YouTube credit card rant gets results
Ann Minch said Bank of America 'jacked up' the interest rate on her credit card to 30%. After her video went viral, the bank slashed her rate back down to 12.99%.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- "You are evil, thieving bastards."
That's just one of the scathing comments from Ann Minch, a disgruntled Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500) customer who says in a YouTube video that the bank "jacked up my interest rate to a whopping 30% APR."
Her rant went viral, and Minch says the bank scaled her rate back to its original 12.99%. Citing customer privacy, a Bank of America spokeswoman said she could not comment on individual accounts but confirmed "we did ... reach a mutually agreeable resolution based on additional information that we reviewed."
The video, titled "Debtor's Revolt Begins Now!," has been streamed about 350,000 times and earned a five-star user rating since it was posted on Sept. 8.
In the video, Minch claims she wasn't over her credit limit and hasn't been late with payments, despite the fact that she doesn't have a full-time job.
She says she tried to negotiate with Bank of America, where she has been a customer for 14 years, "but they weren't willing to negotiate anything."
"I could get a better rate from a loan shark," she adds.
Betty Riess, the Bank of America spokeswoman, said customers receive advance notice of rate hikes and can choose to pay off their balance at the current rate to close out the account.
True to her YouTube handle, Rockerchic4God, Minch sports fiery red hair and kohl-rimmed eyes that glare into the camera for the duration of the 4-1/2 minute video.
"You have reaped ungodly profits in your behemoth casino scams, then lost, only to turn around and usurp the wealth of this great nation by the outright rape and pillage of middle-class Americans whose sweat and toil built it," she says.
Calling the bailout "the biggest rip off in the history of the world," Minch lays out her terms: If Bank of America refuses to reinstate her previous, lower interest rate and monthly payments, she won't pay "one more red cent on your 30%."
Minch tells her viewers that she is "willing to sacrifice [my credit score] in order to take a stand for what's right," and she calls on them to join her in an "American debtors' revolution."
"Stick that in your bailout pipe and smoke it," she says, smirking.
Minch attracted a lot of media attention, and word of her crusade apparently got through to one of Bank of America's top brass. In a follow-up video posted Sept. 19 Minch says Jeff Crawford, the bank's senior vice president of existing customer credit services, called her to discuss her concerns.
He told her that she had two late payments, which was why her rate was hiked, and he tried to convince her to agree on a 16.99% interest rate.
Minch replied that Bank of America is receiving "money from the Fed at 0% interest ... 12.99% is a more-than-generous profit margin." Crawford agreed to that original rate, although Minch says her most recent online statement shows a 23.99% APR.
Still, the credit-card crusader is significantly more subdued in her follow-up video, in which she updated viewers about her predicament and noted that Crawford "was very polite."
But Rockerchic4God isn't completely mollified. She's launching a Web site at DebtorsRevoltNow.com, and says her next project is "a tax revolt."
"That won't involve anybody having to go to jail for not paying their taxes," she says. "There's a way around that, so stay tuned."
Minch's original video has spawned more than 5,000 comments -- some praising her, others condemning her "revolt." One detractor, billb0313, writes: "Banks need a bailout b/c people like Ann defaulted on their unsecured loans left and right."
Other posters are in Minch's corner. "You're not alone," writes tommosm. "[My] Chase is at 33% ... I'm paying more in finance charges than the minimum payment."