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一封四百块钱的信  

2009-05-13 06:10:12|  分类: 经历 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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好多中国同胞说美国不比中国,除了买车、买房、买钢琴等大件外,讨价还价是没有用的。我发觉不是这么回事,有一些费用有所争议,是可以通过交涉,给降低的。我们在异国他乡生活,奉公守法,该我付的钱,我一分钱不会欠,一分钱不会少,但是莫名其妙的费用,多一分钱我也不给。我就有几个这样的事例。比如有回公寓退房后,房东寄给我1500多的账单,被我几次邮件来回,降到了300元不到。如果说文字有什么力量的话,就体现在那个时候了。

和房东交涉的时候,我甚至跟他讲到了英语语法。他说我damage,我说不能这么说,damage is an action verb, and I am not the doer of this action, 因为这和犯罪是一个道理,我得有动机、能力、环境,首先这动机我就没有,我干嘛要破坏我自己住的地方?因此这个damage应该是被动语态,It is  damaged due to time, use,  as well as the lack of repair, which is your responsibility,  因为动作执行者不是我(或者不说全是我),三年时间过去了,有自然损耗,有的是我找你来修你没来。所以责任方有三方:我自己、时间、物业。最后,在被动语态的帮助下,我砍掉了900, 还有将近600我们争执不下,我想到了国际上处理争端水域的办法是“争议部分均分法”(equal division of disputed amount), 因此我提议用这个办法,均分这个费用,他居然同意了。结果,这1500多块的费用,被我砍到了三百块不到。

最近,由于利率调低,我准备重新贷款(refinance),找原来的银行,它给出了百分之四点几的利息,我都准备重新贷了,但是由于各样的沟通问题,后来才发觉这个重新贷款的手续费(settlement cost)太高,居然将近4000,与当初对方给我的估算出入很大。前后算起来,重新贷款意义不大,于是决定取消。但是如果是我这方面取消,我当初交的400块钱定金就被没收。负责此事的J先生说除非是银行方面未批准交易,否则如果是客户提出,定金不退。但是后来想到此事的前后经过,觉得不对劲,于是写了一封信给处理此案的另外一个人(Y),陈述了前因后果。看此信后,对方二话没说,以迅雷不及掩耳盗铃之势,将钱退回到我卡上了。我想登在这里,让遇到类似情况的其它朋友有所启发。我总的感觉是,自己的权利千万不要轻易放弃,但是也不要胡乱指责,因为你未必知道对方是什么情况,那么又何必拿收信的人当出气筒呢?以前说沟通话题的时候,老师告诉我们不要太aggressive (咄咄逼人), 也不要passive(任人欺负),更不要passive-agreesive(当面一套背后一套), 最可取之道是assertive(有一说一,有二说二), 这是个长久的功课,一直得学,我希望我是按照assertive的原则来的,但也不知做到了多少,好在钱是给要回来了。

 

Dear Ms. Y,

Thank you so much for processing the loan (人家处理这个案子确实也花费了时间,应该感谢,虽然她的同事占主要责任), but I ended up having to give it up after a talk with Mr. J, in which he didn’t see a way to cut the settlement cost any further. (我一开始写I ended up giving up, 可是我发觉这样就是我个人的责任了,是我主动放弃,后来我改成了I ended up having to give up, ‘我最终不得不放弃’,确实也不是我主动放弃,是不得不放弃。)

I am wondering if that 400-dollar initial deposit or other cost, if there is any that I may not know of, can be refunded or canceled.   (一开始我只写了400块,但是后来我怀疑还有什么别的潜在费用,以后再来磨岂不是耽误双方时间,所以叫它别的费用也一并取消)。

Even though I decided against refinancing, I am still a customer of your bank.  I have not taken my loan elsewhere.  (我虽然没有贷款,但是还是他们银行的客户,并没有找其它银行。我这里没说,但是他应该明白,如果真的把我得罪,我换个银行,其实还是他们损失大,当然我换的话成本也很高,这是双输的局面。)

More importantly, I didn’t give it up out of whim or simply for my own reasons.  There were problems in our communication which I regret to say were not my responsibility.  (我说我不是一时兴起,或是出于个人原因取消的,而是因为一些沟通问题,且不是我的责任。)

The main reason this refinancing cannot happen is because the cost has not been as transparent as it should have been.   I was told that it would cost around 2000 at a rate of 4.4.  When I received your emailed copy of the documentation, I found that I will have to pay for “discount rate”, which came totally as a surprise.  I made it very explicit in my initial contact that I do not want to buy points or discount.  I understand that the rate of 4.4 is the rate Mr. J offered to me, with no strings attached.  I decided to enter into this process with the understanding that I am getting this rate without the discount.   Unfortunately there was this cost that had not been disclosed to me.  

(这里我说他们一开始没有原原本本告诉我成本的构成,而只是给了个估算,2000左右,但是最后不知怎么变成了4000多,其中包括一个‘利息折扣’,这与我当初与他们的沟通不符。但是我怀疑银行就是通过这种暗藏的费用坑骗客户的。)

 The title fees are too high too.  I understand that this is nothing you can control how much a title company charges, but there should be title companies that charge less.  Unfortunately such options were not offered to me.    I cannot just accept a refinancing deal if all the initial conditions have changed to add substantially to my cost.

(他们说这4000多元,包括title公司的的费用,我们这个州这方面费用很贵,不是他们能控制的,但是即便是这样,他也可以找几家供我选择,而不是随便找一家强加给我,这是他们自己的工作没有做到家。)

The entire process of refinancing has also been frustrating to me.  I am sure it is frustrating to you as well.    I wish things had not been this way.  (到手的交易泡汤了,对他也是个损失,也得体谅。)But after our initial phone talk about the refinancing, I was told that I am going to receive a package detailing everything, but so far I have not received anything of this nature from your bank.   Mr. J said he sent it through DHL, but typically DHL would require you to sign it, and I have not received any bank mail that would require me to sign.    Mr. J said they might not require signature, but still I have not received any package or mail at all from your bank.  Mr. J promised to check with the processing team about this because they would have tracking number for the package, but I haven’t heard from anybody yet.  I really don’t know what have happened.   In any case, after the initial conversation on the phone, I tried to reach him several times via both email and phone messages, to get his fax number because I need that for my insurance agent, but I have not heard back from him.   Mr. J has been very helpful in our initial communication, but I don’t know why there is a communication issue later on. (这里确实是J先生的过错) I understand that people are busy, and these things do happen, or maybe my case has gone somewhere else in the pipeline, so I do not want to blame anyone in this process.  Nor would I know whom to blame, because I do not know how your process works。(可是我发觉也不能的理不饶人,他们贷款处理的流程我也不懂,说不定是他负责一开始和客户沟通,准备材料是其他人,邮寄的又是别的人,既然不清楚,就不能把话说绝了,不是这个人的错,去责怪他是没道理的,而且会引起对方的恼恨。)  However it is really not my favorite thing to be taken by surprise between the initial communication and then the paperwork, which substantially escalate the cost that has made it not desirable to refinance.   It does not seem fair to me to be bearing the cost myself considering the problems as described above, problems that I didn't cause. (但是不管是他们流程中谁的错,让我承担后果是不对的。)

I will appreciate it if you can refund the deposit to me, or please forward my mail to one who could if you do not handle such issues. (我这信是发给最后一个和我联系的Y小姐,结果她果然爽快给我转给了其他人。)

Thank you so much,

Nan Qiao

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