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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NEW YORK -- I am writing to warn everyone to steer clear from Bank of America. I have dealt with many banks and this one appears to be taking full advantage of the economic crisis. A year ago, I applied for a loan. The representative from Bank of America talked me into getting a line of credit instead of a conventional loan on the premise that as I pay down my balance, my line of credit would become available for use when I needed it. I agreed and applied for the line of credit. Upon receiving the line, I notice the loan amount was greater than we agreed upon on the telephone. Also the pay back terms were for 90 months.
When I called to change the terms, they claimed I could not change the terms until I made good faith payments for 6 months. They claim the extra funds included fees. I called back 6 months later, they told me I would have to make good faith payments for a year. So here I am paying back a line of credit for the amount of $39,500.00 at 15% interest. I was very upset because I am paying over $400.00 in finance charges.
To make matter worse, I am on a school teachers salary. As the economy began to tank and the cost of living went up, as gas prices increased, I like many Americans began to struggle. However, I was never late on my payments and in fact, I was paying more than the minimum payment monthly ($718.00). I still noticed that the balance was not budging because my payments were not being applied to the principle.
Here is when the story goes wrong. After paying for over a year, I wanted to access available funds to free up some cash. I called Bank of America asking that they deposit some available funds into my account. The unprofessional representative informed me that I would not be able to access my available funds unless I had a cosigner. I was calling from a Bank of America branch so I explained I would have to call when I got home. I was confused and upset and did not want to make a scene at the bank. I was confused, I had been paying as agreed and now I needed the funds.
As I previously noted, I was sold on the premise that this loan would come in handy when I was short on cash. I also had blank checks that I had just received in the mail from Bank of America. The checks were good until December 31st and they clearly stated access checks for your line of credit account. After calling back, another representative told me that it was explained in the previous conversation that the credit line had been dropped from $39.5000.00 to $34,500.00 due to my outstanding debt.
I told the representative no, that is inaccurate, that I was never informed of that. I explained how I had access checks and perhaps if I never would have called (obviously trying to do the right thing), I would have had my funds deposited with no questions asked. This representative insisted that I was informed on Dec 17th of the decrease in my credit and there was nothing left to discuss. I preceded to plead the facts and asked to speak to a supervisor and the representative hung up on me.
I called back and asked for a supervisor. This supervisor was just as unprofessional as the representative and even refused to give me his name and the person's name whom I conversed with on December 17th. They insisted they had hefty notes on my account from that December 17 conversation, so I asked them to give me the reps name.
They refused so I hung up and called back and requested another Supervisor. This time I explained that I would be contacting my councilman to inform him of what appeared to be fraudulent business practice. I also stated I would be contacting their corporate branch and shareholders and required a corporate address. This supervisor did provide his name but explained he did not know the corporate address.
He also conceded that the line of credit was not dropped prior to my call (as the second representative indicated) but in fact, after my initial phone call on December 17th. He informed me that my phone call prompted them to run a credit check on me and based on that report they reduced my available credit. I asked how could they do that without informing me in writing and how could they do that if I have been paying as agreed.
I have never defaulted or paid late. Yes, it is true my debt has increased this year (many Americans are feeling the pinch). It was my contention that if I am paying as agreed that they should honor their obligation. I further stated that I belong to a Credit monitoring service and my credit score is 716.
So although my debt had increased, ALL of my accounts have been paid as agreed - no late payments, no defaults, no judgments and definitely no bankruptcy. Although this supervisor was respectful and explained things more clearly, he was not helpful in overturning the decrease in my line. In fact, his position was that there was nothing I could do about it. That the Bank can do as they feel.
I believe this bank is part of the problem with the economy today. They practice predatory lending by charging ridiculous fees, ridiculous interest, and longer payback durations and loaning additional money so they can earn a commission and then do not follow through with their end of the obligation. After speaking to the supervisor, I asked since they changed the terms without notification and since now I have no access to funds and since they reduced my line, could I change the payback terms to a shorter duration so the interest would be less and I could pay it off faster.
You don't need me to tell you the answer. They claimed, if I wanted to change my payback terms on the lower line of $34.5 I would have to restart my loan as if it were day one ( accruing more fees). They even stated “well, why don't you pay it in full” and then quoted me a payoff amount. Bank of America is changing the rules in the middle of the game. They want the banking customer to follow through with their contractual obligation but they are changing the terms as they see fit.
I will be following up with my Congressman, with Consumer Affairs and if need be the Senate, since they are the ones bailing out the banks and giving them the power to do as they will to hardworking Americans. In my opinion, bailout funds should be revoked from this bank and this bank should be audited!.
I am a New York City School Teacher and I will be sure to warn members of the UFT, members of the Dept of Education, colleagues and anyone else who will listen… PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, BEWARE OF BANK OF AMERICA. They are ripping off hardworking Americans to line their greedy pockets. If anyone knows of anyone else I can contact or perhaps a class action suit against this bank, please let me know. This is a fight I will not back down from. I will write President Obama if I have to. Our hard earned money and credit ratings should not be at the mercy of any bank establishment.
FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- I am registering this as a very strong complaint about Bank of America and it's policies in regard to accepting checks for deposit. I made a deposit on 1/9/09 in the amount of $5,270.93. Part of this deposit was a check from a company called Lynx Air International, Inc. The amount of their check was $1707.76. The amount was credited to my account at midnight of that night and showed on my account as available on Monday the 12th when I came in to work and checked the bank account. I proceeded to write checks and make payments based on the fact that Bank of America said that these funds were available and at my disposal.
On Wednesday 1/14/09 I checked my bank account online again as usual and saw that the amount of $1707.76 was going to be deducted from my account at midnight. I immediately assumed that the customer's check had been returned as NSF and called him and told him that his check was bad. He contacted his bank who said that Wachovia had already paid the check and the funds had been deducted from the customer's account and sent him a copy of the cancelled check. I assumed that there had been a mistake and contacted customer service on the phone.
They told me that "Risk Management" had decided to put a hold on the check that was deposited until 1/19/09. I asked why as the amount, according to Wachovia had already been paid to Bank of America. The representative I was speaking to said "because we are allowed to." I asked why and he said "because we are allowed to." I replied that "that was no answer" and asked to speak to a representative.
He put me on hold for 30 minutes and still no one answered the phone. I went to my branch bank and basically got the same response from the bank representative. I went to another branch and got the same response except that this representative said that the bank had not finished collecting the money from Wachovia even though Wachovia showed that they had already paid Bank of America.
In this day and age all transactions and transfer of funds is done electronically and instantaneously. Now if you told me that the rider and his horse had to stop for food or that the horse that was carrying the satchel of money from one bank to the other had broken his leg then that would have been a different story. In other words, I find your reasons totally absurd and ridiculous and slanted to help Bank of America only.
First in allowing you to use the money for free for seven more days and second to possibly allow my account to go into overdraft based on checks that I had written on an amount that Bank of America told me was in my account and available. I guess you people Love to collect overdraft fees. At $35.00 per overdraft that can add up to quite a good little bonus to someone there at the bank.
Probably the top executives as I am sure the regular tellers never see any of the windfall that you collect in overdraft fees. I am sure you feel very gleeful about this situation and find it very funny. Well I can tell you from experience that the small business owner does not find it funny at all and all you are doing is hurting the little guy to help the Bigger guys. And by that I mean Management at Bank of America.
The final result is that I am being held hostage to the arbitrary whims of Bank of America about a deposit I made on 1/9/09. The bank said the amount was good and credited my account and let me use that money for three days and then took it away from my account. This is very poor conduct on the part of Bank of America. If the funds were going to be put on hold then I should have been told that at the time of the deposit.
Not three days after I had already been writing checks based on these fund being shown as available in my account. I wonder if a class action lawsuit may be in order. I will check with an attorney and see if I can cause a little pain to you, the big guys, like you do to us, the little guys.
I have been a long time member of Bank of America. I opened my account with them in 1997 and until the past 12 months had been happy. Last year I opened an account for my underage child so that he could begin to learn how bank accounts work before adulthood. He was working and earning about $70.00 per week. I showed him how to balance his account manually as well as via telephone and the intranet. On at least 6 occasions BofA held transactions he made using his VISA/debit card for more than 8 days and compressed all charges into one day which caused significant overdraft charges.
Initially I thought it was his mistake and I told him to address it with the bank so he could learn from his error. I listened to him pleading with the bank that was charging him over $100.00 in fees ($35.00 per item - bear in mind the items were for $3.00 burritos, etc.) that he only earned $70.00 per week and couldn't afford the fees. The heartless bank did nothing to help. As this problem occurred on MANY occasions I took a look at it myself and had to agree that the charges were being compressed which seemed deliberate. I called the bank myself asking for a reversal and was denied. They actually lectured me on how checking accounts work.
Bear in mind I had been with them for over 11 years and deposit an average of $10K per month with the institution and they were unwilling to reverse anything. Yesterday I made two transfers from my savings to my checking to pay bills. The first went through while the second never showed up. I waited until today and noticed that the funds never showed up so I called the bank and they told me I had actually transferred the funds to my credit account and not the checking so I'd have to speak with the credit department.
When I spoke with the credit department they told me they can't help until the payment is actually posted to the account and to call back tomorrow. Still needing to pay the bills I thought I would just transfer the money again and get the other monies credited back tomorrow per their instruction. Here's the interesting thing, there is no link between my savings account and my credit account on my mobile banking. If that is the case then how could the error occur? At this point I was pretty angry so I went to the branch personally. I waited in the long teller line only to be told that someone in new accounts should assist me.
I waited again for over 15 minutes and finally gave up and walked out. I've NEVER been so mistreated by a company before. Bank of America has declined to the point of embarrassment and has NO CUSTOMER SERVICE CONCERNS WHATSOEVER. Now I realize that tomorrow I must begin this battle again to get the monies transferred back to my checking.
Honestly I think they did it intentionally to charge me the overdraft fees. Let's face it they know exactly when (time of the month) you typically pay bills, etc. and it's the holidays. Most likely they were just trying to take a few more dollars out of my family's pocket. SHAME ON BANK OF AMERICA.
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- Bank of America recently increased my APR to 28.99 % - After I called them they say it's because they received my payment late. I don't remember paying the bill late and asked how is it that they got it late. They said it's because they need to get the payment by 3:30 eastern time, however I was late by couple hours. It came to me as a huge surprise because as I pay my bills online, the confirmation page shows when the payment will be processed, and when I was paying it showed up on my screen that it will be processed by the 28th which was the due date. I read another person's review here and basically same thing happened to him. Very strange.
Read this: The above complaint is nothing compared to what happened to me few years back when I had a checking account with that Bank. One day my purchase was being declined--I checked my online Banking and everything was fine. I called the Bank to see why they are declining my transactions and they told me that they have flagged my account for suspicious activities. They asked me if I purchased a plane ticket to Thailand. I said "no!" It was not my transaction and I asked them not to process it. They said that they have to process it since the charge was submitted, even though it didn't post to my account yet (hmmmm)...
Anyway... They said if I dispute that transaction they will reimburse me for that. 3 days later they charged me $980 for the ticket and reimbursed me the next day. They also sent me the paperwork to fill out. I basically had to state and sign the transaction was fraudulent. I did that and then after next 3 weeks I received the letter from them saying that they have investigated that charge and found no error, so they will charge me again the $980. I immediately called them to ask how did they found no error, and I learned that it's because it was secured transaction done through Verified by Visa. I didn't understand what it meant but they weren't able to explain it to me.
I kept calling them until one of their representative was educated enough and told me that secured by visa is a security. I set up a password on my account and if I make online purchases, "Verified by Visa" verifies that password. It was very strange because I didn't remember setting up any passwords. I started researching this online and called the Verified by Visa people to see when the password was set up and guess what--it never was. They told me they didn't have an account opened for me. I asked them to fax me a paper confirming that so I can take it to the Bank of America. The lady on the phone said she will have to transfer me to her manager for that.
When I was on the phone with that manager I explained my situation to her and thank goodness for her. She set up a 3-way conference call with me and the fraud department of Bank of America and told them that they better refund me the money. So after all I was not charged for that plane ticket I never bought, but still I think this is absolutely outrageous how the fraud department handled my case. They made up a bogus reason to deny my claim. They are very dishonest Bank and if you are still banking with them, I recommend you take your business elsewhere!
Months ago, I called BOA for advice in dealing with a shady mechanic. After discussing it, their representative said I should just pay with a check, pick up the boat and then stop payment on the check. She never mentioned laws or complications, just spoke to it being as easy as a charge back with CCs. Seemed simple enough so my wife and I chose to move down that path. We paid, got our boat out of hostage, and then stopped payment.
I was shocked a month later to learn an arrest warrant had been issued for stopping payment on the check. Due to the amount the charge was a FELONY as well, which meant I was going to have to turn myself in. Having never broken a law I hired an attorney and he helped me turn myself in, BUT due to it being a felony, I had to spend a night in prison - a night that consisted of 10 other guys in a 7x7 with an overflowing toilet and sewage kicking up from the pipes outside the cell door.
So roughly $10,000 later in legal fees and expenses I get the criminal matter taken care of and stop by the local BOA to start a conversation. I talk with a BOA manager **. He is mortified as I tell him the story and he quickly agrees that the representative should have never given me the legal advice. Just learning I spent a night in jail, I would think he is wanting to get more info and such to follow up. NOPE. Shakes my hand and says "wow I will talk to someone about this" and shows me the door... no name or account info exchanged.
I call the customer service center and after telling the story several times, finally get to speak to a Kevin who assures me that BOA wants to keep me as a customer and they will make this right. After a week or so, he escalates this to the CEO's office due to the severity. Ken Lewis' gatekeeper calls to inform me that there will be no actions on their part, no apology (mind you even Kelli and Kevin have apologized at this point), no financial restitution for the expenses out of my pocket, nothing for my time or troubles.
Here is the kicker... they have taken the time to interview the young lady that actually stopped the payment, BUT they conveniently cannot locate who I had the conversation with about my options - YUP the young lady who told me to take this action that landed me in prison is nowhere to be found. They claim since that conversation was just talk and no actions that there would not be any record of who took that call. My wife has worked call centers for 15 years and there is a way to track every inbound call and where it ends up based on the account number entered, but BOA amazingly has no way to confirm the story.
To top it off, Norma had this to say - consider this a paraphrase as I did not record the call - "I could not imagine our representative giving legal advice as we do not train them to do so. I am not sure of the conversation but it's unlikely they would have done so." I follow up asking "are you saying your representative have never said things they were not supposed to?" She of course suggests that in any call center environment a representative sometimes says the wrong thing, but she could not see it happening here and that they don't have a way of knowing who it is so there is no way to find out.
So it's a shame that it takes media embarrassment, complaints to the Fed Reserve, the BBB and a lawsuit in order to get a bank to do the right thing. Shame on Bank of America... no wonder the gov't is having to bail you guys out!