Bank of America Complaint - Predatory Credit Practices by B of A
I called Bank of America wanting to see if I could get my credit card rate reduced. They slipped a rate increase in on me over a year ago, and I didn't see their little notice until it was too late to opt out. I have had my "Premium" Bank of America card since 2002. After they raised my rate, I protested, but they refused to lower it. Since then I have just paid the bill every month in a timely manner, paying over $2400 interest in the last year alone on a $10K balance. When I called to ask them to reduce my rate, I pointed this out, and they referred me to their department for that, and I got someone who identified himself as Travis Ray. Mr Ray said B of A does not lower their rates unless you go through their preferred "3rd Party Credit Counseling" company and do a debt reorganization process. He got heavy-handed with me in the process, saying if I didn't do the credit counseling, my credit would eventually be ruined. Now understand, I have a general history of maintaining my credit on time, and I was being very polite with him. He was just making all kinds of assumptions about what a deadbeat I was and telling me how hopeless it was. He wanted to transfer me directly over to his credit counseling company while he was on the line, and he wouldn't tell me this company's name either, he generalized it to "oh there are several..." Only after I questioned him on the effects to our credit rating did he admit that this credit counseling would damage my credit rating for the next 5 years. He was trying to tell me it really didn't matter, that I didn't need a good credit rating because I'd probably just go do damaging things with it! I took the company's number (800-214-7996) and politely begged off. I wasn't ready to just stop trying with my credit, and I'm not ready to trash my credit, and that is my right. Even then, he continued to make these insulting remarks about how things were just going to get worse for us. But the part that really got me was, 2 minutes later, he called me back, to inform me that he had just slashed the credit limit on a credit card in my HUSBAND'S name, which we had, recently, paid DOWN by $2000. He had reduced it down to very close to the new balance we had paid it down to, apparently in response to my asking for an interest rate reduction. I asked him, "Why did you do this to us? I went to a lot of trouble to pay my husband's card down, to improve our credit score; the balance-to-limit ratio matters in our credit score, we've been told this repeatedly" First he said, "Well, it isn't your card anyway, it's your husband's card", and I answered "I pay the bills and I know what we paid on it and why... it still hurts our credit, l and we have been working so hard to improve it" And in reply, he threatened, "Well you shouldn't complain, I COULD just close your cards on you". I was flabbergasted. He further went on to tell me that the balance-to-limit ratio doesn't matter much anyway, not to people like us. I was just so angry at his tactics because I believe that the purpose of this was to try to force us into a position where we would have fewer options. You know, we could have balance transferred the B of A credit card to another card with a lower interest rate... but with his tactic of lowering our score, our chances of doing that are now greatly reduced. he knew what he was doing to us - it's railroading and its destructive. BEWARE! If you are trying to improve your situation, and you call up and try work with Bank of America, they will probably go on a power trip and do something nasty to you, too. It benefits them to put you in a bad position, make no mistake. America is being squeezed.
Damage to our credit rating. It will make it harder for us to negotiate our rates and payments down, which will make it harder for us to pay down our credit cards. His actions and his heavy-handedness also made me so angry that for the past 24 hours I have been unable to get on with things, and unable to sleep. He was trying to convince me that I was doomed and had no choice, and I feel that his actions were retaliatory for my not going with his credit company. It isn't right to be treated this way by a creditor that you have been paying as agreed. And creditors should not be pimping for credit counseling services who ruin your credit.
More Reviews on Bank of America: