BART. He and a group of job seekers in the East Bay have set up a website and have put themselves on a billboard banner at a Bart Station. Actually four banners at four stations up and down the East Bay.

The billboard has their photos on it, the website address and is worded to draw your attention. This isn't your typical buy our product ad.

"The website and the posters became a necessity not only for my fellow job seekers, but for me personally," Howard remarked. " I needed to start and create a completed project that would be slightly different, yet have a positive impact and give everyone an energy boost."

The group plans to run the billboards for eight weeks. Their website allows you to highlight each individuals photo to see their position title and you can then click on it to find out more about them. There is also a drop down menu to search for specific titles. You can contact each member directly.

How unique is that ?

Do we have your attention now ?

Chevron ? Google ? Kaiser ?

As Howard and the members say , they are your friends, neighbors and perhaps former co-workers. They all have something special to offer a company. They contributed to businesses and companies all around the Bay Area....till they lost their jobs.

But their skills are as sharp as ever.

The job seekers were featured last week in a KPIX Channel 5 segment, which can be viewed from the website.

So those of you looking for a new way to jump start your search, try thinking "out of the box." Get your name, skills and maybe your photo out there.