Credit card companies, it seems, go out of their way to make their practices as obfuscated as possible. For instance, have you every run across these credit cards that offer 0% interest rates?
At first glance, the offer seems awesome. That is actually what the credit card companies are banking on, that you, as a consumer, will buy into their product based mainly on your “first glance” judgment. Of course, if you were really to take a step back and think about it more, you'd realize that a 0% interest rate is just too good to be true. And, once you ask about the terms of the card, you find out that it is. Once you miss a single monthly bill, your 0% interest rate zooms right to 10% or even more.
There is also this kind of “condescending” practice of credit card companies where they give you customer service assistance as if you don't really deserve the help you are getting. Ask them for help and they put you on hold. They love to put you on hold, don't they? Have you ever tried negotiating with a customer service person for, say foregoing your automatic interest rate increase because you missed your due date by one day? Basically, you have to hold something over their head in order for them to do anything. You could threaten to cancel your line (won't work if you have a bad record with them) or you could appeal to their sense of business courtesy. You can remind them how loyal a customer you've been and how you are the best credit customer in the world that you deserve an award for it (again, won't work if you have a bad record).
Obviously, credit card companies (and maybe cardholders as well) have forgotten who really is in charge in the game of credit issuing and paying. Credit is, basically a convenience. It is not a necessity as many credit industry supporters would say. Consumers, by and large can do without credit. Albeit they will have to make drastic changes with their lives (which has been heavily affected by credit card spending habits), it is very doable.
The credit card bill, when it finally becomes active, will level the field somewhat. The legislations in the bill will force a more moderate kind of credit practice. However, in the end it is the cardholders themselves who can force a change in the way credit card companies. All they have to do is to start being in charge of their credit.