RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA -- March 5, 2006
Bank of America has behaved in an unethical and criminal manner regarding two checking, two savings accounts and a VISA credit card. I have contacted several bank officials and they continue to lie about the situation without any reservation. Bank officials such as Michelle Hammer, Anna Reyes, Kimsey (last name unknown) and Kenneth Lewis behave as if they are completely above the law.
These problems began in early October, 2005. Many have not been resolved as of today. I have talked, written and faxed many letters to several "customer service" divisions of this bank and have got no response or resolution. The Executive Customer Relations of Bank of America has done absolutely nothing to resolve many problems discussed in this letter. What they have done is to work hard to hide and white-wash the problems, mislead the customers and continue their criminal behavior.
Bank of America created this mess because of its pure negligence. It grossly violated my privacy multiple times and put me through hell when I tried to resolve it. I had to make many many calls to Bank of America and have nasty conversations with rude, clueless and dishonest agents and officials of the bank to try to correct this mess. After all that, the accounts are still not setup correctly.
This is the log I made (just a brief summary)
August 11, 2005: I opened a new savings account ending with "xxxx", with Bank of America.
I started receiving two statements: one for checking and one for savings
September 11, 2005: I called Bank of America to combine the two statements into one. I specifically asked the agent to send me a unified statement for accounts ending with "xxxx" and "yyyy". Linking with account "zzzz" was never ever mentioned. There was no change of address of any kind for any account. In other words, the request was very simple: please send me one statement for both, my checking ("yyyy") and savings ("xxxx").
Early October, 2005: customer De Silva calls me and states that my savings account information is on her statement! This should have never happened. No one needs to see my savings account details.
Early October, 2005: I called Bank of America and explained to them clearly that my savings account information should not be printed on another customer's statement. The agent promised to fix it. Since my current savings account "xxxx" was compromised, I decided to close it.
October 25, 2005: called Bank of America and opened new savings account "aaaa" and transferred the money from "xxxx" to this account. The agent was unable to close "xxxx" on that day and I was asked to call back again to close it.
October 29, 2005: called Bank of America and made them close account "xxxx".
Why am I going through this? Because Bank of America messed it up.
Then I started receiving statements for three accounts and customer De Silva was not receiving any statements! At this point we have a bigger mess.
November 23, 2005: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris of unit 1580 who assured me that this mess will be corrected. The statement for Prima Interest Checking "zzzz" should go to De Silva in California and that should have never changed. No accounts should be linked to this account. The statements for checking "yyyy" and savings "aaaa" need to be mailed to me in North Carolina.
December 10, 2005: customer De Silva calls me again and states that my checking "yyyy" and new savings "aaaa" account information is on her statement! I was not receiving any statements! At this point we have even a bigger mess. Customer De Silva is extremely worried and agitated that her account details can end up on another customer's statement, just like it happened to me. This should have never happened. No one needs to see my checking and new savings account details. How badly can Bank of America mess this up? This is definitely not unintentional human error. It is gross negligence.
December 12, 2005: I was very upset and called Bank of America and spoke to Jake Richards supervisor of customer service of unit 1580. I demanded to speak to a manager. Jake Richards of Bank of America rudely informed me that there were managers on site but will not speak to me. He coldly said I should write to this guy called "ken lewis". I asked him why the bank has phones when it can do all its business over US mail. He said that's how it worked and there's nothing he can do about it. He never mentioned that I should contact Executive Customer Relations. I found that out later all by myself. There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end.
December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Maria who connected me with Angela officer of Bank of America in the Escalation Dept. of Executive Customer Relations. Then I was transferred to Anna Reyes-Jordan (704-386-5687) who said was from the Office of the CEO.
I demanded to speak to the CEO. Anna Reyes rudely refused and went on and on like a broken record. Then I demanded to speak to the CEO's secretary to make an appointment to speak to the CEO. Anna Reyes rudely refused again. So does that mean the CEO of Bank of America and his secretary is in hiding or unreachable? I explained to Anna Reyes the situation and demanded compensation. She rudely hung up the phone on me at 11:30 AM EST on December 12, 2005. Do all customers get treated this way by Bank of America's Office of Executive Customer Relations?
December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again in trying to resolve this matter diplomatically and spoke to Luisa Shute. She also informed me that there was no way to contact the CEO of Bank of America. At least she did not hang up the phone on me. Still there was no way to get the situation resolved. Now I have no intention of speaking to anyone in this office.
December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Anthony Lamers who said that no one by the name Jake Richards exists in Bank of America! So was I given a bogus name previously by this supervisor of customer service of unit 1580? What a way to get treated by a bank.
December 12, 2005: I closed my savings account "aaaa" with Bank of America. It felt great!
December 12, 2005: I called Bank of America at 704-386-5687 again and spoke to Kimsey who did nothing to resolve the issue and transferred me to Anna Reyes' voice mail. I left a message and have never heard back from her. Once again, there was no way to get this mess fixed. No one would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end.
December 13, 2005: I called Bank of America again and spoke to Estrada of unit 1580. This agent informed me that my checking account "yyyy" was still linked to Prima Interest Checking "zzzz" that my mom used as her personal account! As you can see, after going through all that, we still have not fixed the problem. This agent also promised to fix this mess, just like many others have done previously. I asked for proof: screen-shots or images or other documentation of how my accounts were linked with other accounts. The agent said there was no way to provide any and I just need to take their word.
December 14, 2005: received a call from Michelle Hammer (714-792-5968). I demanded that Bank of America pay me damages. She was very polite and listened patiently. I wanted to give the bank an incentive to fix these problems.
December 15, 2005: I opened a savings account with the Credit Union at work and quickly removed the savings money from Bank of America. Wow, what a great day! The next step is to open a checking account with the Credit Union and get away from your bank. How nice would it be to share this with all of Bank of America's customers?
December 24, 2005: I received a letter from Michelle Hammer that prompted this reply.
December 26, 2005: I still have not received bank statements for last couple of months. What the hell is going on with our accounts at Bank of America? Will closing ALL our accounts, including my brother's, with Bank of America be the best solution to this? I called Michelle Hammer at 714-792-5968 and left message asking for her fax number to fax this letter.
December 26, 2005: I called Bank of America and spoke to Lawrence of unit 20161. The agent was professional and promised to mail me the statements for last two months. I explained to him briefly why I was asking for this and about this letter. I was never informed of any charges/fees for this.
December 27, 2005: Michelle Hammer returned my call and provided a fax number 714-792-6671.
December 28, 2005: Bank of America charged me $ 8.00 for the statements requested above! Why should I pay for statements when this mess was caused by your bank in the first place? The bank leaves no room for unintentional human errors. It just wants its fees. I called of America again and spoke to Richard Garth of unit 20161. After exchanging a few words, he promised to credit my account the $ 8.00. I faxed this letter to Michelle Hammer hoping for a resolution in a timely manner.
In the mean time, Bank of America has once again grossly violated my privacy!
January 2, 2006: Bank of America illegally charged me a service charge on my credit card ending with "bbbb". They called it a "periodic finance charge". I have paid the previous balance in full and on time and there was no reason for this charge.
January 5, 2006: I called the bank and talked to an agent named Rick Jones and to a supervisor named Lakaisw Worklaws about this. They both informed me that there was a computer error and the bank was going through accounts and correcting them immediately. I asked them for contact info to report this to Bank of America. I was given the fax number 602-597-3346. I faxed a letter requesting an investigation of this "computer error". I have not heard back from anyone at the bank to this day regarding this matter.
January 10, 2006: customer De Silva calls me again and states that my checking "yyyy" account information is on her statement, again!
Here is the email she sent me:
Sender: username @juno.com
Date: Wed, 11 Jan 2006 01:10:09 GMT
X-Mailer: Webmail Version 4.0
... IDIOT Bank of A has AGAIN sent me particulars of another account of yrs " Access Checking"
I spoke to several PERFECT IDIOTS [ customer Service] . Cannot communicate- Utterly , Utterly STUPID.
Only thig to do is YOU take that money & redeposit in to another account .
Specifying yr address .
HOW ON EARTH DID ALL YOUR ACCOUNTS COME IN TO MY STATEMENT ???
Cannot understand .
I cannot handle problems now. Get stressed out.
... end email.
This should have never happened. No one needs to see my checking account details. Many many agents and officials of Bank of America have assured me that this problem was taken care of. But it is still there. How badly can Bank of America mess this up? It is criminal for the bank to do this. Is this white-collar crime?
The log continues
January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Lauren Harlan of unit 1580 and we exchanged some nasty words typical of a bad business. She claims that there is nothing wrong with the way the account are set up. This is what Chris of unit 1580 said on November 23, 2005! There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end. Since I have been lied to before, I called again
January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris who told me that he cannot do anything. I was informed that the bank did not keep any record of customer's calls regarding problems with accounts. So I have to explain the story all over again. This is not the way to keep records for a professional business. Since I have been lied to before, I called again
January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Chris who told me that he
cannot do anything about it. There was no way to get this mess fixed. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again
January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Derik Kaltenbach of unit 20161 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again
January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Adrian Ariano of unit 20161 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again
January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Andre of unit 1580 who told me that he cannot do anything. No one cared at Bank of America or would take personal responsibility of this and see it to the end, so I called again
January 10, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Enrique Rodriguez and customer support manager Erik Burns. He refused to admit that rules should apply equally to everyone. But I insisted and made him reverse an illegal fee the bank charged me before.
A week went by and the illegal "periodic finance charge" was still on my credit card. So I called the bank again
January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to an agent and insisted that the illegal charge on my credit card be removed. The amount was finally credited.
Here is my concern: if the bank knew about this computer error and was correcting the problem, why did I have to call twice, over a 10 day period and speak to 3 bank employees, including a supervisor, to resolve the problem? What if I have not noticed this "periodic finance charge"? Many customers would have paid this illegal charge on their credit cards and the bank would have made millions by doing nothing about this "error" which was called "periodic finance charge". Why would the bank ever bother to correct these errors on their own?
I was still not convinced that my checking account information is not on another customer's statement.
January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Jonathan Stall of unit 1580. We had a heated conversation and he threatened to close my checking account. I dared him to go ahead. How much can this bank screw me up? I told him to tape this conversation and send it to Michelle Hammer, Assistant Vice President.
January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Karen Jones of unit 1580 who refused to transfer me to the survey, but transferred me to Vanessa Dibuduo. She too refused to transfer me to the survey and started to give me the run around.
I was still not convinced that my checking account information is not on another customer's statement.
January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Stephan Payton who behaved very unprofessionally. I told him to tape this conversation and send it to
Michelle Hammer, Assistant Vice President. He rudely said he cannot. I did not want to continue the conversation with this guy. So I called back again
January 12, 2006: I called Bank of America and spoke to Shawn Rollin. He said I should take my complaint to a banking center! Pass the buck? Why not? I got his fax number (559-451-8145) so I can fax all the details of this complaint, hoping someone will read it and do something about it. This fax number does not work!
January 12, 2006: I faxed this letter to and called Michelle Hammer at 714-792-5968 and asked her what she plans to do about this complaint.
January 21, 2006: I received a letter from Michelle Hammer saying that the matter is closed!!! Without resolving this continuing problem, Bank of America no longer wants to even discuss the mess they created. This is how banks treat their customers.
February 6, 2006: I received a reply from Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Division of North Carolina to contact the Comptroller of the Currency of the Department of the Treasury which is supposed to license and regulate national banks.
February 10, 2006: I received the statement for account "zzzz" and customer De Silva was not receiving any statements, again! This is happening after many agents and officials of Bank of America, including Michelle Hammer has assured me in letters that the problems above have been resolved.
The log continues and so does the dishonest dealings of Bank of America.
It seems like some phone reps are so corrupt that they don't transfer you to the survey. How can the bank get honest feedback from your customers when the customer survey is doctored in this manner?
We really need strict laws to monitor the behavior of banks in this country. Banks should not be allowed to operate like criminal organizations and abuse customers under the protection of US law.
When banks operate with impunity
I am shocked to realize that there is very little or no regulation of banks such as Bank of America. These banks can do whatever they want to their customer's accounts and their privacy and continue to operate with impunity. We should not sanction such criminal behavior. Where are the laws to protect consumers?
When customers over-draft a bit or go below the minimum balance on their checking accounts by unintentional human error, Bank of America jumps at the opportunity and ruthlessly charges them a ton of fees. It probably costs the bank about $ 5 but charges their customers $ 16 or more. This is because Bank of America understands only one language: money! All it cares is about charging us fees, fees and more fees. The bank leaves no room for unintentional human errors.
Bank of America abuses its customers and engages in dishonest business practices.
The bank has done irreparable damage to my privacy, seriously damaged the trust I had in the bank, causing a lot of aggravation and emotional distress to two customers.
The least Bank of America can do now is to pay me damages. The longer this bank takes to settle this issue, the more aggravation and emotional distress it causes me and I plan to seek even more damages.
I will not let Bank of America sweep this under the carpet.
I have written to Customer Assistance Group, Comptroller of the Currency, Department of the Treasury, 1301 McKinney Street, Suite 3710, Houstan, Texas 77010-9050 about this.
Bank of America steals from their customers. They create overdraft fees by not processing your purchases as they occur even though you have the money available and at the time of purchase they went through fine. If you look at your balance you will see the “Balance” and “Available Balance” and will notice the amount you just spent is now gone from the “Available Balance”. So this means they have removed the money you just spent for the purchase you just made. Only problem is they don't actually clear your purchase even though they have removed the amount from your “Available Balance”. Instead of clearing payments they hold them, sometimes for several days, and they call them "pending transactions”. Then they wait for other HIGHER charges to come through. When this happens they will clear those higher charges and then process the lower charges and often times this creates a deficit and will overdraft your account.
If you have money in other accounts or a savings account they will freeze those accounts and not allow you to use or withdrawal any of it unless you use it to pay their fees and get the negative account into the positive. So you could find yourself with an unexpected negative balance AND be frozen out of your accounts unable to get any of your money.
Right now we are in the middle of this nightmare, which we have seen several times since opening up accounts in 2005 and 2007. We were paid on Friday, January 29, 2010. We had plenty of money in the bank and that day, the 29th I paid several bills and then that weekend we bought groceries, and made several small purchases. Our account online looked in order and the “Balance” and “Available Balance” were correct because all the purchases we made were now gone from the “Balance” and showed what was left in the “Available Balance”, which was in the positive. When Monday, February 1, 2010 came I planned to deposit more money into the account to cover two car payments that were going to be coming out that day. When I went to check the online balance I saw that they had cleared the two car payments, which were supposed to clear Monday, and they used the money that had already been reserved (or so I thought) from the payments and purchases we made Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Then they proceeded to overdraft five of those purchases at $35.00 each. Later, in addition to that, they added another $35.00 fee called an “Extended Overdrawn Balance Charge” because the account had been in the negative for 5 consecutive business days.
We would LOVE to close our remaining account and leave but we are stuck there. Because of one of the many times they put my account into the negative with overdraft fees and it snowballed from being a manageable amount to an unmanageable amount, I was unable to get caught up. Then they charged me an additional $35.00 for “Excessive Overdrawn Fees” when my account was in the negative for 5 consecutive days or more. Soon I was unable to ever get caught up and pay my rent and bills and buy food and gas. I had to stop depositing money into the account because it was just getting eaten up by their fees and I needed to pay for basic necessities and rent. They eventually closed my account and then reported me to Chex Systems. Now because of this I am unable to open another bank account anywhere and am a prisoner there, unless I want to have NO bank account at all but then how do you cash your checks and pay bills like a normal person? You can't without a great deal of hassle and the danger of having cash in your possession, which is risky and unprotected. But really, what's the difference? It can be stolen by some random thief or it will be stolen by the bank you are supposed to trust to keep your money. Not rob you blind.
My story is just one of MANY exactly the same and this issue with the banks using computer programs to overdraft their customer's accounts has to stop. They have literally stolen hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of dollars from my family. They refuse to refund the money and they continue to practice this fraudulent scheme year after year to hundreds of people without consequence. The Internet is loaded with stories exactly like mine. I have been talking to people at stores and other places of business and have heard the same story from many of them about Bank of America and a few other banks that are doing the same thing to their customers.
These banks squandered billions of dollars away on who knows what and then needed to be bailed out by the government. They created the sub-prime lending schemes to make money and we all see how that turned out. Now the country is in turmoil and the economy is in the gutter and people are suffering because of it. Now they add insult to injury and steal from their customers by creating this overdraft charge theft scheme to make money.
WHY IS THIS LEGAL?
RENO, NEVADA -- Even though this may get a bit technical and boring it explains one way banks use the system denying access to your money while they profit from it. In order to illustrate the problem I will use a real life case that just happened to me. I will quote chapter and verse the banking regulations they both use and abuse to accomplish this. I will give you an example of how this works. Be patient my explanation is as confusing as Fed Reserve Regulation CC itself.
My example As some of you know I recently retired. Part of my financial plan was to pay all of my outstanding debts and retire debt free. To that end I took a large cash distribution from my retirement savings with the intent of depositing it in one of my checking accounts and paying all my debts. We will follow that check to my bank to explain how they do it. To begin the story I have essentially Two checking accounts which I use. One at Bank of (A) which is little used and in fact sometimes months with no activity. The second account at Bank of (B) I use for everyday activities and is always in use. In this case I decided that I would deposit the check at Bank of (A) and pay all my accounts of from there this decision was based on the fact two of the accounts I was paying off were at the same bank so it would be convenient to do so.
On Dec 1 first I deposited the funds at the branch office via a teller transaction. When I did this I was informed that I would only have immediate access to the first $100 of the funds with access to the next $4900 by 5PM on 12/08/2008 and the remaining tens of thousand after 5PM on 12/10/2008. I was told that this was "Required" by bank regulations. I at the time questioned it and essentially was told by the branch manager that was the way it was take it or leave it, so I had no choice but to go along with it. When I got home I called the big 800 number in the sky for Bank of (A) and spoke to a person there who essentially said it was the branches right to hold the funds and it really didn't matter what I wanted and in a rather rude voice told me I should read Federal Reserve Regulation CC.
Now this is where I got upset or more precisely went to the full livid state of anger, for you see I have read regulation CC as well as something called Check 21 rules which are related. and know this is how the game is played.
Understand firstly that in Reg CC part 229 which covers this type of thing all references to holding funds use the terms "MAY" or "Not Later Than" so all holds by language are at the discretion of the Bank and not "Required" and the term "Reasonable" is also used in defining duration.
Because my deposit was a large one it was reasonable to place a hold on the funds that is not what is disputed. The duration and lack of professionalism on the part of the bank when dealing with it and me is the contention and my reason for pointing out this moneymaker for the bank. I will describe step by step what I think is wrong and invite any knowledgeable banker to point out my errors. I wager there will be no response.
First Reg CC does say that at least the first $100 must be available and the next $4900 "No later than" 5PM on the 5th business day and the remainder no later than the 7th business day. The bank can hold the funds for one additional day if the account has been overdrawn by the customer regularly (Note: this does not mean overdrawn by the banks imposition of fees in fact there is an exception for the bank to collect the overdrafts before the hold is released.) In any event the bank must notify the customer in writing at the time of deposit of the hold extension and the reason. Even further pre-printed deposit slips are supposed to have a notice that not all funds may be immediately available. Funds over first $5000 can be held for up to 7 days from deposit.
Now for how the banks get rich on your money. I will use my case to describe what happens. The check I deposited was drawn on an Illinois bank so it clears via a different Fed Reserve Region and so it is a "Non-Local" item under the rules the bank teller deposited the check on 12/1 business. That night the check would have been transmitted electronically to clear the other bank. (Checks for the most part no longer transit the country for clearing today imagery is used) By virtue of that I believe this is now an electronic transaction which under the rules should mean my funds were cleared probably on the 3rd or 4th of December. If in fact it was electronic the funds are required to be available on the next business day. (5th) The bank however treats the transaction as an old fashioned paper transaction solely because it started with a paper demand. Because of that banks place the hold at the maximum when deposited. That gives the bank up to 7 days of use of the funds which belong to the depositor. in my case the 6 figure number probably generated a couple of hundred dollars as well as by delaying the ability of me to pay the 2 other accounts off another couple of hundred if I had not spoken with those account managers and got them to wave the interest. This free use of the funds made the bank money denying me use of the funds. Now if I multiply Bank of (A)'s number of held deposits which on any given week would probably be in the thousands they make a lot of money at our expense.
Some other shortfalls in Reg CC
The regulation uses the language "MAY" when referring to placing holds as well as "No More Than" / "Not Later Than" and "Reasonable" when describing duration of the holds. That means that these items are at the sole discretion of the bank as to what the minimum time is. Banks by using the maximum get your money for the max time to use as they see fit prior to releasing it.
Appendix A defines which banks clears in which regions The consumer normally does not have access to this info so the decision on which bank to deposit in to get the most rapid service does not exist.
Because the regulation has wide latitude banks take advantage by holding funds beyond what is necessary. In addition Managers differ in views and some are not as flexible with customers as they should be.
In fact consistency does not even make it through the example transaction. The teller told me the first $5000 would be available 12/08 but the customer service representative online email states 12/6 but they were not so I have no Idea when the funds will actually be available.
A perfectly good regulation with the designed intent to protect both the bank and consumer has turned into an instrument to take the consumers fund availability and give it to the bank for a period. Not fair in my opinion
ARIZONA -- This is my attempt at getting an overdraft fee reversed through the Chat Line. This is after already talking to a Supervisor "JN".
Welcome to Bank of America's chat service. Your chat may be monitored and recorded for quality purposes. A Claims chat specialist will be with you momentarily.
You are now chatting with 'Alice', a Bank of America Claims chat specialist
Alice: Hello. Thank you for being a valued customer with Bank of America and choosing our Online Claims text chat service. My name is Alice, and I will be happy to assist you today. May I please have your first and last name and may I use your first name during our conversation today?
You: Jim alverson
Alice: May I use your first name during our conversation today?
Alice: Thank you Alverson. I'm sorry you had to take the time to contact us today. I certainly will do all I can to help you. Will you please provide me with the date and dollar amount of the charge(s) you wish to dispute?
Last text message received Alice: Sorry Jim.
You: I ordered checks online which resulted in an overdraft fee of $35 because the charge went in the day before my deposit. I'm broke with no food in the house, and I asked "JN" a Supervisor to please reverse the charge. The said I already had 2 reversed in there past year and there was nothing she could do. This account has been opened since 1986. How many charges in that total time. I 65 partially disabled and live on $1321 per month plus aboutt $70 week from a minimum wage job. I now have $22 in the bank and I need to pick up $24 in rx from a pharmacy for my wife. Please in the name of human decency reverse these charges. I'm, hungry, sick and this money has to last me 'til April1. Please in the name of the Lord help me.
Alice: So sorry for the inconvenience on your account and we definitely do value your business since 1986. Bear with me one moment to review your account.
Alice: Thank you so much for your patience. The fee is actually still processing so I am not able to request a refund at this time.
Alice: Unfortunately we will need you to contact us either through this chat or by calling 1.800.432.1000 once it posts to request the refund.
You: I saw it online it has posted, that's how I knew about it>
Alice: It is actually showing as processing so it is holding the funds but has not actually posted to the account showing a posting date.
Last text message received Alice: We would need to wait for it to post before we can request the refund.
You: How long will that take?
Alice: I apologize for the inconvenience. Transactions are processed during the overnight processing. I recommend to check first thing tomorrow to see if that has cleared.
You: I'm sorry too Alice will be posting on a BOA blog before days out. Sleep well, eat well and pray you never get old and sick like me.
I know this review may sound like I am playing that same old scratched record from the 70's but I believe this situation needs to be heard.
I had some funds in my account and made some purchases. I had scheduled a payment to come out of my checking account for my mortgage on the 29th of January. I tried to make a charge to my checking account that week. Since it was rejected I wondered what was going on since I knew I had funds in there to cover all charges and would have funds in there on the 29th to cover the mortgage payment. Come to be that BoA took out the mortgage payment on the 25th of January. This caused my account to bounce all the little charges since they paid the big charge first. I incurred $450 of overages due to the practice of the so called "customer recommended practice of paying the big charges first." I entered into negotiations with their payment reversal office and have been waiting for this reversal for the last 96 hours. I might add that to just talk to these people I was hung up on twice, and the last time I still never talked to this phantom payment reversal office. So it is now the 30th of January and my Veterans Administration disability check was deposited. yet I have no money in the account because they took it all to cover the erroneous post of the Mortgage and the overdraft fees. I called them this morning and spent the better part of an hour talking (if you can call it that) to the supposed supervisor on duty. He then informed me that if I had been more watchful over my account this would not have happened. What? It was there mistake in the first place. I then asked him to comp some overdraft fees since they took the liberty of reordering my transactions to pay the larger charge first. I then asked what policy were they following that allowed them to do this. He said it was policy that was approved by the members of B of A in a survey. I then asked what survey because I never received one. He then said it was a survey that was administered before I became a member. I then asked him who in their right mind would agree to this type of practice. This does not benefit the customer but rather the bank to reorder charges and pay overdraft fees. I indicated that was absurd and that if he thought that I was going to believe that then he was even more mentally challenged than I thought. In short I told him that I was a USMC veteran and that they just stole my money from my disability payment. He said the bank didn't care if I was a veteran or not and that they would not make an exception, veteran or not.
In closing, they may call themselves Bank of America but if they have no qualms about stealing the disability check from a veteran. Then they certainly will no longer be the bank for this American.
ARIZONA -- I thought this was my imagination until I read another post on this site. It has been confirmed. Bank of America holds transactions. I'll give you an example of what happened to me.
I had $100 in a checking account. I used my checkcard for 2 transactions which total $40.00 together. I log on and see that I still have $60 left. So I now go to the ATM and I withdraw $40, leaving me (with what I think is $20). Then the next day, I find out my account is in the negative. A payment came in that night (auto-payment from phone bill of $107). True, I had forgotten about the phone bill, however, in what manner do you think Bank of America handled this? Well, rather than have everything else clear and then charge the fee on the phone bill auto payment, they charged a fee on everything after the phone payment, including the CASH WITHDRAWAL. How is it possible for a cash withdrawal to bounce? If you apply standard accounting methods, and I have cash in the back and I take out cash from the bank, that cash is mine and should have first been removed from this equation. These people will take advantage of you at each opportunity.
We have switched to a Credit Union and will be closing out our account this month. We will NEVER do business with Bank of America again. They are now the Bank of NO Opportunity. Goodbye and try not to cry about it Bank of America - the public is becoming wiser and eventually you will not be able to take advantage of people.
As a footnote, I also want to mention that this practice has been questioned and a lawsuit brought against Bank of America due to changing the posting order of items. Here is the latest update on that:
... Bank of America recently settled a class-action lawsuit that alleged it (and by extension, Fleet Bank, LaSalle Bank and U.S. Trust Company, which it acquired during that period) changed the posting order of transactions and embarked on other activities in order to increase the revenue it received from non-sufficient funds fees, overdraft fees and similar charges. The lawsuit, which was settled for $35 million, also alleged that the bank failed to warn customers that certain transactions were triggering fees. Even though Bank of America denies any wrongdoing, it is agreeing to pay up to $78 per account holder. ...
Thank you for reading my post.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- My letter to BofA: I'm sure my story is not uncommon, and surely less disastrous than what some of your customers are experiencing. Recently I underwent a salary cut of about 30%. At the same time I was dealing with a foreclosure on a property I still owned in my hometown of Chicago.
Back in Oct., '08, with my foreclosure there were city building violations having to do with required repairs that I could not financially have completed. Thus I lost the property and incurred numerous fines by the city, for which by a court order, emptied my BofA checking account which had barely enough funds to pay for rent, child support, and other necessary bills. There was a domino effect of overdrafts. BofA was kind enough at that time to reverse some of these.
Then recently earlier this month, there was a charge by a rental car co. which appeared and then disappeared, then reappeared. At the time I had sufficient funds to cover the charge yet the final charge posted was actually higher. If the post date of this charge had been dated the latter actual date of confirmation, I would have not overdrafted eight (8) times (x $35 for each totaling $280). I was charged $35 for $3 - $5 transactions, which caused again a domino effect of overdraft charges on my badly needed funds to make ends meet. (This week the shortage may also cause overdrafts due to automatic withdrawals.)
I had asked the branch manager if they could have some consideration and reverse at least 3 of the overdraft charges. Basically they advised they cannot and are not allowed too. The same with your 1-800 customer service.
All of this, not too mention BofA's nickel and dime charges I see on every statement, is a ruthless policy by BofA to try to make up for losses being felt elsewhere in the banking business, correct? Would not it be fair if there was an overdraft charge for every $50 or $100 that a customer overdrafted? Instead of charging $35 for every $1, $2 or $3 overdraft? Make justifiable sense?
Regardless, this letter is to notify you that this very unhappy customer will be closing his accounts with BofA ASAP, and will certainly not recommend BofA, and recommend that people stay away from BofA so as to not get ripped off and taken advantage of. And believe me, I am very involved in the Hispanic community in Los Angeles as well as in the top U.S. cities where we do business and support Hispanic community organizations. Basically, I've had it with BofA!
I also understand that in the next year, B of A will be charging a $39 fee per overdraft with up to ten (10) overdrafts per period. That can devastate a hard working family that needs to put food on the table and pay rent or mortgage. But I guess you need to make money on the short term. We'll see what happens in the long term.
I wrote the following letter to Bank of America today. I didn't feel the need to be more specific; they have heard all of the complaints before. Just Google "Bank of America" and "Unethical" and see all the results it produces. They have developed a devious system of policies, practices, fees and holds that assures that they will take as much as they possibly can from their customers. It is confusing enough to assure that even the cleverest customer won't be able to make sense of it all and inconsistent enough to keep us all guessing. Just a few examples of ways that they stick it to their customers:
Make a deposit and funds will be held anywhere from 0 to 12 business days before they become available. I have talked to several representatives now in an attempt to gain an understanding of what determines how long the hold will be and not a single one has been able to lay out the criteria for me. The gentleman with whom I spoke today told me there isn't a rule at all. "It just depends," he said.
Make a deposit in an ATM and you receive immediate credit for the first $100 of your deposit. The rest becomes available later. Make a deposit at the counter and all of your funds are held; none of it becomes available until later. If you're me. If you're my boyfriend, apparently, the results are different, but please don't ask anyone to explain why that is or what criteria are used to determine who gets credit for what when, I have tried, and no one knows. "It just depends," they say.
Say your available checking account balance is $300 and you have $100 in funds pending until you know, whenever they feel like making it available ("It depends,"). On Monday, you slide your debit card seven times. Each purchase is for $5, so your purchases total $35. These appear on your account as "Pending," the funds don't immediately debit. On Tuesday, you slide your debit card again, for $300. This too appears as pending but now, Bank of America "As a courtesy," changes the order of the transactions to assure that the largest of your purchases clears first. Your $300 purchase clears the account and for each of the remaining seven you are charged a $35 overdraft fee. You are charged a total of $245 in overdraft fees rather than just $35, even though only one of your purchases was made when you had insufficient funds. Never mind that additional $100 that was in the account; those funds were pending, so they weren't really yours. And they're all gone now anyway, and your account is still negative by $170 when the funds do become available, thanks to the fees they charged.
I find all of this beyond disgusting. And so
April 13, 2009
To Whom It May Concern,
Add me to the ranks of customers who have been dissatisfied with Bank of America's practices. Add me to the ranks of customers whose financial struggles during this economically challenging period in history have been compounded by the fees, holds and inconsistencies that are the Hallmark of Bank of America's policies. Add me to the ranks of customers who have no illusions; we know that Bank of America, in response to the impact that the country's economic downturn has had on financial institutions, is attempting to regain some ground by passing the expense to its customers.
Bank of America, ever attempting to grow black mountains from red valleys on the graphed landscapes of profit and loss, worsening our country's state of depression by depleting the limited resources of the people who make up its population in every way conceivable. Bank of America, a rapacious pecuniary beast, alarmingly short-sighted in its predatory approach, seeing red and opportunistically devouring any unsuspecting capital in its path; no regard for the impact of its actions on the economy as a whole, no regard for the individuals it abuses, no regard for the implications of its actions. Bank of America, hoisting the common man by his ankles to shake, and shake, and shake until his pockets are turned inside-out and every last cent has clattered to rest atop a heap that is never tall enough to quell such a gluttonous appetite. How apropos, then, to be dubbed Bank of America, as it is indeed just that; a bank, a heap, composed of the laboriously obtained earnings of common Americans. Then, wild eyes aflame, the creature climbs atop its ill-gotten mountain of dollars and dimes and roars a mighty roar, the subtext of which rings clearly in the ears of its customers: "Every man for himself; let the weak perish." (Although some of us hear only two short words, the first of which is most certainly not "Luck.")
Add me to the ranks of Bank of America customers who can only slide our hands into our empty pockets, shake our heads and say "For shame."
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Short and sweet. I've switched banks twice in three years due to overdraft charges. Citibank, Chase and now Bank of America have bilked me out of thousands of dollars because of their creative accounting and their ability to post debit charges whenever they feel like it. All banks are taking advantage of the "21" legislation that eliminates the "float" time for clearing checks, and applies it also to debit card transactions. I am in chexsystems because I refused to pay $300 in overdraft charges at Chase. They were charging me overdraft charges on overdraft charges! I try to avoid overdrafts by using my card when I have money in my account. The bank puts the debit in pending status and even though the money was there, somehow the system is set up to incur a charge. $175 last week, $105 this week. I am going to gather all of my statements and submit them to my local congresswoman to show her this disgusting practice. They are taking this money out of UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE checks. How dare they!!!!!
They know that Wednesday the check is direct deposited and sure enough they manage to take any and all of the weekend debits and post them from highest to lowest always incurring the maximum overdraft charges. Two three and four charges of $35 hit my account. This is disgusting. When I call them to complain they blame me for not knowing how to balance my checkbook. I've had checking accounts my entire adult life and NEVER have I incurred so many charges. It seems that since many people have wised up and stopped using high interest credit cards, they are now hitting us with fees on our debit cards which we use as an alternative to incurring debt.
The penalties though are far worse. It does help, however, that when you use your card as a debit, not a charge, that the amount is then directly debited not placed in a long "pending status" that allows them to post the charge whenever they wish. This whole economic mess is because of banking greed. They have hurt thousands of people because of their ridiculous interest rates, mortgage practices. They then have the nerve to call hard-working people who live on practically nothing deadbeats!!!! The government is bailing them out, Bank of America and Citibank are both candidates the government should know what they are doing to their customers. Their working class customers who live paycheck to paycheck. The rich are not affected because they always have a "cushion" of money in their accounts. But I have a lousy $405 deposited once per week and the bank takes almost half of that as penalty charges.
I am going to make sure that my local government does something about this. Many people are upset. In the meanwhile, I will stop using my card unless absolutely necessary. Its cash for me all the way. Bet you then they'll start to devise a way to charge fees for excessive ATM withdrawals. (They already charge too much). Now I know why I've found it so hard to make ends meet the past few years. I am losing a large chunk of my income to pay banks!!!!!
PORTLAND, OREGON -- Bank of America will push you down, kick you while you are there and then steal your wallet and your baby's candy. Their policies on fees are so screwed up their own customer service reps don't even get it right, heck, the bank manager I spoke with couldn't even give me a straight answer. I had overdrawn my account $12 on accident, noticed it right away, called, the representative said because it was "pending" and just done if I were to put money in there to cover it I would not incur a fee, so I had him xfer money from my savings to my checking and he assured me I would be fine. A few days later I come to find my account overdrawn again, by $20, but I know that shouldn't be, turns out I did get a $35 after all. I called again, a lady waived the fee (it was noted that I had been told I wouldn't get one) and said that 4 transactions had put me over by $20 and that I was going to get 4 more fees, but she couldn't do anything b/c they hadn't billed to my account yet. I wait, and call back once they did. (I would not have ever overdrawn my account had I not gotten that fee I was told I wouldn't get, and had I known I was going to get, if I was told the right info in the beginning, I wouldn't have used my debit card at all). I spoke with someone else, they said that they would waive 2 fees, that wasn't good enough for me but I didn't have time to argue, they said I should just call back and speak w a manager. So I did.
The manager basically said ha ha, too bad, were not doing anything for you. I asked him to listen to the call when I was told I would get these fees waived, he said he couldn't do that. My husband was severely injured and hasn't been able to work for over a year, hes undergone 2 major surgeries, and is on workmans comp, they pay 60% of his income. I am a full time student, a mother of a 2 year old and am pregnant. I can't quit school to work more or ill have to start paying on my loans. bank of America has screwed us over so many times its not funny. they have charged us over $4500 in the last year in fees by manipulated debit card usage, lying to us over and over, and holding deposits. I don't understand how they are allowed to "pend" a charge made on a Friday until Tuesday, and then put a charge made on Monday before the Friday charge so that you end up overdrafting your account twice, even though on Friday there was enough to cover that charge. It doesn't make sense and its not fair. If there is money in the account when the debit card is swiped, its not overdrafting the account, and shouldn't get a fee, transactions should be posted in order of when they were done, not in order that will get the bank the most fees.
I don't see how they can get away with this. the news always talks about the economy, and credit cards, and interest being charged, but I've never heard about banks sucking the life (almost literally) out of people with their deceiving business practices. If their own employees can't figure their practices out how can we as a customer? I hate and loath bank of America. bank of opportunity by a**. More like bank with an opportunity to rob the poor