Update: Woman beats bank with angry YouTube video
Well, she did it.
Last Thursday in this space we discussed Ann Minch, a California woman who had taken to recording an angry anti-bank YouTube video to protest Bank of America jacking her credit card interest rate from 12.99% to 30%.
Minch started quite a sizzle online, her rant getting attention from MSN and the Huffington Post and turning her into a kind of William Wallace to unemployed debtors.
In this blog, we turned the story into a debate over whether trying to take on a bonafide institution was possible (or a good move) with social media tools - like YouTube - banks never really had to deal with before.
Most agreed it was a bad idea.
Ann Minch has proved otherwise.
Without putting her behaviour on a pedestal too much, it is worth reporting that the YouTube star has posted another video declaring her victory over Bank of America’s rate hikes.
In her original rebellion against the bank, Minch stated she had never missed – nor was late with – a payment and could not afford the outrageous interest hike because she’d just been laid-off from her job as a mental health care manager. Seemed fair.
As it turns out, she had missed a payment in 2008 which was found to be the reason for the interest raise. Regardless, a rep from B of A reached out to Minch after her video hit well over 300,000 views and settled the dispute.
According to the Consumerist, Minch will get her rate returned to her desired 12.99% and, somewhat surprisingly, wasn’t encouraged to stop her online rants or take down the anti-Bank of America video.
So, does this change anyone’s mind on the matter?
Many thought Minch was crazy the first time around (“The bank will survive her default, but she will be financially ruined,” one critic mused), but has this now become a different kind of beast?
The safe bet is that this was a rare instance of lightning in a bottle; any amateur video getting the notoriety Minch got with 300,000 views and help from the media isn’t happening for every Jack or Jill with a banking problem.
But it stands to mention this could have set an interesting precedent going forward. Banks have not quite faced the sort of rule-the-court-of-public-opinion machine that readily available social medias afford, and the incurable optimist out there might have to think that – maybe, just maybe – YouTube and the like could just force them to stay in line every once in a while.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: dudley | Sep 25, 2021 12:31:24 PM
As for BOA not requiring her to remove the video, BOA benefits in 2 ways from this situation. Firstly, good press or bad, it is free advertising for BOA. Isn't that what they say in business?
Secondly, BOA apparently now comes off as the good guy (Goliath has been beaten down by David) by reducing her rate back - albeit to 12.99%, when the Fed prime rate is virtually 0%.
Maybe I am niave but couldn't anyone who gets their cc rate jacked to 30% simply apply for another card elsewhere?
Posted by: hint | Sep 25, 2021 4:06:32 PM
Dudley - if you're laid off no one is going to approve you for a new credit card.
Posted by: Ruth | Sep 28, 2021 3:24:32 PM
Dear Mr Buckland:
WHY should it take 'You Tube and the like' to keep the banks in line?
Ruth from happily regulated Canada