Is this sleazy, or am I imagining that?

I know there is great profit to be made from exploiting those with the least financial resources. I understand that financial transactions with this class of consumers can be risky. I understand that high-risk endeavors can lead to high reward results. None of that helps me overcome my initial reaction that this is a sleazy financial tactic that abuses lower-income families and individuals.

Walmarts Tries To Become Your Bank With The “Walmart MoneyCard”

. . .

Check our Walmart’s awesomely evil deal: Cashing your check costs $3.00, but if you put the money on a Walmart MoneyCard, they’ll waive the $4.64 “loading” fee. Neat! After that it’s only $4.94 a month to keep your money on the card.

Want to know how much is left? That’ll be $0.70 to check your balance .This card, in essence, takes people who don’t have access to the banking system in this country and makes Walmart their “bank.” Except it’s a “bank” where it costs $1.95 to get money from an ATM, but getting “cash back” from Walmart’s POS is free! If you deposit more then $1,000, Walmart will generously waive the monthly maintenance fee on the card. Want to speak to a teller? That’ll be $3.50. Your paper statement? $2.00. What a deal!

My wife decided we were to boycott Wal-Mart several years ago. This just feels like another reason to pass on passing my money to the corporation. My understanding is that Sam Walton never would have abused the country like this, but I could be way off base.

[tags]Wal-Mart money card for robbing from the poor, Rob from the poor to give to the rich[/tags]

4 Replies to “Is this sleazy, or am I imagining that?”

  1. Those evil Wal-Mart Executives what will they think of next!?!?!

    They have the audacity to place stores, often in low income towns and areas, offering low priced goods and services to people that may not be able to afford it others wise. Those wicked bastards.

    And to think that they are getting away with building these stores and then having to hire hundreds of local people who are currently unemployed from the area to work there– giving many health care that they never had– and having to pay them for it. Thi sis so obviously criminal, excessive and immoral (maybe more!) that it just sickens me. String them up by their necks I say!

    And now those profit-mongers are offering yet another money making scheme that will give people not only a place to store the money they have saved and earned (see above) but also a little self esteem in doing so. And think of the illegals with no proper birth certificate or green card, now they can shop anywhere too. Jesus H. Christ. I just know we are on the crust of having snowballs in heaven.

    And to think, NO OTHER financial institution does this as everyone else does so for FREE.

    /tg

    P.S. You need to go to tvtorrents and get the episode of Bullshit that covers the Wal-Mart saga. Or alternatively, I can come over and just bitch slap the hell out of you and your wife.

    P.P.S. I’m not much of a WM fan, more because of the store being dirty and full of mouth breathers than their irrehensible acts above. But in honor of your wife I need to pick some stuff up at the store tonight– and I think it will be Wal-Mart just ‘cause I can.

  2. I should probably have been clearer – I’m not massively anti-WalMart, actually. I don’t care to shop there because I disagree with some of the business decisions the company has made in order to keep prices as low as they do.

    For example, WalMart works hard to not offer insurance to their employees. Less than half of all WalMart employees even have insurance (compare to, say somewhat competitor CostCo with 96% coverage). CEO Lee Scott says WalMart employees can get better coverage from taxpayer funded healthcare insurance in some cases. That means that even if you aren’t a WalMart customer, you are paying for insurance coverage for a large chunk of the WalMart employee pool. I know that without seeing how many of the remaining have coverage from other sources, that is not a directly telling issue (although I know 16% have no coverage). But seeing how a competitor’s employees fare immediately makes the number something worth further investigation. Then seeing that the CEO actually says taxpayer funded coverage is better than WalMart offered coverage puts out the message that WalMart doesn’t want to insure its employees. Smart for reducing costs, but not a business practice I approve of nor wish to encourage with my direct dollar investment.

    As for creating hundreds of jobs in a community, be aware that this number could be better or worse than people realize. Studies have found different results, but the overall impact of WalMart opening in a community could be as little as 50 news jobs in even the near-term. Additionally, while WalMart can and does revitalize small communities and city downtown areas, there is also significant negative impact, with almost half of local retail offerings within 10 years. I believe that is an extreme case, with WalMart having less negative impact, but it’s not all wine and roses that some people would have you believe.

    The Penn and Teller WalMart episode is good, and covers a lot of things that other people dislike WalMart for. But some of their responses are inaccurate or misleading. For example, the average WalMart employee salary is well above the minimum wage – P&T covered that – but they earn significantly less than the average for comparable positions at competing stores – which P&T didn’t point out. I believe that the complaint against WalMart is not that they don’t even pay certain minimums, but that they pay less than others. That’s not a strategy that bothers me (kinda the goal in business, isn’t it?), but P&T shift the complaint from what it really is to what they can debunk. As much as I like the show in general, you have to be careful to understand what they are telling you and make sure it is relevant to the complaints they are debunking.

  3. About a million years ago (~1984) when K-Mart was on the #1 retail giant in the world I had the most unfortunate experience of working there– my first ‘real’ job in fact. Three-quarters of the work force was part time and had no bennies other than one paid week vacation every six months (wage * 20 hours). They pretty much paid minimum wage ($3.15 an hour I believe it was).

    You never read about this in the paper or saw it on the news. It was an unsaid (and unneeded) rule, If you did not like working there, or wanted more money, benifiets, whatever there is an easy answer. Get some experience and move on. I did so, after I had more than enough, by telling my manager to “Take this F’n lamp and shove it up your ars!” and “I F’n quite” (just in case the fist statement did not make my point clear enough) in front of a customer. Classy eh? But that’s another story.

    What’s the difference between then and now? The great PUSSYIFICATION of the United States! Now you should not expect people to be responsible for themselves and do what they must do to better themselves– no! The evil coproations should just hand it over to them.

    BTW, just got off the phone with my wife. Less than half of the people at her store are full time and do not get benifiets. Does that make her chain store evil now too?

    That is how the reatil world works.

    /tg

  4. I couldn’t figure out the insistence on evil you focus on. That’s not my feelings. That’s a quote from the original article to which I linked. I don’t consider WalMart evil – just a corporation whose business practices I won’t support with my money.

    I *do* think their money card plans are sleazy, but I realize most Americans don’t have any issues with companies who prey on the financially less savvy and less endowed. Charging $3.50 to let people talk to a teller? Charging $0.70 to check the balance? My bank isn’t well regarded for some of their fees, but even they don’t charge me to check the balance nor for a teller visit unless it happens frequently.

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