CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA -- Bank of America refused to reverse charges from Community Legal Center, a company that defrauded me. Basically, Bank of America is an accessory to the criminal fraud described below. In billing disputes, B of A sides with the merchant 99.9% of the time, even when they have a stack of consumer complaints against the merchant. They make it very, very easy for dishonest merchants to rip people off. I would not recommend B of A to my worst enemy.
This legal center is a total scam. They advertise a one hour consultation for $50 every Saturday on a drop in basis. Then they ask for your credit card to charge the $50 fee to and then start charging your card for additional charges BEFORE they even give you your consultation and without your authorization for these phony charges. If you ask your credit card company to reverse them, they will produce documents with your forged signature. If you show them ANY documents during the consultation, they will claim they copied them at a cost of $23.75 per page.
The consultation is supposed to include a brief review of legal documents related to your legal issues. However, if the attorney asks even a single question on any legal document you are showing them, this becomes another fee over and above the consultation at a rate of $95 per one minute question. All their quotes and legal agreements are on a huge database and it takes them all of two minutes to pull up these pre-prepared forms and put your name into the quote or the agreement but this very brief service becomes a $200 fee.
And if you, the customer, complete any legal forms on your own WITHOUT asking the center's employees ANY questions, the time YOU spend filling out the forms becomes billable time. Gee, I bet tax accountant wish they all could charge clients for preparing their own tax returns!!! These folks are charging $275 an hour for having the customer fill out their own forms with no assistance.
FLORIDA -- I had a BOA Visa since 1982, yes 1982... I had a 12k limit. The last 5 years have been hard on me financially, but always paid card balance was around 9k. I maybe have been a little late here and there but nothing too bad. Finally business improved and I paid off the card. Over a few months. One day I went to use it to find out they canceled it... No letter or anything. I was in shock. Of course when I called they claim they mailed me a letter and I could not talk to anyone who cared or would do anything... I love how they waited until I paid them in full to cancel my card. Moral of the story I would not be so fast to pay them off. I love their loyalty.
NATIONWIDE - WE ARE IN FL -- Over 13,000 points are missing from our Mycruise Points from our Royal Caribbean Cruise Line credit card serviced by Bank of America. When I noticed that points were not adding up, spent hours going back through statements. Called BOA and they said they could not help me because I did not know my password - have had the credit card since around 2007 and have never called about any problems before... and have no idea what my password is.
Also, "security" said I failed her security questions(???). She said she can't keep asking me questions that I can't answer and offered no other help. Thought I could solve the problem by visiting a local branch but they had me waiting over 30 minutes and had to leave. I have never had such a problem with my Discover card and am going to go back to using Discover full time. But, I need to fight for my missing (stolen?) points. Amazing BOA stays in business.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- Don't sign up for any Bank of America products! I was a customer of theirs for over 15 years. I used to spend a lot on their card, but now mostly spend on AMEX due to much better card benefits (approximately 80k a year of spend). BoA apparently decided to cancel my credit card and only send a letter notice, which must have looked like their other general marketing as I didn't open it.
One day it gets declined, so I called up to ask why. They said it was based on my credit profile. Which seems odd considering I know what my credit profile is and how much credit I'm able to obtain if needed and how much I have with other financial services organizations. Bottom line - don't sign up for any BofA credit cards. There are way better benefits with other cards and obviously way better customer service. LOOK ELSEWHERE!
DOVER, DELAWARE -- I opened a credit card account with Nations Bank in 1988. Nations Bank was bought by Bank of America sometime in the next 10 years after that. I used my credit card for a few years, always paying at least the minimum payment and then I voluntarily closed it in the early 2000's. Since that time I have been paying down the balance until it got down to $409. Now, after I pulled my credit report, it shows up as a Charge Off and they never notified me!! It's not like they couldn't find me because I have had the same address and phone number for over 12 years.
They took two payments from me under false pretenses (by not telling me it was Charged Off when I initiated the calls) and now won't zero it out or take it off my credit report. Bank of America credit cards services suck!! Don't open a new credit card with them. They received our tax money for the Bailout and treat us like crap!! Even their employees admit that they didn't get a raise or good health insurance as part of the Bailout - only the fat cat CEO's profited from our taxpayer bailout.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Because of reduced income from my former home (now a rental property because it didn't sell when my job transferred out-of-state), I proactively sought a mortgage modification on my primary residence. I am current on my mortgage, but knew I needed lower monthly mortgage payments. My credit score was ~780. I started a trial mod, in which you make reduced payments for 3 months. During that time your payments are held in a separate account, and the mortgage company reports you as 30, 60, and 90 days late on your regular mortgage payment.
Even though you make the trial payments as instructed, the missing "normal" payment is considered "derogatory". Here's where Bank of America gets involved: I have 3 credit cards with them, due to bank mergers. B of A conducted a "review" of all my accounts because the trial mod caused a derogatory item on my credit report. B of A closed 1 card account, and reduced my available credit on the other 2 cards to a few dollars over the outstanding balance.
In 15 minutes BofA damaged my FICO score in 3 ways: 1. I went from using approximately 29% of my available BofA credit, to 99%. 2. My total available credit (on my credit report) was reduced to 75% of what it used to be. 3. The account they closed was a long-standing account, so the average "age" of my credit became lower. All these things damage my FICO in a big way.
My credit score will now be in the "fair" category, so I won't be able to get new credit or a reasonable car loan. I can't repair my credit until I reduce my indebtedness by over half... But B of A told me they will continue to reduce my available credit as I reduce my balance, preventing me from remedying the situation. This will further reduce my FICO, and when they eventually close the other 2 cards, it will be a MASSIVE FICO drop.
My payment history is perfect with B of A, and I ALWAYS pay more than the minimum payment. 2 of the 3 cards I always paid in full. This is how Bank of America "rewards" its excellent customers. I can't close the 2 remaining accounts and get a different credit card without further damaging my credit.
And now this credit score is preventing me from changing the terms on my rental property's mortgage (even though I am current on it too, just like I am current on all my debt). My new low FICO score caused by Bank of America's impulse reaction to the trial mod program definitely paints a different picture of me... EVEN THOUGH I STILL HAVE NEVER PAID LATE NOR BEEN A NON-PAYER FOR 20 years.
If you speak with BofA credit department, DO NOT REVEAL if you are in process of getting a mortgage modified. They will automatically close all your zero-balance cards and remove your ability to use your cards that have balances. DO NOT REVEAL THAT YOU ARE IN THE OBAMA Home Affordable PROGRAM!!! Bank of America will cut you!!!
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE -- I had two BofA credit cards although I'd forgotten I had two as I got divorced six years ago and only had one in my wallet. I heard somewhere that if you didn't use your credit card the bank would cancel it. I am 63, single, self-supporting, and self-employed. I've worked hard to build up my credit score. Approx. four months ago I used the credit card already in my wallet to make a large purchase at Lowe's so I wouldn't have the card canceled. I never got a bill. Right after 30 days was up, I called them and they told me I didn't owe them any money. I thought maybe I'd mistakenly used my USAA credit card.
In Sept. I got a notice from credit watch that my credit rating had changed, from 730 (good) to 680 (fair). BofA had reported me delinquent on two payments on my credit card. I called them and they told me I didn't owe them any money. I asked them to run a search. She did and said she would fax me a letter saying that I don't owe them any money. That was approx. 9/16. I didn't receive a fax so I called back. This time the person ran a search and found my bill. I paid it off over the phone. I asked to have the two late notices removed from my credit card and he said he couldn't but he was transferring me to customer satisfaction and they would.
Instead I got a rude woman who determined that the address on that card was wrong which is why I didn't get a bill. That was when I figured out what happened: I had one credit card in my wallet, I moved, the other credit card not in my wallet managed to get to my new address. I thought it was a replacement for the card in my wallet which I'd already charged on so as not to lose my card (I hadn't used either card for anything in over two years).
I cut up the card in my wallet not realizing there were different numbers and put the, what I thought, replacement card in my wallet so when I was calling they were looking up the wrong card number and I didn't know it but I did repeatedly ask them to search for any debt I might owe BofA and they said they did from the very first phone call. The rude woman corrected the address and after I paid it off, I closed the account.
I asked her to reverse the bad credit ratings and she said she'd have to transfer me which she did to an even ruder man who told me it was my fault and they'd do nothing, even after I asked him and he acknowledged the number of times over months that I'd called. He said it was my problem not BofAs. He was rude, saying he wouldn't reverse anything. I hung up and called back and got a nice woman, explained the entire story, she immediately reversed the late payment complaints and then said she needed to ask me some questions. I agreed and answered her questions. Since my credit limit was $57,500 on the card I had left I figured she was going to reduce my limit.
At no time did she give any reason for asking me questions. Then she put me on hold, came back, and said she was closing my account because I don't make enough to have a credit card with them. Nothing in my life has changed since they issued the two cards with high limits. I told her I make good money but am self employed so a lot of what I earn does go to overhead but I live where I work so it's not that bad. She said that was too bad. I then asked her if I could close the account and she said, "No," the she'd made the decision so it would be recorded that way.
I said she knew that would ding my credit and she said she did know that but she wouldn't let me close the account, she was going to do it. I hung up in tears. I am the one who called them repeatedly to pay a bill they couldn't find. I am the one who had a card with a $57,500 limit and the other was also high, and I had no balance, except that one bill, on either card. I am the same responsible person they gave two high limit credit cards to less than six years ago. Now I have no cards with them which is good because I'll never do business with them but they have dinged my credit and been very unfair to me.
I am so upset I can barely type. Today I received an opt-out notice from my Citi/Sears card raising my rate to over 25% or I have to opt out. So I decided to move the debt to a lower interest card. I have had for many, many years a Bank of America card with a $22,000 limit and I only owed $7,500. The interest rate was bad at 14.9 but better than the 25% with which I was suddenly faced at Sears. I have never been late on a payment for Bank of America and have a very good credit rating, so I went to the website to see what transfer options were available.
The website (which doesn't list APRs anywhere reasonably available for the consumer to see) INVITED me to take advantage of my good credit and my available balance to transfer other cards and I could have applied online but decided in an abundance of caution to talk to a live person. After being on hold for half an hour, I finally got to a personable young man who assured me this would be no problem at all - he just needed to get "approval" from a supervisor.
After another long hold I was greeted by a very aggressive young man with a demand for how much money I made last year, what my mortgage payments and office rent were, all my sources of income, how many employees I have and so forth. I am self employed, I was upset already about Sears having done what it did, and I didn't have any records or financial info in front of me late at night and out of the blue.
Finally, the man informed me that I had "too much" credit card debt and demanded to know what my PLAN was for paying it off. I was so taken by surprise that I stammered around and didn't make a very good answer and I was already upset. Without taking into account that I have over two hundred thousand equity in my home and a paid for $10,000 vehicle (part of the other low rate debt I have), this man not only denied the transfer (saying I "didn't need to incur any more debt" when I wasn't incurring any more, only seeking to MOVE it to a lower interest rate).
But he LOWERED MY CREDIT LIMIT BY $15,000 to only $200 over what I presently owe. So now, simply because I was upset and tried to accept Bank of America's INVITATION, I was punished by having my credit limit lowered which will look bad to other companies which will then also use it as an excuse to screw me over. In a few minutes, I went from having a nice credit score and an emergency resource to a decreased credit score and NO emergency resource (not even enough available credit to buy a ticket to a funeral).
The guy punished me for ASKING for a credit transfer by lowering my limit (rest assured they'll find a way to raise the rate again, too) and it was posted on the Bank of America website before I had even hung up the phone. I would never have called about the transfer if Bank of America had not INVITED me to do so on its website. This is purely a trick and a scam to extract financial info from consumers to use as an excuse to benefit Bank of America. My advice is never ever give them any financial info they can use against you and not to deal with them at all if there is any alternative. Being honest, faithful and timely gets you nothing but treachery from Bank of America.
OHIO -- I haven't seen this complaint yet... so I figure I should warn others. BANK OF AMERICA CAN GET YOU - EVEN IF YOU DON'T BANK WITH THEM!!! January 30, 2008 - I receive a letter (dated Jan 18) explaining that my 5/3 credit card is being transferred to Bank of America. I will receive my new cards the week of March 10, and my old account will be closed March 16. Not a pleasant surprise. I call 5/3 about the whole thing, they assure me I can opt out of the transfer if I send a written, signed opt out letter to FIA Card Services (Bank of America) by February 20.
February 8, 2008 - I read a news story about BoA raising rates randomly to excruciating levels. Now I REALLY don't want my credit card transferred to BoA. I immediately write 2 opt out letters - one from me, one from my husband. Both declaring our demand to opt out of the transfer to BoA, both asking for written correspondence acknowledging our opt out decision, both signed, etc. I send both letters, each in their own envelope, using USPS and Delivery Confirmation. It cost me a lot more money, but I felt it was worth it.
Feb 11, 2008 - I receive notice from the USPS website that both letters were delivered to FIA Card Services at 11:50 am. March 6 or 7, 2008 - Having not heard anything from BoA, I call customer service (I had to ask 5/3 for a phone number as the letter I received did not include a number for BoA). I was told there was no record of such a transfer and that the computers only showed that there was a major credit card transfer happening in May. That I must be mistaken about the time of the switchover and that I obviously won't need to worry about any of it for another two months.
March 12, 2008 - Open my mail... guess what?!? I have two shiny new credit cards from BoA! I have to search to find an actual customer service number on the papers included - but the activation phone number is printed EVERYWHERE. I call customer service. I explain. I'm told I need to talk to someone in Sales. I get switched over to... the automated customer service line!
I try again... same thing. I try yet again and I get hung up on. One more try and I am assured the representative will stay on the line to be sure I make it the sales department. She didn't stay on the line - and I was switched to... you guessed it, the automated customer service line. I again call back. I explain everything that has happened. This time it's a little different:
** (so and so) tells me she will help me. I go through the whole story again. She puts me on hold. She comes back and tells me that they can't do anything. I make a fuss. She puts me on hold again. She comes back to tell me that she was told that I CANNOT opt out of a credit card transfer (from one bank to another). I ask to speak to a supervisor. She tells me that the information she gave me is from her supervisor.
Eventually, her "supervisor" interrupts the call and talks to me. I explain everything yet again. He tells me that I opted out of rate changes - or something like that. I tell him I opted out of the transfer entirely by following the exact directions given to me by 5/3 Bank. He then claims that BoA bought out 5/3 Bank (not true at all). When that version doesn't work, he tells me that BoA bought my account from 5/3 and that's why I can't opt out. I calmly explained to him that the State Attorney General's office would be "all over their asses" by day's end. (Well, I was close).
I call 5/3, they confirm that I do have the option to opt out of the transfer (mind you, I have 4 days until my 5/3 account is closed and I HAVE to use BoA). I call my state's Attorney General's office - they, too, confirm that I am fully within my rights to opt out of the transfer to BoA. But, they can't handle my problem. They tell me to call Comptroller of Currencies (OCC - helpwithmybank.gov) and generously supplied me with a phone number.
So, I call. OCC also confirms that I have every right to opt out. I'm told to mail a complaint form. But my deadline is in 2 days (barring Sat and Sun since they're not business days)! I'm told to download the forms instead - fill them out - scan them - and e-mail copies of the completed forms. THANK YOU OCC! It's not every day someone helps you rush your complaints through.
After all of that, I call BoA again. I want to see if anything has progressed - or if they're ready to start fixing the problem. I call - they ask for the credit card account number. All of a sudden, they can find NO RECORD of the account number. They found it every single time I called earlier in the day. Hmm... interesting. They decide to switch me to Sales. Yes, again I was sent to the automated customer service line.
This time I talk to someone. She asks for every fine detail about my life that I can remember. She can find no record of this credit card account and tells me to call back on the 16th (the day my account will be finally switched over). No way in HELL will I wait that long. I explain to her that I already spent 2 hours on the phone with various BoA representatives - and that I've filed a complaint with Comptroller of Currencies. Guess what?! She asks me to hold. Several minutes later she comes back to tell me that she's leaving a note for her supervisor to handle this situation immediately. Hmm... interesting. Is the big bad OCC scary to BoA?
So, I sit and wait and hope that I do not have to do business with BoA. The moral of the story? RUN FAST AND HARD WHEN BANK OF AMERICA COMES KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR!!! And remember to keep track of every detail of everything. Mail letters with AT LEAST delivery confirmation. Write letters on your computer so dates are verified. Don't let Bank of America do this to you. And remember this site: helpwithmybank.gov
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Several months ago, I was a BofA customer - credit card, checking account, money market account, and even an IRA. As it happens, I ran into a month where I had all of my liquid assets tied up, and needed some cash to pay the security deposit on a new apartment. As my previous deposit would be returned the following month, I only needed the cash for less than 30 days and would pay off any loan during the next period.
I happened to be on the BofA site paying some bills when I noticed ads splashed across every page for "no interest on balance transfers and cash advances for six months," which sounded perfect for my problem. As a fraud specialist at one of the big four auditing firms, I made sure to read all the fine print very carefully, and noted that there was a $75 limit on the transaction fee, and, indeed, no interest for the first six months.
So, I went to the "Balance Transfer" section of the website, where I was quickly able to transfer cash from my credit card to my checking account. Once again, I read all of the fine print on each page very carefully, but all it stated was that there may be a fee for the transaction, and the interest rate might be different from my normal card rate - none of this was unexpected, so I went ahead with the transaction. Well, lo and behold, on my next statement, there was a $300 transaction fee, and I had been charged 20% interest on both the advance and the fee.
After going months with repeated calls to their customer service line without getting a straight answer (and being accused on several occasions of not reading the warnings on the website), I was finally told that the offer was only available through the access checks I had gotten in the mail, or by phone... although there was no mention of this in any of the literature.
Completing the transaction online was a special case and did not qualify as either a "Balance Transfer" or "Cash Advance", even though I was in the "Balance Transfer" section of the database, asking for a "Cash Advance". After being bounced from one representative to another, a "specialist" finally admitted that there had been a number of BofA customers who had had this same problem, but that the bank had decided their policy would be that they would not refund any of the money, despite their choice of words and lack of disclosure.
In continuing my discussion with the rep, I pointed out that UCC law clearly states that a court should find with the customer if they relied upon information from the business in the manner which a "reasonable person" would act. Based upon the language on the website, I fully acted in a reasonable manner, and told the rep as much; but the bank still refused to give any ground.
I still believe I have been defrauded by Bank of America, and if the amounts were greater I would be taking them to court, confident that I could win. However, as BofA is obviously aware, it's not worth my time to go through all that for the amount involved. So, instead, I have closed all of my accounts and have moved to another bank. This is one customer who had enough and got out.