August 20, 2020
At Cushion, we think the answer is yes—but we also might be a little biased. Our service works differently for everyone, mainly because everyone’s finances and relationships with their banks are also very different. So far, we’ve refunded our customers more than $3 million in bank and credit card fees. The number speaks for itself, however we think it’s important that you hear from some people who have been in your position. Here are their stories.
In early 2020, Josh R.—a sole proprietor, consultant for the pharmaceutical industry, and advocate for people living with HIV—was hit with about $4,000 in non-sufficient funds, returned item, and ATM fees on his business’ bank account. “Sometimes I wait for invoices longer than I hope for, or maybe I forget to send an invoice so there’s a delay in payment,” Josh says. “By the time I get the check, half of it goes to fees.”
Josh had tried other fee-fighting services before, but he hadn’t been successful, he explains. When the reality of COVID-19 set in, Josh decided he couldn’t sit around any longer. “In the middle of a pandemic, when everything’s shut down,” he says, “the difference of $100 could mean you are going to face eviction or not, or you’re going to injure your credit score. I feel like I’ve worked hard for my money, and it’s not that I’m out there blowing it. There’s just certain situations that happen for individuals that are out of your control.”
Since signing up in May 2020, Josh has been refunded $834. The refund provided him a lifeline when he desperately needed it, he says, helping him pay his rent for a month. “Cushion is really looking out for the everyday person in middle America who feels like it’s never possible to go up against a giant,” Josh says. “It’s empowering because it has shown me, not only can I get some of my fees back, but there is power in taking a stake, in standing up, in doing what’s right. I would’ve never approached my bank on my own for a refund, and Cushion helped make that happen. For that, I’m forever grateful.”
Need more convincing? Josh says: “With other services, you have to sit down and sign up on your desktop or your laptop. With Cushion, I did it all on my phone. During the process, Cushion is very clear about what stage I’m at. I logged in a few times to check in on the negotiation, but the communication they provided was enough so I never bothered them.”
Big Sky, Montana
Nearly 1,800 miles away in Big Sky Country, Hannah K. found herself in a similar situation, dealing with significant financial issues as a result of COVID-19. Hannah had been working in the financial technology industry in Portland, Oregon, for a decade when the startup she was working at was sold. Many executives—including Hannah—were laid off, and job openings were hard to come by after that, she explains. She eventually headed back to her home state of Montana, but overdraft and service charges were already piling up. “They were a huge issue after I lost my job because I had a lot of stuff to switch around,” Hannah says. “As much as I could, I would try to call [my bank] to see if they could waive some of them, but they only do a certain amount of fees within a certain amount of time. It also depends on one thing or another, or who I get on the phone—it may or may not always work.”
Fed up with the constant communication with her bank—and after much research—Hannah signed up for Cushion’s Basic plan, which costs $36 per year. “That’s the equivalent of one overdraft charge at my bank,” Hannah noted. Just over a week later, she received $1,020 in refunds.
“I was nervous, just giving Cushion access to my account,” Hannah admits. “But after I watched the negotiation happen, I thought, ‘This is amazing.’ Honestly, I don’t know how the people at Cushion built the tool, but it’s magic—one of the best products I’ve used in a very long time.”
Need more convincing? Hannah says: “I’ve tried negotiating with my bank before, but obviously I don’t want to spend the time with them on the phone—especially if there’s something like Cushion that can do it for me. If you know how to get to the right people and the right places, it’s worth having that happen automatically.”
New Smyrna Beach, Florida
On the East Coast, Anthony B. was in the process of paying off a credit card with a high balance when he signed up for Cushion. As an identity and access management engineer working in cybersecurity for big banks, Anthony travels a fair amount for work and was putting the majority of his expenses on a travel credit card. He had racked up a balance of $18,000, and he was starting to feel the consequences, he admits. “I was putting down $1,500 a month, with $300 interest per month, on one card alone,” Anthony says. “I just bought a house and thought I needed to get my finances a bit more organized, try to reestablish myself a little bit. I think I was enjoying life a little bit too much.”
When he signed up with Cushion’s People’s Choice plan, he felt like he was taking a leap. But he thought, “It’s $50—I might as well try. If I get back $50, I’ll at least have paid for the subscription. If I get $60, well then I’m up $10.” Since signing up in July, Anthony has gotten $767 in refunds. He notes that the process was a simple and seamless one: “It was easy to sign up and register. When I had questions, I was very impressed with the customer support. I think the longest time I waited for a response was 15 minutes.”
Now that he’s gotten his finances a bit more organized, he plans to put his refund back into home renovations. “It’ll go into porcelain flooring that I’m putting in the back of the master bedroom,” Anthony says. “The refund will help with the bill on that.”
Need more convincing? Anthony says: “I was skeptical at first, being in the industry. But I was so impressed with the cutting edge security at Cushion. A lot of companies are behind on that.”
Want to share how Cushion has helped you? Email your story to [email protected]
How can Cushion help me?
Cushion Bill Pay gives you more visibility and control over your finances than ever before. Many people get hit with bank fees—such as overdrafts and late fees—due to cash flow problems. With Cushion, you can consolidate and track all of your bills and BNPL payments in one place, plan your budget by reviewing what’s coming down the pike, and avoid overdraft fees by temporarily pausing payments that might overdraft your account and resuming them when you are ready.