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I was recently contacted by a journalist who represents a major media outlet, one that would be known worldwide.

I have now completed an interview, and sent a follow-up note I promised with hard data verifying certain pieces of information.  You can always do that, by the way; for example, I said that “about half” of small firms use personal credit cards, “but let me check the current data and get you a ‘hard’ number”  (as of 2003, it was 46.7 percent, according to a 2007 report published by the Federal Reserve Board, and in 1998 it was 46 percent).

Although I was asked questions about my own personal struggle with Chase, the main things I wanted to talk about were the larger issues, such as the so-called fee or service charge, that “is a finance charge”; the brutal increase in minimum payments; “bait and switch”; the lawsuits; the no “opt out” problem and precedent (I was asked if Chase was required to provide one by law; my answer was that I am not a lawyer, but I know that Chase executives were before Congress, arguing against regulation, because it played “fairly” and they used “opt outs” as their example — leads me to wonder, is there a law about not lying to Congress?).

Because of my regular “day job” (employment as an entrepreneurship professor), I tried to focus on the plight of small businesses.

At the end of the interview, I was asked about my age.  Until that comes out, just think of me as old enough to not want a fight like this one with credit card companies, but young enough to realize that this is a battle about ageless issues: freedom from servitude and abusiveness, and what is right and wrong, in a court of public opinion (and Chase “drew first blood”). 

I also agreed to put a post on this site, especially seeking individuals who are running small businesses and have been impacted by this issue with Chase.  Because this journalist evidently wants to be the one who “breaks” aspects of this story first in a competitive news environment, I agreed to serve as a “matchmaker.”  So, I am calling on volunteers if you fit the description.  Use the site’s “Contact” form, and I will make the introduction.

While I am at it, we need help.  It’s nice that you visit, but it would help this cause if you participated.  At least respond to the site poll(s).  We’ve had thousands of visitors, but tens of thousands of votes would really send a message to the media, and to Congress (in defense of the site, it’s only been active since around mid-December).  There’s plenty of other work to do as well; sometimes it’s simple clerical work.  One tiny example: I have fax cover sheets for around half of the House Financial Services Committee members, but I want them for every representative in every district, posted here so that you can conveniently blast enough faxes their way to get the message across: ENOUGH!   

Step forward.  Share your story.  Pitch in.  Join the fight.