Debit card holds
I was thinking about the practice of businesses putting "holds" on sums of money well above the cost of the purchase, when purchased with debit cards. This can cause accounts to be overdrawn--and even if only by 10 cents, then you start accumulating daily overdraft charges--and those charges can put you into a hole impossible to get out of before you even know there was an overdraft--if your bank (like Chase) takes over 10 days to get a notice of the original overdraft to you & you don't have internet access to your account! This all happened to my daughter, whose income was not sufficient to overcome the bank charges (nor frequent enough, being paid every other week). She ended up over $300 in the hole, more than her paycheck, just from the hold triggering a chain of overdraft fees.
Seems to me the time is ripe for us (consumers) to start agitating for government action on this. Congress has its attention on issues of predatory lending in home purchases. I think this practice (by the banks as well as the merchants) is also predatory and I am writing to my congressman, senators, and members of the appropriate committees in congress to ask that they look into this and put limits on how much can be held and on how many times or how much the bank can charge for a single incident of overdraft, or even if overdraft fees can be triggered by a hold in excess of the purchase.
If you agree, I hope that you will also write or e-mail your congressmen and committee members, and ask others to also. I was able to help out my daughter, and even got some of the charges reversed by threatening to pull my accounts--but what about people who don't have help? It is just not fair, and that is not right.