I hate all institutions.
I am not going to spend any time here outlining the breadth or depth of my grievances because they probably won’t sound very much different from your own. I will however mention a particular recent incident that sort of highlights and encompasses the basis for all my hatred.
Three days ago I got an email notice from my bank informing me about ‘Important information about the Arbitration Provision of your account agreement’. I normally delete this kind of shit but for whatever reason the word, arbitration, triggered a minor alarm and I opened the email.
Half a paragraph in, the phrase, ‘It will impact how legal claims you and we have against each other are resolved,’ compelled me to read the damned thing even if it meant a little extra effort to load the URL in my web browser and visit one of the bank’s major annoyingly crafted webpages.
Not surprisingly the Arbitration Provision pretty much said that unless you opt out, you were then forfeiting your legal rights to a trial by jury should a dispute arise. Then at the very end of the Arbitration Provision were listed two very specific ways to which you could make the change.
I was thinking that was some seriously convoluted shit especially given that the default action – do nothing and accept arbitration as your only legal recourse – was infinitely inferior to the full legal rights option that one had to invest some skin (aka personal time) in to secure.
Reading this made me very angry and I thought, ‘fuck you.’ This will not stand.
The easiest opt out option didn’t work for me from Mexico. I couldn’t dial the toll-free number (a 1-855) from here for reasons unknown.
I can call a 1-800 (by substituting 880 in Mexico). I can call a 1-888 (by substituting an 881). I can call a 1-877 (by substituting 882). And I can even call a 1-866 (by substituting an 883).
What I can’t do is call a 1-855 toll-free number.
My only other option according to the document was to do a first class mail or certified mail, return receipt requested letter to the bank. Yeah, like that’s an expeditious way to do correspondence in this day and age.
I remembered I had a Private Client Manager. And it was time for him to earn his pay.
I called the bank’s 800 number after first leaving three messages over two days for Shahab, my Private Client Manager to call me.
After a couple of dropped calls (and 45 minutes on hold) I finally managed to make my way to a person in the arbitration management group who assured me she’d take care of it.
Like Shahab, that worthless shit, she never called me back either.
Fuck that. I found the name of the branch manager for whom that piece of peckertrash, Shahab, worked for and called him. His first mistake was answering my call. His second was giving me his email address. Like acquiring fresh spore on the Serengeti, I had him.
And so this morning the branch manager and I, along with someone from the arbitration management group, finally managed to get me opted out.
Fuck them, fuck them one and all.
This was one of those institutional games that those motherfuckers always devise when the numbers on are there side. Like how a car manufacturer will not fix a specific automobile defect unless the cost of doing so is less than the potential liabilities downstream (read, car crashes).
Same for this. The upside was for the bank to have most all of their clients do nothing and in the doing put the bank in a more advantageous spot should disputes arise.
So why did I do anything? Well, I smelled a rat. I know legally speaking what arbitration means. And I confirmed my suspicious after reading the arbitration agreement: arbitration isn’t precluded (if you opt out of the straight arbitration provision), it is still there. The opt out provision is actually an opt in provision which includes a trial by jury should a dispute in arbitration render an unsatisfactory outcome.
PS – I seriously flamed that worthless* turd, Shahab to his manager; hahaha – like that cheese dick ever saw that one coming. (That’s what happens when you mess with the horns, fool.)
*There are two things I can’t abide in this world and not doing your job is one of them. If you’re out of the office – which Shahab wasn’t, or his vmail greeting would have said. Instead his greeting was excruciatingly long and stupidly included he checked his vmails every two hours.