Bank of America Complaint - Credit Card Transfer
OHIO -- I haven't seen this complaint yet... so I figure I should warn others.
BANK OF AMERICA CAN GET YOU - EVEN IF YOU DON'T BANK WITH THEM!!!
January 30, 2008 - I receive a letter (dated Jan 18) explaining that my 5/3 credit card is being transferred to Bank of America. I will receive my new cards the week of March 10, and my old account will be closed March 16. Not a pleasant surprise. I call 5/3 about the whole thing, they assure me I can opt out of the transfer if I send a written, signed opt out letter to FIA Card Services (Bank of America) by February 20.
February 8, 2008 - I read a news story about BoA raising rates randomly to excruciating levels. Now I REALLY don't want my credit card transferred to BoA. I immediately write 2 opt out letters - one from me, one from my husband. Both declaring our demand to opt out of the transfer to BoA, both asking for written correspondence acknowledging our opt out decision, both signed, etc. I send both letters, each in their own envelope, using USPS and Delivery Confirmation. It cost me a lot more money, but I felt it was worth it.
Feb 11, 2008 - I receive notice from the USPS website that both letters were delivered to FIA Card Services at 11:50 am.
March 6 or 7, 2008 - Having not heard anything from BoA, I call customer service (I had to ask 5/3 for a phone number as the letter I received did not include a number for BoA). I was told there was no record of such a transfer and that the computers only showed that there was a major credit card transfer happening in May. That I must be mistaken about the time of the switchover and that I obviously won't need to worry about any of it for another two months.
March 12, 2008 - Open my mail... guess what?!? I have two shiny new credit cards from BoA! I have to search to find an actual customer service number on the papers included - but the activation phone number is printed EVERYWHERE. I call customer service... I explain. I'm told I need to talk to someone in Sales. I get switched over to... the automated customer service line!!! I try again... same thing. I try yet again and I get hung up on. One more try and I am assured the representative will stay on the line to be sure I make it the sales department. She didn't stay on the line - and I was switched to.... you guessed it, the automated customer service line. I again call back. I explain everything that has happened. This time it's a little different:
Mary (so and so) tells me she will help me. I go through the whole story again. She puts me on hold. She comes back and tells me that they can't do anything. I make a fuss. She puts me on hold again. She comes back to tell me that she was told that I CANNOT opt out of a credit card transfer (from one bank to another). I ask to speak to a supervisor. She tells me that the information she gave me is from her supervisor. Eventually, her "supervisor" interrupts the call and talks to me. I explain everything yet again. He tells me that I opted out of rate changes - or something like that. I tell him I opted out of the transfer entirely by following the exact directions given to me by 5/3 Bank. He then claims that BoA bought out 5/3 Bank (not true at all). When that version doesn't work, he tells me that BoA bought my account from 5/3 and that's why I can't opt out. I calmly explained to him that the State Attorney General's office would be "all over their asses" by day's end. (well, I was close)
I call 5/3, they confirm that I do have the option to opt out of the transfer (mind you, I have 4 days until my 5/3 account is closed and I HAVE to use BoA). I call my state's Attorney General's office - they, too, confirm that I am fully within my rights to opt out of the transfer to BoA. But, they can't handle my problem. They tell me to call Comptroller of Currencies (OCC - helpwithmybank.gov) and generously supplied me with a phone number. So, I call. OCC also confirms that I have every right to opt out. I'm told to mail a complaint form. But my deadline is in 2 days (barring Sat and Sun since they're not business days)! I'm told to download the forms instead - fill them out - scan them - and e-mail copies of the completed forms. THANK YOU OCC!! It's not every day someone helps you rush your complaints through.
After all of that, I call BoA again. I want to see if anything has progressed - or if they're ready to start fixing the problem. I call - they ask for the credit card account number. All of a sudden, they can find NO RECORD of the account number. They found it every single time I called earlier in the day. Hmm... interesting. They decide to switch me to Sales. Yes, again I was sent to the automated customer service line. This time I talk to someone. She asks for every fine detail about my life that I can remember. She can find no record of this credit card account and tells me to call back on the 16th (the day my account will be finally switched over). No way in HELL will I wait that long. I explain to her that I already spent 2 hours on the phone with various BoA representatives - and that I've filed a complaint with Comptroller of Currencies. Guess what?! She asks me to hold. Several minutes later she comes back to tell me that she's leaving a note for her supervisor to handle this situation immediately. Hmm... interesting. Is the big bad OCC scary to BoA?
So, I sit and wait and hope that I do not have to do business with BoA.
The moral of the story?
RUN FAST AND HARD WHEN BANK OF AMERICA COMES KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR!!!!!
And remember to keep track of every detail of everything. Mail letters with AT LEAST delivery confirmation. Write letters on your computer so dates are verified. Don't let Bank of America do this to you.
And remember this site: helpwithmybank.gov
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