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Bank of America Consumer Reviews - Page 4

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Stay Away From Bank of America... They Should Be in Prison!!!
By -

I have had my account at Bank of America for 28 years. I didn't open the account with them, but rather with another bank that they subsequently took over. Be that as it may, I have had this account for 28 years. I recently wrote a check for $2000 which overdrew my account by $113. My mistake, and I had no problem being charged the $35 that they charged me. However, what I DID have a problem with, was what they did next.

They went back and reversed out the 9 small items such as milk, and bread and small items that I had bought with my debit card PRIOR to writing the $2000 check, posted the $2000 check FIRST, which caused the account to be overdrawn PRIOR to posting the small items. In other words, they re-shuffled ALL the charges I made to enable them to charge $35 for 9 small items. This of course is 9 x $35 = $315 of nonsense charges.

When I called to complain, I was told that they do it this way, because THIS is what their customers requested. They admitted that they re-shuffle the charges from largest to smallest NO MATTER IN WHAT ORDER YOU MAKE THE CHARGES. In other words, if a customer spends $10 while there is a positive balance in that customer's account, and then spends $1000 that causes this account to be overdrawn, THEY GO BACK and first put through the LARGER amount, which causes the account to be overdrawn, and THEN clear the smaller amounts which trigger the fee.

If you write ANY check that causes your account to be overdrawn, ALL the charges made to your account are re-shuffled into an order that allows the bank to maximize the fees that they charge you. I am an Accountant by profession, and this process gives a whole new meaning to the term "fuzzy math".

Once I saw what was going on, I IMMEDIATELY ran to the Bank and deposited $5000. Well, this nightmare was FAR from over. They put a hold on 90% of the check, which written on the deposit slip, it said that the check would clear on 4/22. How you clear a PORTION of a check is beyond me. A check either clears or it doesn't. Be that as it may, I waited until 4/22, and then pulled up my account on the internet. They had NOT cleared the check by 4/22 and had now charged me another $315 of fees. 9 small items like small groceries where I had spent $10 here, and $20 there.

In the interim, the $5000 had already cleared the bank on which it was written on. I called Bank of America, and was told that there was nothing that they could do. If I wanted to take my business elsewhere, that was fine with them. I notice that the list of complaints against them is long and egregious. If there is anyone else that would like to participate in a class action lawsuit, or any lawyers looking for more victims, put me down. These people are criminals, and something MUST be done.

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Somebody Has to Stop Bank of America. but Who?
By -

Is there any benefit in having a good credit score and credit history? When I moved to this country in 2000, I thought there was and I must admit that because of my good credit I was able to accomplish many things. Unfortunately economy changed and it seems that now having worked hard in maintaining a good credit does not pay off any more and I am concerned of the message Bank of America is sending out to young people.

1st problem with Bank of America: As a high percentage of the population I am upside down in my condo, I owe around 149K and it is only worth 60K. Per Bank of America I do not meet the criteria for hardship so I do not qualify for a refinance program and I do not have 30K to come to the table to enter the restructure of debt program. As a matter of fact I really do not want any of those; I want a debt elimination program which of course is not available. I have always been a good client, paying my mortgage on time or earlier, never late whether the mortgage was under Bank of America's name or Countrywide before them.

I tried to negotiate my mortgage with them offering to split the loss in value of my condo between the two of us and informed I was willing to pay 90K for my condo (50% more than market value) if they would reduce their part (39% of the debt).

In my simple mind I was thinking that if I decide to ruin my credit and walk away from the place they will have to sell it at 60K, so I thought offering 90K was a good deal for all of us, but they insist in not having loan elimination programs. How do they call it when they have to eat the gap between the debt the prior owner of the residence had and the re-sale of the property at 60? And I am not including in my calculations the expenses to maintain the place until they find a buyer. Isn't 59K write-off better than 89K?

2nd problem with Bank of America: I had a 27K credit limit in my credit card, accumulated points on it and paid it off every month. Once I used a Balance Transfer deal, which I also paid off on time before the promotional rate expired. I have been a credit card client since 2001. Bank of America sends me a letter offering a 0.99% interest on balance transfer which I resolve to use because I had another credit card debt which 0% was expiring at year end. I've been on the phone with the representatives several times asking for some details and making sure I was doing my homework. They confirmed it was better to leave the balance at zero before doing the transfer.

So, I put my account in zero and when I call to do the transfer, I was informed the account was closed because I have too much credit card debt and they did not want me to have more. I appreciate their concern on my financial business but the balance transfer was going to be used to cancel other credit card debt so my overall credit card debt was not going to increase.

It is difficult for me to understand why the decision was so shortsighted. The focus was only on one aspect of my credit and my impeccable history with them in all my accounts did not count at all. Nobody asked about my intentions on what I was doing with the transfer, nobody cared how good of a client I had been since 2001 or what sources of income I have.

As if this was not bad enough, they said the points I had on the card (which added to 23K, equivalent to 23K dollars spent on it) were forfeited. After several phone calls and customer service representatives they felt kind enough to mail me a check for $172.50 as payoff for the points. Of course it did not matter to them that I had requested to have the option to choose from the catalog instead of receiving a check, but again that was only a customer request, it really doesn't matter to them.

So in just one brush, they took away my ability to manage my own finances, they took away my points and they worsen my credit by reducing my borrowing capability. Bank of America, with their actions made me the kind of client no bank wants to have. Obviously we are not in control of our own credit, others are and unfortunately not the ones who are really interested in helping you out. So now, I ask again, is there any benefit in having a good credit score and credit history?

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Bank wire nightmare and customer abuse
By -

I am currently in USA and I was going to buy collectibles from various countries from one seller (last year in October, that's 3 months ago!) for my collection and a couple items that were made in Myanmar, a buddhist country, which total less than 10% of the total amount I will spend. Those items are all located in Germany at my friend's place, not in Myanmar! So I tried to send a bank wire via BANK OF AMERICA, but they froze my wire telling me I am not supposed to buy something from Myanmar. OVERDONE!

When I signed up to Bank of America's SAFEPASS card to be able to send bank wires from my PC (banking centers do not process wires anymore! and I had a 2 hour torture-wait in a bank branch not once and not twice! just to find out they will not do a wire for me!) they did not tell me that I can not buy anything made in Myanmar. Well, the postcards are located in Germany and not in Myanmar.

So now BANK OF AMERICA froze my wire without sending it, but also they will not cancel it and started questioning me very private questions like who is the seller and who is the buyer and they want to see the shipping documents etc.! Well, duh! The buyer is me! I told them that many times! Also the compliance manager of the bank emailed several times my and my friend's bank account back and forth and other sensitive private data via unsecure email. The manager sent my bank account even after I emailed them and asked to not send such sensitive data via email!

They are treating me like a criminal after all those years that I have been their customer! OVERKILL! It looks like now they made it a big deal and they want to investigate me, probably suspect in terrorist connections!? All because I want to buy collectibles for my collection? That is DISGUSTING! Look how many items made in Myanmar are for sale on the web! eBay is not shutting those items listings down! Why should I be bothered, especially after I told them I have asked my friend to send me some other country's items in place of Myanmarians.

I think this "compliance" department from Bank of America are enjoying annoying their customers! No wonder they made so hard to send bank wires between ordinary people by small amounts! My amount was less than $1000 only! And they made me sweat (get SAFEPASS, while first two times they lied and never sent my safepass card! I was waiting for it for a month until I realized they never sent it - that happened twice!) for over 2 months trying to send that wire and it's not sent yet! Now it is frozen and is under in-ves-ti-ga-tion! Wow, what a big deal!

Someone bought a couple stamps with Myanmar on them! Wow, going after small guys is easiest! How about catching Bin Laden? No... Bin Laden is still free, because it's all a fake game! Customer at Bank of America is always wrong and bad!

P.S. Update: now Bank of America stopped my wire and notified me by email about that, it says "failed". They sent me a receipt for $35, so they seem to still charge $35 fee even if the bank wire was not processed... Sincerely, soon to be ex-BofA customer.

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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
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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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