I thought it was a joke when someone spoke about this in irc, until I Googled around and found the actual story. Shocking!
Rhonda Payne went to an AT&T Wireless store in Calhoun, Ga., recently to pay her phone bill in cash. She’d been hit by ID theft and was forced to close her checking account, so she was worried she wouldn’t be able to mail a check on time. But when she arrived at the store, she was in for a surprise.
Paying in person, she was told, costs extra — $2 extra.
Payne objected to the “administrative charge” that was added to her bill but got no sympathy. Instead, she said, she was told she should consider herself lucky because the fee was about to go up to $5.
“I was told that it was a courtesy to take cash,” she said. “I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’”
It’s no joke. Beginning earlier this year, AT&T Wireless began to charge customers who pay their bills in their stores.
“It is a way of saving money … it helps us keep our costs lower,” said AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel. “We want our associates to spend their time helping customers as they are thinking about their wireless plans or looking at phones.”
Since when was it a penalty to use REAL cash to pay your bills? What about people who don’t have a bank account (and the number is growing, as the economy crumbles down). What about people who can’t pay electronically? What then?
I can’t help but think this is also related to the fairly recent advertisements from VISA Check Card where they make it seem like paying with real cash is embarrassing, annoying, slow, etc.
In fact, as the commercial below shows… all this industry wants to see is cash flowing in, as fast and efficient as possible, with as few interruptions as possible. If you pay in cash, people groan at you, look at you funny, and make you feel like you’re some sort of outcast.
It goes through exactly why we’re seeing this shift away from physical money, and how it’s happening at very subtle, almost imperceptible levels in all facets of our society.
I STRONGLY recommend watching it, and passing the knowledge you glean from it on to others who might want to know more.
When all of our cash transactions are digital, when all money is digital and no longer physical, you can be monitored in ways you’ve never even thought of before. Not only that, but your ability to transact business in the world can now be shut off in one keystroke.
No more groceries.
No more gas.
No more airline flights.
Accidentally have the same last name as someone else on a list you can’t get yourself removed from? Oops, now your life is literally turned off.
Perhaps Morpheus wasn’t so far off after all… maybe in the eyes of the current government we’re a lot closer to these than we think.