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Bank of America • Use at Your Own Risk!
By -

If you are not a decision making executive, please forward this to one or more. To ignore this request would put you in violation of U.S. Federal laws governing email. I am an American expat living in the Republic of Panama. I just want you to know that I am thoroughly disgusted with the way you do business. You charged me an overdraft fee when I have "Overdraft Protection"! Your customer Non-Service wrote to tell me I should watch my balances! You charged me several times for late fees on Sunday due dated bills when paid on Monday! If I went to one your branches and paid my credit card bill with a Sunday due date on Monday, there would be no late fee!

You are now charging a "Foreign Transaction Fee of 3%. I asked about this and the form letter sent to me told me about fees for withdrawing from ATMs. I have never in my life used an ATM. I don't want to pay to withdraw my own money! I have resorted to using my American Express Card exclusively in Panama. I have had AMEX for thirty years without the first problem! If AMEX is not an option, I use CASH! When I got this card through MBNA, there was never a problem, just since BoA took them over!

Since I can no longer accumulate meaningful points with your "Point Program", I asked to cancel the point portion of my card. I'll give up the 21,000 points accumulated. But no, your agent demanded that I cancel my entire card. So I did! When I took out my homeowner's loan, your officer told me I could the fix the rate at the current percentage rate. When I tried to do this, I was told the rate was 11%! BoA is using government money at close to 0% but won't fix my rate at the current 3.5% or whatever it is today. Dealing with your customer service department via "Online Banking" is near impossible.

For the simplest questions I get "Form Letters" instead of an answer. It has taken me dozens of online banking messages to accomplish one simple thing several times. Dozens, yes dozens (Check it) of times I have told your agents that I cannot call you. We are restricted to 8 digits on our phone. If we use more even for 800 numbers, we get charged outrageous amounts but your agents keep responding that I should call! Collect is not good. I don't speak enough Spanish to use an operator. I have been banking in the same building in LaGrange, GA. U. S.A. for thirty years! Never had a problem! Until BoA took over!

My credit score was 787 until I signed for a car loan for my daughter. Her late payments brought my score down to 702. Still not a credit risk. My loan with you is the only debt I or my wife have. Yet, you cut my credit limit in half from over thirty thousand dollars! I have never accessed that amount but the cut is a slap in the face. American Express is still UNLIMITED and has no "Foreign Transaction Fee"! It seems, from talking to other expats that everyone who deals with Bank of America gets the same treatment and BS.

I know my accounts don't really mean anything to BoA in the big scheme but if thousands of us stand up and change banks, credit cards, etc. stock holders are liable to ask questions. This is not a threat. Merely a fact. Poor service loses customers. If you wish to correct and rectify this situation, reinstate my Mastercard without the point option. Repay all the late fees you've charged me for Sunday due dated invoices paid the next day as well as the overdraft charge you charged despite my "Overdraft Protection". I don't expect you to change your fees, I just want to be treated fairly.

Please don't ask me to give you dates, you have it all on record. Regular Checking **, Bank of America Platinum Plus Visa **, IT Professional Platinum Plus MasterCard **, Home Equity Line **, Fixed Rate Option **. If I don't hear from a decision maker within the week, this will be forwarded to every Expat Group in the Yahoo system all over the world. There are hundreds of these groups located in almost every country in the world. Since I am retired, I have nothing better to do other than spread the ways you gyp the consumers worldwide!

Under those circumstances all of my business will be going to another bank, along with those of all my relatives that bank with you throughout the country. FED UP WITH YOUR **!

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Bank of America: Something Is Wrong When You Can't "Put It in Writing!"
By -

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA -- Bank of America: Hundreds of dollars taken in overdraft fees because they fail to return money that is recredited by vendors when it is credited, which throws you into an overdraft which perpetuates the problem. They take out $35 for even $1 spent which in turn spends your money without your knowledge, and anything else you've done before you find out has again charged you $35.

They fail to respond to your online requests to stop payment of a monthly car insurance premium a week in advance. Even though the insurance company was told to stop the account, they removed the money, thereby throwing me into overdraft mode for $5 Burger King expenditures, spending my weekly checks down till other small amounts I spent without the knowledge this happened, spent all my money at $35 a pop, taking all my money and continuing the cycle.

Oh, and did I mention, took $200 cash in person with the pitiful request to please be sure this didn't happen on the day it happened without my knowledge, and they not only let that happen but took that $200 in $35 overdraft money to which addressing it with a "I couldn't do anything" message on my phone voicemail.

After weeks and weeks of weekly check being direct deposited, one fails to deposit due to a clerical error without my knowledge and once again the $35 cycle which spent everything I got with the $35 cycles before I got it. The overdraft protection just allowed them to charge $10 to dip into the savings and spend all that and again get to more overdraft fees. What's worse is you write an online letter and get a canned letter back not even addressing your needs.

Then what? Let's go face to face and at least get them to look at the problem. You talk to one person who stops you midstream and says "I can't put anything in writing," after he hasn't told you anything anyway and really hasn't looked at anything. You are referred to the bank manager who says in less than 1 minute "I can't do anything for you." Questions how I do things and offers to print you a copy of bank policies. Then again says "I can't put anything in writing."

She refuses more than once to give me a name of someone above her to see or write and then calls your calm and firm commitment to having someone look at this as "combative" saying "you want me to pore over your account for hours." "I looked at it here" (which in all fairness a brief one eye view did occur while I sat there that one minute). What is wrong when a company can't put "anything in writing"? I told her when I left that I have been way to docile with this bank and I have. I am just beginning to find out what I can do to make their life miserable if I don't get every cent they have taken from me back.

I only wanted someone to look at it and take mercy on me as a lowly consumer and act like they cared and maybe consider the error of their ways and return what is fair and mine. But now I want every single cent which is only fair at this point. I want them to know everything I say and this is only the beginning because they are unfair, unkind, likely illegal in their activities, and haven't got a clue about customer service.

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Holding Check Wrongly Ruining dream
By -

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- PLEASE READ, WE HAVE TO TAKE A STAND AGAINST PEOPLE LIKE THIS!!! I know it's a page and a half but its important! I recently decided to purchase a home. I am 21 years old and had a difficult childhood throughout my entire life. I have been on my own since the age of 15 and until I was 18, I was living in some pretty bad apartment complexes that would let me do cash month to month leases.

I have a great job now which I love more than anything in my life and I am successful and make about 35,000/year. (Which at 21 I feel very lucky to have, especially in this sort of economic crisis we are in!) Anyway, I am having to do an FHA loan through Wells Fargo because of my debt to income ratio. Wells Fargo has been great through the process but because it is FHA, I have to have COMPLETELY VERIFIABLE funds. Well, I decided to sell my motorcycle, which was paid off, in order to have the money I needed for my down payment and closing costs.

I sold my motorcycle for $7000.00. I received a check for this amount and deposited it into my Bank Of America account, which I have had for ALMOST two years (One year, 10 months). They told me because the balance in my account couldn't cover the check, they would put a hold on it and half of it would be available after two days and the other half after four. (Deposited on the 20th, supposed to be half cleared by the 22nd!) I agreed and deposited the check. Two days went by and I didn't see the Pending turn into a POSTED deposit.

I waited another day to see if maybe there was a small hold up… Well, turns out they decided to put an "extra" hold on it. I called them and they said there was nothing they could do and that the extra hold would be until the 29th. (It was supposed to be half cleared on the 22nd!)

When I won the bid on the house, I had previously asked the seller to give me a bit of time to sell this motorcycle so that I could have the down payment and closing cost up front instead of getting down payment assistance and he reluctantly agreed and my extension was until the 24th!!! So here it was the 23rd and I had until 5 pm the next day to put my earnest money and down payment etc down so that Wells Fargo could have time for FHA to verify my funds.

I went to the local bank who the check originated from first, then I went into a local branch of BANK OF AMERICA on the 23rd and I took with me a copy of the ***Cleared check and statement from the bank who wrote it saying it had cleared the day before it was supposed to be released by BOA.*** (The 22nd!!!) Despite the fact that I had this paperwork, they needed to call the other bank and verify - which they did. They talked to a manager there, and he personally faxed them a copy of the cleared check and a statement ON A LETTERHEAD FROM THAT BANK saying the check had cleared and could not come back for any reason.

The girls at bank of America called their boss, their bosses boss, etc and I was there for about 2 hours. Despite all of this information, they "could not" release the hold on this check. I had not had a backup plan at this point so I asked the seller for another extension for another few days.

He refused because someone else bid on this house two days after him giving me my extension and I lost it. I had gone through everything, the entire paperwork process, getting my taxes, pay stubs, employment verification, home inspection, termite inspection, appraisal fees had been paid etc. And here it is late October and there is no way for me to find another house, get all of the process done AGAIN before the $8000.00 tax credit expires, etc. I have lost the house I completely fell in love with, that I have worked for years to own, and that I truly feel like I deserved.

I have worked so hard to have a better life than my family provided me with when I was young and Bank of America has taken that from me. I lost the house I loved, the house that was best for me. It had everything I wanted in a house! I lost the opportunity to take advantage of the $8000.00 tax credit, and I have lost the joy and excitement of owning my first home. Oh and by the way… the hold is still on the check. So thanks a lot Bank of America. I am glad to know that you guys care so much about Americans. In my opinion, they make INTEREST off things like this and that's probably why they do it.

It breaks my heart to know that I have cried all day over this damn house and someone who gets paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year will never know the pain I feel right now knowing how hard I have worked for this house, how hard I worked to buy that motorcycle that I loved but was willing to give up so I could have a nice place to live and to have the deposit I needed to put down without getting down payment assistance because I thought there are other people out there who might need it more than me and when I have a luxury item like a motorcycle, I didn't think it would be fair to take assistance from people, how hard I worked for the money I already paid the realtor to hold this house for me, the money I paid for home inspections and termite inspections and appraisals, and how badly I dreamed of owning my own home. They have completely ruined this experience and I have never been more depressed.

I looked at 38 houses and found one that was functionable for me, only 93000, which I could afford a payment on, and that I truly loved and thought I could live in for a long time. Now it's someone else's and unless I start this entire process over again, AFTER THE CHECK HAS CLEARED, I won't get a house anytime soon. Not to mention that interest rates have gone up two weeks in a row and every article I have read says they will go up again in November. Thank you Bank Of America, you really do serve the American people don't you? My hope in good people and the "American dream" has suffered quite a bit today.

So now I will go to sleep, and wait for my check to clear, which despite the letterhead stating it has cleared the other bank, the copy of the cleared check, the other managers at the other bank telling you it cleared, and all of the other paperwork I had, you still cannot release the hold. It's such a shame that customer service in my opinion no longer exists! Especially at a company that calls themselves BANK OF AMERICA! I lost my house because of you. Thanks a lot.

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Online Banking Blocked -- Not My Choice, Theirs
By -

ROCKY HILL, CONNECTICUT -- About 2.5 mos. ago, I was told by BOA that there was FRAUD on my debit card. I was to go to the bank and get a new card. I did. 2 mos. into it, I got a call saying that now, my online banking was compromised, and I was to go to the bank & change all my accts. & the new debit card. I did. 6 DAYS!!! Later, I was told that the acct. was again COMPROMISED and I was to IMMEDIATELY go and get the accts. closed, and then open new accts. I DID. I am moving, so I need access to this acct. As I was leaving the home, I picked up my mail, not realizing that to get the perm. debit card activated, I had to call from my home phone.

I flew to my destination and pulled out my bills to go online for bill pay. NADA -- the acct. is FROZEN. I called the no. listed, BEFORE 10 PM and was told, "Sorry, no one here can help you." I called that next morn. "Sorry, we can't lift the BLOCK as it takes 2-3 days to do so." Keep in mind, I had been checking it daily so I could get my bills paid. I have $$ in the acct. to pay off the CCs so when I go for the mortgage in the new location, I won't show any. But I cannot pay the bills as I can't access the $$$.

On top of it, the gal on the 800 # told me if I needed to pay the bills that quickly, to go to a phone and do it over the phone -- to NOT use their services, as they weren't available AT THIS TIME to me anyhow. Are YOU KIDDING ME??? So, I then called the local branch where I do my banking thinking, they might be of help, although I don't know why -- they had NOT done anything more than process paperwork and tell me there was NO WAY that my accts. could be accessed. It was IMPOSSIBLE. I said, "Fine -- tell me how in LESS THAN A WEEK it happened TWICE!!" (Do you think it's an inside job??)

So now, I call that branch. I was told by a clerk there, that there was NO BLOCK on the acct. for bill-pay. I was on my way to an appt. and could not check right then and there. I got back to my hotel room, only to find out THE BLOCK was STILL THERE!! Today, I have called the overseas FRAUD division who contacted me in the 1st place, and I also have a call into the local branch. I plan on taking ALL the bills -- there are 13 of them including the heating, the cable, etc. to them and having them at their expense do cashier's checks. I also am WAITING for a call back from them as I was told the mgr. is on a conference call.

I said, "I will wait for that call. If I do NOT get a resolution on this, my next call is to a Lawyer. I have already filed a complaint with the State's BBB." They did call me only to say there is NO block. I said, "So why does it say there is one on my computer? I will bring it down to your branch to PROVE I can't access it. What -- I am going to just make this stuff up to be an irritant to You? I am so stressed I feel I am going to have a stroke. I am in the middle of a move and a 12 hr. drive, and I sure do NOT need this crap."

I would suggest that Bank of America shut down their system and overhaul it, or STOP using overseas personnel who you cannot understand and do NOT give a rat's patootie about anyone or any issues. They just want everyone to say – “NO PROBLEMS here.” Also -- just as an aside, they were to SEND to me IMMEDIATELY, checks on the new acct.

To date, there has been NO delivery of any checks. The cat sitter WATCHES my mail diligently, KNEW I was waiting for them and would have called me immediately had they showed up. They did NOT. Is there anything else with this bank that can go wrong? I will be taking as much of my $$$ out of this bank, and will as soon as I get to my new locale, OPEN up a bank there. DO NOT USE BOA!!!

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BofA Cut My Credit From $50K to $12K Because I NEVER Go in Debt and Have a 842 FICA!
By -

Let me be bold... (I am usually humble). I have NO debt of any kind. NONE! I'm RICH. I travel/vacation out of country more than half of every year. I own 6 rental houses. I live in a 3,000 square foot home next to a golf course that I paid for in CASH on the same day that I bought it. I have approximately half a million dollars invested, even after the US stock market collapse. I have $100,000 set aside for emergencies.

I have a 842 FICO score. I had a $49,900 credit line with MBNA. I always paid on time. In May of 2009 MBNA CUT MY CREDIT LINE IN HALF WITHOUT TELLING ME while I was traveling out of country for 4 months. FOR NO REASON. (They admit this openly.) I called, and the lady convinced me to apply for a credit increase whereupon it was reduced again to 12,000 since I quote, "wasn't working"??? After telling me I was applying for an instant "increase"???!!! She did this while I was on the phone to complain about the 25k limit reduction!

I'm rich. I'm travel. It's illegal for me to work in Canada while I'm skiing at a resort for 4 months. Sucks to be me I guess... lol. However, this was my ONLY card I used because it had a $49,900 credit limit. I had even canceled others. They cut me off at the kneecaps and I have a PERFECT credit record.

How does this affect me? I buy houses at public auction. I MUST PAY CASH FOR HOUSES BY THE END OF THE SAME BUSINESS DAY THAT I BUY THEM. That means coming up with up with $200,000 cash in less than 5 hours. I don't want to remove the cash from somewhere where it's earning money like stocks until I'm SURE that have won a house at auction. I win a house, then I get the shortest term loans I can, and start cashing out stocks. Bank loans are 6 month, and cost a lot in interest. The credit card I can pay off in less than a month and cost me NOTHING. (I used the card as a fast cash buffer.)

NOW, if I have to have $200,000 sitting in an account doing NOTHING waiting for the day I MIGHT buy a house, I WILL LOSE MONEY ON IT. With my credit limit being decreased by MBNA, I have lost my buffer to transfer funds. What they have done will cost me money and affect the value of the homes that I can purchase. Let me CONFIRM: arbitrary limit cuts are a tool to reduce MBNA's relationship with less profitable borrowers (the ones that pay their bills with higher credit scores).

Arbitrary limit cuts are used as an excuse to end a relationship with undesirable borrowers that don't use their cards much or those that don't run their credit up to the top of their limit (card holders that don't make them money). MBNA has affected my livelihood for no reason other than the fact that I don't make them money. I was faithful to them, and always paid before my bills were due. THIS IS THE REWARD I GET FOR BEING A GOOD CUSTOMER ALL THESE YEARS???

Thanks MBNA. You've lost my trust and my money from now on... I will avoid you like the plague and advise ANYONE I know to NEVER USE BANK OF AMERICA and advise them to remove their existing investments with you as I have.

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Consumer Information
By -

When consumers post reviews of a company such as Bank of America, they should always research the process they are complaining about before they complain. After 27 years of employment with Bank of America, I have had the opportunity to actually participate in many areas or functions of the bank, so let me explain to all of you complainers why you are paying a charge for bouncing a check. When you write a check or use your debit card, that item is sent to the bank that the merchant uses.

The merchant's bank processes the items, then sends them through a clearing house or the Federal Reserve to be collected from the account holder's bank, which in this case is Bank of America. Because the financial institutions are regulated, these items have to be paid or returned within a specific time frame as specified by the regulators.

Your bank does not have the option to hold these items until you can make a deposit or pay the items if the money is not available in your account, unless they choose to do so, based on your relationship ( how long have you been a customer, how many checks have you bounced in the past 12 months, what type of balances you carry in all of your accounts, and how many accounts do you have with them).

When the item is presented to Bank of America, if the funds are not available, the item is rejected into a batch that contains all of the items that have bounced that current processing day. That batch of items then has to be reviewed by a special real person that has to be paid. She reviews the items for individual attention to see if there is any way they can pay those items based on the criteria discussed earlier. Do you know how many bounced checks a financial institution receives each and every day? I can tell you that each processing center processes thousands and thousands of rejected items each and every day.

So the banks need hundreds of employees to process those thousands of items. This is what you are paying for, when you bounce a check and have to pay a non-sufficient funds fee. Because you bounced the item, and the bank had to provide that service of individual handling, you are paying a fee for the service.

Any business that provides a service is paid a fee. This is called income. If the bank never had to process bounced items, consumers would never have to pay the fee for that service, because the service was not provided. Do you get it? If you take your shirts to the dry cleaners, you have to pay for their service. If you bounce a check you have to pay for the service. You don't ever hear a customer complain about an NSF fee, if they never bounce a check.

So the point is if you do not want to pay the fee, don't bounce the check. And the only way that can be guaranteed is by using a check register and subtracting each and every entry from your available balance when you give them the check or use your checkcard. Using the balance you have obtained from online banking, telephone banking, the ATM, or the customer service representative, does not reflect your true balance, because they are not mind readers, and they do not know how much you have spent on items that have not been presented to the bank.

In other words when you bought groceries and used your check card for 75.00, it is not reflected in the balance the bank gave you, until the merchant sends it for processing. So if the bank (teller, ATM, phone banking, customer service rep, or online banking) tells you that your balance is $100.00, you must subtract the $75.00 from that balance so that you accurately know how much you can spend. If you spend the $100.00 because the bank told you that was your balance, you are going to incur and pay a NSF fee. The service was provided and the fee is paid.

And yes, if you were lucky enough to get a refund because it was your first mistake since banking with us, you will possibly get the refund. But if you are asking for the refund, and you have already received a refund, you will be denied. Service received, service fee paid. And you will always notice that the complainers about a bank, are the consumers paying the NSF fees. When they say Bank of America sucks, that means they bounced checks and had to pay the price. The consumers who never bounce checks (because they use a check register) never call in to complain about NSF fees.

So, to all of you who like to complain about NSF fees and managers who do not refund fees, please do your research before you complain and start using your check registers Then you will not have to complain and you will be a happy consumer.

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The Worst Customer Service Ever
By -

HOUGHTON ROAD, ARIZONA -- This just happened this morning at a branch in Tucson, AZ. I wanted to share it with readers. I honestly do not believe this happened. I still do not know how to respond to the way I was treated. This is the first time I ever left a bank in tears. It was by far the rudest, down right bullied by any bank or financial institution I or anyone I know has been. I received a renewal notice of my Safe Deposit Box that showed an $30.00 increase. Obviously all our stimulus money did not help because they are still milking us with fees like crazy.

I removed the contents of my box and sat down with one of their personal bankers and told them I wanted to close my safety deposit box account. I placed my key and the statement on his desk and he curtly asked me where my other key was. I didn't remember ever having a second key and it's been years since I opened this box. I told him I did have a second key. He then informed me in a very rude tone of voice, he would not close the account unless I paid him $25.00 for this missing key. I told him I refused to pay for a key I did not have. I was not about to pay any more fees to this bank and I wanted my account closed.

He refused to give in on the matter and told me to leave his office because I was getting irate and he felt that he didn't have to deal with me. No kidding I was irate. If he has problems dealing with angry customers, he is in the wrong line of work. My husband and I got so fed up with BofA's terrible customer service last year, we closed all our accounts. The box was the only thing I left open because the bank is relatively close to where we live. After arguing back and forth, I gave in and told him I would pay the fee. I had my two girls with me and just wanted to get out of there.

Talk about the straws that broke the camel's back... He then had the nerve to tell he would not close the account and asked me to leave! I am sitting there with my two five year olds almost in tears. I agreed to his terms, "bullying" and he was throwing me out of his office?! The bank manager must had overheard this because he came over to ask what the problem was. I told him I had agreed to pay the fee and just wanted someone to close my account and his employee refused. I explained to him the reason I was closing my account. Told him that I have agreed to pay their fee for the key. I also informed him that I was not leaving until someone helped me.

When the bank manager returned, he told me that they would waive the fee and that I just needed to sign a few documents. Well OK. I thought this was the end. I then tried explain to the branch manager the reason for my anger thinking that as manager, he would at least pretend to care and maybe have some customer service skills.

I could not believe my ears when he responded by saying that I had already told him I was angry more than once. That I was repeating myself. Then he lowered his voice and informed me that he is two months away from retirement and did give a **. My answer to that was "You still work her and represent this bank." All this to close a safe deposit box. I am stunned. Needless to say I will never set foot in a BofA anywhere ever again.

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Raising Interest Rates
By -

WISCONSIN -- Bank of America, raising interest rates. Received my letter beginning of April like thousands, maybe millions of other Bank of America card holders. Three other people at work received the same letter at the same time I did. Never late, low balance and excellent credit rating. My base interest rate was 11.99% and I never usually carry a balance, however, they offered a 3.99% promo offer for charges made December 08 through Feb 09. So I used card for some holiday purchases. Of course after they sucked you into the promo rate now they hit you up with a huge interest rate increase.

I inquired online through my account as to why and here is their lame ass response. Customer service at its finest. Unfortunately, they just don't care. I have had my card since 1983 and have another 30+ years of potential credit card usage, mostly for business expenses and reoccurring automatic bill paying. They will never see any business in any form from me again. I will use the opt-out offer to freeze the 3.99% rate and will not close the card just cut it up. Hopefully, many others will do the same and screw them.

Thank you for your inquiry dated 4/7/09 regarding your new APR. We are happy to assist you. Bank of America periodically reviews all of our accounts to determine the appropriate APR. After reviewing your account, the APR will be increased from 11.90% to 19.99% on 05/06/2009.

We apologize for the inconvenience this process may cause you, but for further information, it is imperative to contact us directly at 1.800.421.2110. If you are outside of the United States, please call us collect worldwide at 888.801.3723 and request to be transferred to the number above. (Comment: This is my favorite part of their response, I almost fell off the chair laughing) We value you as a customer and appreciate your business. If we may be of further assistance, please contact us again by e-mail. Thank you for choosing Bank of America. Have a magnificent day.

Thank you for your e-mail. We apologize for any inconvenience you have experienced. We have received your request for a telephone call from Bank of America. We regret that we cannot make outbound telephone calls via e-mail request. If you would like to communicate with us through e-mail, please reply to this e-mail with the details of your concerns.

If you would prefer to speak with a customer service specialist, we will be happy to assist you by phone at 1.800.421.2110, we are available 24 hours 7 days a week. We appreciate your understanding in this matter. Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. We value you as a customer and appreciate your business. If we may be of further assistance, please contact us again by e-mail. Thank you for
choosing Bank of America.

(ME) Message text: I wanted to write you and let you know how disgusted I am regarding the letter you sent me regarding raising my interest rate from 3.99% to 19%. I have been a long time BOA customer, never late, pay off
account etc. And this is the way you treat me, and you are using my tax dollars from the bailout. Please contact me I want to know why you are doing this.

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Don't Deposit Checks if You're in a Hurry
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FAIRLESS HILLS, PENNSYLVANIA -- First off, let me just tell you that I'm 18 years old and I am buying my first car. Being that I am young, with only one credit card that has a $300.00 limit, I could not get approved anywhere for a car loan, nor could my mother. So what I did was I had one of those checks that Chase gives out every so often, in my grandmother's name, that entitled her to a $12,500 limit and to use those checks however you see fit. We used this method to buy my older brother's car, which is actually good because the interest rate is lower, and you can pay it as fast or as slow as the minimum payments will allow.

So anyway, I had my brother deposit that check for $12,000 to my Bank of America account, as well as a $1,000 personal check from my grandmother to cover the down payment on the car. My brother calls me back saying that they said I would have to wait 7 days for $4,900 to be deposited, and then 9 days for $7,000 to be put back in (2 days apart, not 9 days after the $4,900). I had scheduled a car pickup for this Friday thinking that checks only take a few days to process and be put into an account. Knowing this, the car dealer wasn't too thrilled about it. And I don't want to go saying "Well if they don't hold the car, oh well, tough on them."

No, because I REALLY want the car that I bought. I called Bank of America over the phone and she must have thought that I was some sort of idiot because she was explaining to me "We put holds on these for a reason." If the hold is simply to verify that the funds actually exist and can be taken from the one bank to another, no way in hell does that take 9 days. They just want to sit on my $12,000. Now I'm in a bit of a situation. The personal check for $1,000 cleared up the next morning (today) so I have that, and I already had made the down payment so that's not an issue.

I'm going to go to the Bank today and see what kind of response they give me and I know I will walk out having accomplished nothing. The only thing that I could really do is, if approved, my father's account at a credit union has Convenience lines of credit for up to about 10,000. If that's approved, I can use those funds to get the car immediately and not lose the deal, and just pay that off when BofA decides to let me use my $12,000.

I just think it's ridiculous that they will still hold on to the money even if they called JP Morgan Chase and they confirmed that the funds are available and/or have been transferred to Bank of America, and they're just sitting on it, not letting me use it. I'll be damned if I lose out on the car. We all know that car buying isn't a pleasant experience, but I was hoping that buying my first car would be a happy occasion, but Bank of America is just making it a royal pain in the ass.

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Bank of America Holds Me Responsible for Their Failure
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SILVER SPRING, MARYLAND -- Timeline: 2/9/09 - I make an electronic payment of $700 to be paid on 2/17. 2/10/09 - I realize that another payment I had made earlier in the past week was going to post on the same day. In fear that I will overdraw my account I called BoA and asked to stop payment on the $700. She said "No problem! It looks like it hasn't processed yet so it shouldn't be a problem!" As of 2/20/09 - Avail Balance was $500.73.

Fast forward to today 2/21/09 - I drive up to the ATM to withdraw some cash and my balance is -$125.14 with pending transactions so it will most likely be -$300+. I rush home to check my account to find that the $700 did in fact go through. How could this be? No. 205. 10 Regulation of E states that a financial institution must honor a stop payment on an electronic payments pre-authorized if the request (orally or written) is made at least three business days in advance of the date the payment is due.

So I call BoA. Explained my problem. The representative originally states that there is a record of my call on 2/10 and stop payment request and puts me on hold to see what he can do about removing the overdraft fees which by now amount to over $300 worth. The representative informs me that he can only remove half of the overdraft fees and that's all he can do. WTF? I ask to speak with a manager. The manager claims that there is no guarantee on stop payments, which is stated in the terms of service of BoA.

I ask him why I had not been told this, and for all the advertising of the "stop payment" option why there is no mention that this is guaranteed? He continues to repeat that it isn't guaranteed and that he cannot verify what the representative on 2/10 said or didn't say, ultimately going on to argue that this is not a "bank error". I explained to him what federal law requires of BoA to do and how is it that their terms and conditions somehow contradicts their obligations in this case. He hangs up. I called back and the call center had closed at that point. How convenient.

I researched BoA terms and conditions and FAQ, and I've learned that even if my stop payment is unsuccessful I am supposed to receive notification of such at which point I will be held responsible for the overdraft fees. I've also learned that Bank of America is pretty clear in its service agreement about canceling payments. OK... So it's clear I'm supposed to get my money back right? Or is there something I'm missing?

I am deeply upset and frustrated by this situation and I'm not sure what I should do, because I feel as if whatever they told me today will be recorded on my account so I'm not going to have much luck with anyone else at BoA. As a full time student I cannot afford this, and this in my opinion is greatly unjust. This should not be tolerated.

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