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How Bank of America Made Me Bald

by J. Money on Thursday, October 21, 2010

bank of america blows
(This is a guest post from my brother,T. Penny.)

If I had hair, I’d pull it out. In fistfuls. Until all that’s left is a pink hue and a snow-white scalp freckled with black dots where hair used to be. Mark my words, Sexy readers, a recent experience with the bastardly Bank of America made me want to pull whatever hair I have left out and donate it to the George Costanzas of the world (it’s a tax ride-off!).

I wonder: Have you ever had to deal with a bank so devilish, so insanely unprofessional, it made you want to scream something fierce? Have you every been passed around like a dirty bong at a fraternity party? I have, and it sucks.

My point: Bank of America blows. If you’re a member or an employee of this bank, I offer no leniency. I do, however, seek reparations in the form of apologies and Tootsie Rolls. Before I digress about the pricelessness of customer service and the extreme ineptitude of ignorant people, you should know that I’m a mild-mannered person. Almost Magoo-like. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been irate at customer service representatives, and it’s a very small hand. That said, I bring you a barrel full of lessons learned. Because I heart bullet points, and they’re hella easy to follow, here’s a brief narrative of my recent battle with Bank of America:

  • I find out I can refinance my home mortgage. Per some Obama affordable-housing plan, the condo I bought for $149,900 in 2007 (the one that’s now worth $115,000 at best) makes the grade. Barely. And they say Democrats serve no purpose!
  • I’m assigned a loan manager with thirteen vowels in her last name. Reminds me of that Indian guy from “Office Space.” Naga, naga, not gonna work here anymore! Loan officer tells me closing costs will be roughly $3,500. It negates what I’ve paid off since 2007, but screw it … I’m saving $107 a month and going from 7.25% interest to 5.85% on a 30-year, fixed rate. Short-term pain for long-term gain. (That’s what she said).
  • Haven’t heard from my loan officer in weeks, so I e-mail/call/send a carrier pigeon for an update. Nothing. Maybe she’s getting married?
  • I finally reach her. “Weird,” she says, a month and a half later. “We’re not hearing back from your title company. Want me to use ours?” Unbelievable.
  • Weeks go by. I call/e-mail/hand her a folded note in fifth period asking: Will you refinance me? Circle one: Yes, No, Maybe. No answer. Maybe she’s giving birth?
  • I finally get a response. I’m refinancing on October 7th. I’m told I don’t have to pay October or November’s mortgage payments. Two months? Nice surprise!
  • In late September, I tell Bank of America to suspend my automatic-withdrawal payments, as I don’t have to make the next two. Done.
  • Not done. Bank of America debits $863.33 from my BB&T account and makes the October payment. I call and complain, and they say they’ll refund it with proof. I got yer proof.
  • October 7th: Sign here, dot here, X here, etc. Wait a tick … what’s this? My closing costs are almost $2,000 more than anticipated? Egad!
  • My loan officer, she of many vowels, tells me it’s expected, that these things happen. I ask about the random cost on line 1008. “Oops, that’s on the wrong line,” she says. What should have been a deduction was an addition. Mother trucker.
  • My loan officer answers my many questions, only she’s 83% wrong. I’m forwarded to a new loan officer.
  • The new loan officer seems competent, has few vowels. She fixes everything, tells me the truth and lines up the title. “What about the $863.33 being credited back to my account? Since it’s already been applied to the old loan I’m refinancing, don’t you have to do entirely new paperwork?” I ask. No, she doesn’t.
  • Still no response from Bank of America’s finance department. Where’s my money? “We can’t credit your account, sorry.” But you erroneously took it out! They tell me there’s nothing they can do about the withdrawal. It’s already been applied to the old loan and the papers are drawn up. I’m “out” $863.33, which I was going to put in my emergency fund. Le sigh.
  • I sign the new title reflecting the 1008 line change and say whatevs, let’s get this thing over with.
  • The very same day, in my car ride home, I’m listening to Yanni and dreaming about bath beads. No more worries! But wait … Bank of America calls and tells me they CAN credit the money back to my account. Seriously? After I signed the forms and submitted the title? I quickly call my loan officer and again ask if this means the forms need to be redone. They don’t, she says.
  • They do. After talking to six employees for three hours, getting transferred back and forth between departments and doing the legwork my loan officer is neglecting to do (“I have a lot of customers, you know.”), I finally get some answers. If they credit the $863.33 back to my account, I won’t get it for a week. Thus, I risk refinancing in time and I may not get November’s mortgage payment for ”free.” Oh, and Bank of America is going to put a freeze on all foreclosures and refinances any day now. Gotta bite the bullet and push forward.
  • I didn’t want them making more mistakes, so I finalize the loan and tell them to put this ugly baby to bed. Burn in hell, Bank of America.

The point of this story is not to paint Bank of America as the financial bogeyman (they are), or say that refinancing is terrifically hard (it’s like The Situation’s abs). Rather, it’s to stress the importance of customer serviceespecially when it comes to something as important as refinancing a mortgage. When it comes to home loans and real estate, I’m a young chickadee, cute and fluffy and desperate to suckle from the teet of wisdom. Nurture me, big banks! Walk me through the process. This is a big step in my life, so hold my hand. I shouldn’t be the one helping you figure out how to resolve your mistakes. You want me as a customer? Earn it.

As you can see, this entire experience was volcanic: Several mistakes on my title, an egregious error on the financial side, no accountability, a lack of communication between Bank of America departments, and worst of all … people ignoring me when all I needed were answers to push forward, close the deal, buy a pistachio ice cream cone in celebration. What’s worse, I know there’s going to be countless others who have to endure the exact same thing.

I guess what they say about global business is true: Customer service is the lubrication that makes business run. In my case, I got screwed without lube, and I can still feel the pain. Now I know better. Now I’ve learned a few important things I’ll apply to future financial situations:

  • I’ll never do business with Bank of America again. Period.
  • Always, always stand up for yourself. It’s your money, it’s your life. If you let people walk all over you and your finances, you deserve it.
  • Leverage management. After being bounced around like a ping-pong ball for hours between departments, I contacted management and got real answers.
  • Never underestimate the power of a complaint. Customer retention is key in any business.
  • Never plan for money until you have it; line things up, sure, but never bank on getting money until you have it in your hands.
  • Never assume. Always ask questions if you’re unsure. Your mistakes will cost you, and no one else. Ask, and ask often.

In today’s turbulent economy, people need all the help they can get, financially and otherwise. Even though the proverbial financial waters are rough right now, throwing a lifeline out to folks and addressing their needs is tantamount to getting this economy (and one another) back on its feet. I believe customer service is the foundation on which this economy should be rebuilt, and it all starts with businesses like Bank of America. I hope they get their stuff together, because I’m hearing a lot people express similar complaints.

As for my situation, it sucks that $863.33 made me lose what’s left of my hair, but I consider myself blessed. Refinancing when I’m underwater, saving $30,000 + interest over the life of the loan and knocking my interest rate down significantly for a few grand rolled back into the loan ain’t bad. And hey, at least I have my back hair!

———–
T. Penny is my brother, as well as the genius behind previous guest posts “Debt is Bad. It’s Like Kissing Your Sister” and “Thanks a Latte, Starbucks.”  Show him some love! :)

—————-

UPDATE:

“BTW, I just called Bank of America’s VP of Customer Services office (found the number online) and talked to someone there. About 20 minutes later, he said he’ll send me a $500 check and a $100 giftcard to Amazon for all of my pain and suffering. He says there’s really zero chance I’ll get the $863 back, considering it was applied to my loan and brought my loan down before refinancing. Since I didn’t technically lose that money, I’m ahead $600! Nice. :)”

There you go people – stand your ground and keep going up the customer service chain until you feel like you’re heard :)

(Pic by Neubie. Edited by J$)


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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kevin @ Thousandaire.com October 21, 2010 at 8:52 am

My girlfriend got a student loan from Wells Fargo over the phone. She told them she needed the money immediately and asked if they could direct deposit the money in her Wells Fargo checking account. They said yes on the phone. That guy was wrong, they couldn’t do it. They sent a check snail mail and it didn’t arrive for over a week. During that week she overdrafted on her WF checking account because they money they said would be there didn’t show up. The wouldn’t waive overdraft fees.

I’ll never do business with Wells Fargo.

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2 Tiffany October 21, 2010 at 9:22 am

I second your feelings about BOA. or Bank of A**holes, as I call it. I will NEVER do business with BOA in any capacity again. I had a checking/savings account with them, and there were ALWAYS problems. They constantly opened credit cards for me that I did not authorize, and their policies constantly changed to suit the bank. To top their backwards, ever-changing policies, their customer service is terrible. I find BOA to be the defnition of an evil corporation.

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3 Peter @ PersonaFinanceMastery.com October 21, 2010 at 9:26 am

Wow! I’ve had some pretty nasty experiences with B of A over the years… I remember back in the dark ages (when I used to be buried in debt) I had to do a payment plan with them and they told me that I would get a reduced payment and pay off the card but the card would be closed. A couple months later I get a letter saying I was in default because I hadn’t been making my payment! I called and they said it was an automated letter from another department but that everything was fine and I was in the payment program and that nothing was being posted to my credit report. Repeat this for a year. Then I paid off the card and I happen to check my credit and sure enough my score went from 750 to low 500′s because there was a year’s worth of nonpayment remarks from B of A!! Followed by the final remark: “Paid in Full per plan” It took me years to fix that nightmare! Sorry for the long rant but B of A still makes my blood boil all these years later!

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4 Moia October 21, 2010 at 9:33 am

WARNING: LONG RANT

I’m not too happy with BOA myself. I walked into the bank to make a withdrawal the teller tells me i can add my photo to my card for added security i said sure. I really dont use my card as much as i mainly use this bank for saving. Its a bit out of my way so the money i save there barely gets used. I was on my lunch break so i was pressed for time, i said ok i’ll take the picture afterall who couldnt use extra security. waited about 5 min. took the pic then left. Card arrive in mail no pic on card. so i call customer service tell mary that MY pic was suppose to be on my card. of course she apoligized blah blah blah. said something like the person that put it in the system didnt check a box to add photo. so she’s gonna resend the card and check the box but i said oh no i do not want another card if u cannot guarantee that my pic will be on it. she cant make that guarantee she can just reorder the card and check the box. So at this point im like whatever. weeks later get another card. Ooops they did it again. no pic on my card. so now i will be closing both my accounts and putting it at another bank.

No bueno BOA!

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5 Money Beagle October 21, 2010 at 9:37 am

Refinancing should not be this difficult. I can go into a furniture store, pick out ten grand worth of stuff, and have credit issued within 15 minutes. Yes, I know mortgages are bigger loans and more complicated, but there is no reason for the type of runaround that you’re getting here.

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6 Melissa October 21, 2010 at 9:44 am

The whole post sounds so damned familiar. Just substitute Bank of America with US Bank and drop Obama from the deal. I wanted to do a bread and butter refinance. I’m not underwater, the house hasn’t even lost value, equity is over 30%, debt to income is really low, credit score is high, and I had closed the original mortgage about a year earlier. Bread and butter. It’s gotta be.

8 months of hell, headaches, and skyrocketing closing costs later, I tell them to shove their refinance where the sun doesn’t shine and go to anther bank. Closed in 6 weeks. Closing costs from my GFE to reality were to the penny.

Screw you US Bank. As a former employee, I am embarrassed, ashamed, and willing to share my story at every opportunity.

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7 Kim October 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

Another flame against BoA – they are going to start nickle & diming everyone on checking account fees – $8.75 to talk to a teller!!!!!! I’m so glad I left them a decade ago (fed up with fees – this before free checking became the norm). Article is here – http://www.sgvtribune.com/business/ci_16380133

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8 Rachel211 October 21, 2010 at 9:55 am

My favorite BoA story that is small is when my husband stopped in one of THEIR banks with a check from his grandmother who’s account is with THEIR bank.

“I’d like to cash this check. It’s $11.00.”
“Do you have an account with us sir?”
“No. But I’m just getting cash.”
“Okay, no problem.” (hands him $6)
“What’s this?”
“Well, you don’t have an account here – so there is a $5 check cashing charge.”
“What?! FOR AN $11.00 CHECK? But it’s from YOUR bank! This is YOUR check! What the fee possibly be covering? In case you overdraft yourself?”
“I have no idea what the fee is for, sir.”
“Give me back my check. Your fee is there to screw both me and my grandmother out of $5 for no reason. I’ll go to my own bank.”

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9 Suzanne October 21, 2010 at 9:59 am

Can’t stop laughing…. great post! Your experience is all too familiar as I had a similar refinancing debacle on my townhome last year. It amazes me how many people have suffered through these sorts of nightmares and yet the process of dealing with big banks never seems to improve. Your outlook on the situation is much brighter than mine was when it happened to me, thanks for reminding me to look at the positives.

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10 Karmella October 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

I hate Comcast LESS than I hate Bank of America – and that is really, really an indictment. Actually, Bank of America is the only institution/company that screws with me – rudely – every single chance they get. The only saving grace is that I have a direct line for an actual human in the CEOs office, and that office tends to not make me angry. But BofA in general can kiss my ass.

omg, I am actually clenching my fists right now!!

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11 Evan October 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

What kills me about the story is that no one talks to each other. You know these idiots are little in the next floor from each other or have direct extensions!

I peaced out on Bank of America a while ago when they were charging fees when NO ONE ELSE WAS!

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12 MoneyMan @ FinancialOdyssey October 21, 2010 at 11:45 am

Funny to read about but I’m sure it was terrible to through. That’s exactly why I stay away from these big banks. I go for local banks or credit unions. It’s been my experience that they actually care about their customers.

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13 Sallie's Niece October 21, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I don’t mean to laugh, T. Money but you’re just as funny as your bro.

Anyway, sorry that happened to you. We refnanced with Quicken Loans and they were awesome.

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14 Jake @ NotRichYet October 21, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Don’t give up on your $800 bucks:

a.) Write a letter to the CEO and make him aware that through the incompetence of his org, you have lost $800. Ask him to fix it.

b.) Get this blog post up on as many other sites as you can, until BoA contacts you to do damage control.

c.) Call BoA yet again, demanding your money back. Tell them the withdrawl was not authorized, you did not receive value for it (i.e. they did not give you anything in return) and threaten legal action.

d.) Actually sue BoA – I would totally do this but I have a lawyer in the family :)

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15 jenleopard October 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Had a bad experience with BOA being unable to “close” on the closing day. I had all my i’s dotted and t’s crossed, they dropped the ball. I called the VP of Customer Service, she agreed that they screwed up & sent me a check for $1500 and paid for my husband’s travel & meal expenses.
Complain until you get satisfaction!!

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16 CouponPrincess October 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I tried to get refinanced with BofA**holes and got denied. They made it seem like it was going to be a piece of cake, d@mn liars. I also had joint checking/savings account and because the account was opened on the west coast, the dummies tellers in the south could never find it. In fact I had one teller tell me that my joint checking/savings did not exist! Another one wanted to me close my west coast account and open a new one in Georgia. I ended up closing the accounts. I quit paying my mortgage online because they want to nickle and dime you, so I go into the branch on the way to work to pay it. I have to remind myself not to act a damn fool when I go in there, which is difficult for me, I’m not the type to hold my tongue. BofA**holes can go to hell on a rocket!!!!!

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17 T. Penny October 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Thanks for the kudos/comments everyone! I neglected to mention that I requested BOA to deposit the $650 they owed me (from my application fee and all) into my checking account. They mailed me a check instead. Son of a …

Kevin: My apologies to your girlfriend’s crazy experience with Wells Fargo. They should rename it “Bads Fargo.” See what I did there? I’d lean hard on WF for a ton of Tootsie Rolls.

Tiffany: I agree. I would have written more about their poor customer service, but the actual paperwork problems themselves overshadowed it. I’ve had better customer service experience from those Scientology folks at the local mall, and at least THEY have the decency to lie to my face.

Peter: So glad to hear you’ve knocked out your debt! If you some have free time, I encourage you to knock out Bank of America with a sucker punch to the thorax.

Moia: Wow, that’s so shady. I’d say send them a letter so they can get a better picture of the situation, and then let their answers roll in and see what develops. It’s a shot in the dark, but you never know!

Melissa: Your accent sounds familiar. Burmese? Great stuff, and stinks to hear you had to grow through a similar ordeal, though for many more moons. I’m thinking I should demand the $800+ back … think they’ll write me a check?

Kim: Ridiculous behavior on their part. It cost me $42.53 for a hug and a pat on the bum!

Rachel: Robbing a lovely old woman of her hard-earned money? I woudn’t put it past these bankholes (ha!).

Suzanne: Thanks for the kudos! It’s definitely hard to stay positive after all of this crap, but it helps when I think about the future, how much money I’ll save, ease of future renting, etc. Definitely sucks, though. Last time I was this frustrated, I was trying to break free from an angry mob at a Hanson concert.

Karmella: Can you hook a blog brother up with that number? Kinda feel like I’ve been manhandled. The least they could do is take me out on a date, maybe bring me some chocolate pecans, before screwing me.

Evan: I know, right?! Craziness. I bet you this is what it was like pre-9/11 with the FBI, NSA, CIA, etc. Everyone passing the buck, no one sharing the information.

MoneyMan: Your right on the, er, money. I’m totally going to smaller banks from now one, as they will at least listen to your needs and care for you (hopefully). Big banks blow.

Sallie’s Niece: Thanks a bunch! I’m super proud of him, and we definitley have the same sense of humor when it comes to crazy people and situations. Lucky for him, he still has his hair, while I am without.

Jake: Yes!! I’ll do exactly that. Handwritten or e-mail? I wonder which is better. I’m going to get on them until they pay me back that money. Sure it was applied to my old loan, so it’s not like I lost it, BUT I was planning on using that money for my savings. They owe it to me. I’m going to be on them like scandal on Brett Favre. What does your lawyer recommend I do?

Jen: How long did it take for you to get that money back? I have an extended bullet list of crap they did, and it’s all recorded on their end, so I should be OK. Fingers crossed I get some free food with the refund! :P

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18 StackingCash October 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I’m surprised BOA is still in business, wait they got a nice bailout… I hate to say it but almost all banks are pretty evil in one way or another, kind of like credit card companies too, wait they are the pretty much the same company… Going from that, I/we need to treat all financial institutions for what they are, tools. Double meaning there… Anyhow, I try to do the bare minimum with all of my financial service providers. How do I do this? Having no debt ;) It really puts me in power and make me so happy I’m going to sing the Smurf happy song, la la la la la la!

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19 T. Penny October 21, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Coupon Princess: I’ll provide the rocket fuel. :)

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20 Edward - Entry Level Dilemma October 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Count me in among the BOA haters. I canceled my credit card a couple years ago and have been paying off the balance with automatic payments. I wanted to cancel the automatic payments (in part because I was moving but couldn’t cancel the bank account just yet because of some pending payments) and pay from a different checking account.
Over 2 months, I talked to 12 people in 5 different departments. I was told I didn’t have an account (duh, it was canceled). It came down to the fact that BOA cannot change anything on a closed account.
I was finally able to cancel my bank account after getting overdrafted by $200 (because I couldn’t stop the BOA payments and was 1000 miles away from the nearest branch of my old bank) and $300 in over draft fees. Then I couldn’t pay my bill because I “didn’t have an open account!” 6 months later, I was contacted by a debt collector who went right for the jugular, threatening to sue me, calling me a deadbeat who defrauded BOA and told me that I was going to “need all the help [I] could get.”

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21 Justin Wright October 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm

You can count me in as well amongst the BOA haters. I had an issue with my account being created in the state of Virginia when I did it online even though I was from Arizona. Made it a pain to cash checks since it was considered an “out of state” account….what a mess.

We’re definitely not the only BOA haters, check out the comments on my post for even more horror stories: http://www.lifeofjustin.com/bank-of-americaugh-193/

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22 LynnA October 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm

My dad worked for BofA for 40+ years … but that was in the days when it still was the really BofA. Nowadays it’s actually a Carolina company originally called Nations Bank that “merged” (read: bought the Bank of America name) and then gutted the original California bank and grew to be a national bank by buying various other banks which have no sense of pride in the BofA history & culture. The original BofA started after the SF earthquake in 1908 as the Bank of Italy and a lot of the rebuilding of San Francisco after the quake was done through that fledgling bank. The original BofA grew through the 1900s on it’s high standard of customer service. It’s a damn shame to hear what these Nations Bank characters are doing to Mr. Giannini’s fine institution. Mom & Dad passed on in the mid-90s and I’m glad they weren’t around to see what the BofA name has sunk to.

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23 LB October 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

After being being charged for many ridiculous fees from BOA I ditched them after 3 months and went back to a local bank. My local bank listed all fees and had them listed everywhere including next to the teller station. None of the fees were ever hidden and seemed reasonable. Now I use an online bank and have no fees, yeah me!

Sorry for anyone stuck with BOA, I did get stuck with horrible fees and a bad bank after one of my local banks was sold to a chain. I had a loan with them and I was charged all kinds of fees. The new bank was only open 8-5pm M-F and I couldn’t pay my loan online without a checking account. (Closed it because of all their fees!) So I understand poor customer service and bad fees. I don’t think customer service will change unless we keep complaining and asking for better service.

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24 Briana @ GBR October 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm

T. Money, this post was hilarious. Please note I wasn’t laughing at you but at how sad the customer service was by Bank of America. I, too, am a BofA customer, and have had my run ins with them. Once I get the courage to do so, I’m switching all my things over to Chase, where I have another account. Hopefully everything is smoothed out now and good luck with the new changes!

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25 FrugalRichLife October 21, 2010 at 5:39 pm

LOL…this was a crazy funny post, especially “I got screwed without lube..” I used to have B of A and now I have Chase, which isn’t any better. However, I only use Chase for my checking accts, and nothing more.
Anyways, your “bad” experience made me laugh so hard for the first time today :)

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26 jackie October 21, 2010 at 7:20 pm

I wasn’t happy with BOA either for years. Then I finally hit my limit and CHANGED BANKS. Please vote with your dollars, people. If you don’t like your bank, or whatever company you deal with for that matter (ahem.. AT&T), then CHANGE COMPANIES! It may not put a dent in their profits if one customer moves, but it certainly would be quite the exodus if everyone who actually had problems with the corporation took the time and effort to leave.

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27 jenleopard October 21, 2010 at 7:53 pm

They were very prompt with the check. I can give you the name and phone number of the VP that I called. This happened exactly one year ago.

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28 Sam October 21, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Im not a fan of BOA either bc of poor mortgage service but not private banker service.

However, what does the boa employees last name and ethnicity have anything to do with your situation? It makes you sound like a guy who doesn’t speak a second language and has never lived abroad.

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29 J Walton October 21, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Bank of Shame is what it is. I keep a very small amount in a checking account (from my college days when it was Nations Bank) for small random things. The very few times I go inside to dscuss something, the teller or the banker wants to talk to me about their products I’m not using.

Them: “Ma’am, I see you don’t have a savings account with us.”
Me: “I didn’t come in here for that.”
Them: “But we have a really great Save the Change Program you could use if you had a savings account with us”
Me: “I didn’t come in here for that.”
Them: “blah, blah, blah…Save the Change”
Me: “LOOK – your interest rates are some of the lowest in the nation. I can get 1% at an online bank with none of the hassle – now I came to…”
Them: “What about a credit card? We have very competitive rates.”
Me: (laughing hysterically) “You clearly have a hearing problem because I do not want your sad savings account, your Save the Change program or your credit cards. Where is the Branch Manager because you are not listening to me.” As I walk away.

I do the vast majority of my banking with a credit union and am so happy with the customer service.

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30 MrsADS October 21, 2010 at 11:29 pm

I’m sorry you have such a bad experience but what does her being Indian and have several vowels in her last name have to do with this story? Your branch is in this country, she lives here, she works here. Do you not want immigrants working at your bank? I’m confused.

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31 SMB October 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

Ugh, when I saw this, I just thought ugh. I just last week had a terrible experience with bank of america. I had a CD roll over that I wanted to add money too.. so I call and have them add roughly $4,500, everything’s good and I hang up. I keep checking for a week and they’ve added the money to my CD but not deducted from my savings account. Suddenly it disappears from my CD. So I call back and they say oh they’ll fix it and everything is fine. Next thing, I check again and they’ve deducted $4,500 twice from my savings and only put it in once into my CD. I call and they say I might have to file a complaint to get it sorted out! I’m like HOW DO YOU DEDUCT $4,500 AND NOT PUT IT ANYWHERE???? Eventually they gave it back to me, but after that situation and hearing that they are going to begin charging for checking and literally every service, I’m moving to the credit union at work.

Good riddance, Bank of America.

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32 J. Money October 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

YOU ALL KNOW WHAT IT’S TIME FOR RIGHT??

The “MOVE YOUR MONEY” Movement!! LOVE this video — if you haven’t heard of this before, it’s basically a movement to take all your money out of the Top largest banks and xfer them to a local bank or credit union instead :) The theory being that if enough people did it the banks would be greatly affected (and hopefully wise up!!). I think the Huffington Post came up with the whole thing, although I’m sure they weren’t the first.

http://www.budgetsaresexy.com/2010/01/move-your-money-movement/

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33 T. Penny October 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

JenLeopard: Yes, please e-mail the information to my bro (j @ budgets are sexy dot com) so he can forward it to me. I’d like to call ASAP and tell them about the ordeal. Thanks!

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34 T. Penny October 22, 2010 at 10:37 am

Thanks again for the great feedback, everyone! Per the vowel reference two people mentioned in their comments, no disrespect. I make it a point to choose random musings/details to color my articles, that’s it.

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35 Peter October 22, 2010 at 10:49 am

After finally getting fed up with Bank of America earlier this year, i attempted to close my account. It took me several weeks and many phone calls to finally get my money sent in a check, and to have my account actually closed. Good riddance to BoA!

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36 J. Money October 22, 2010 at 10:53 am

HAH! That reminded me that it took me FOUR times to close my BofA account this year (I only had it so i can cash checks w/out that stupid fee.). It took 3 phone calls and then finally me walking back INTO the bank, again, and waiting for a manager to finalize it. But not before she said I am in default and owe $25. HAH!!!!! because, of course, they didn’t close the account properly the first 2 times. What a joke.

So thanks again brother for reminding me of my own hatred towards them! Guess I can delete my “5 Reasons Bank of America Blows” post still in draft ;)

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37 J. Money October 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

OH!!! I also forgot that I tweeted about this when it was happening, and I got an @ message back saying to DM them and they’d help me out. So I DM’d them and go no response. WTF? Guess they were going for the “look good on the outside on this thing called social media” w/out actually doing the hard work of HELPING. #fail. Damn. Now I’m all fired up again!!!

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38 C October 22, 2010 at 10:56 am

Insider tip to all– when on the phone dealing with these kinds of issues and it’s going poorly, tell them you know someone in either Audit or at the OCC. If you’re not familiar, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (aka OCC) regulates all of the nationally-charted banks (aka all the large ones everyone hates, including BOA). They regularly lay the smackdown on banks not following appropriate laws, regulations, and policies– and they send banks shaking in their boots (much like Audit).

I’m an auditor at a large bank (NOT BoA), and can tell you my friends and family have done this with great success.

The more you know. . .(cue the NBC jingle)

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39 C October 22, 2010 at 11:00 am

Addendum– here is a handy dandy list of all the banking regulations imposed by the Federal Reserve. If you’ve seen the Truth in Lending disclosures, etc– this is where it comes from. There are a ton more regulatory agencies, but these are a lot of the big ones that impact consumers. If you find your bank is completely disregarding these, you have that much more leverage if you can spout it off (not to mention you can report them to the Fed).

http://www.federalreserve.gov/bankinforeg/reglisting.htm

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40 Michelle October 22, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Mother Trucker! Hate boa, but love the Mother Truckers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKVjV7XZrUU

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41 Cesar October 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I think you could of gotten a better rate with another bank. I had my mortgage with BoA and refinanced with Wells Fargo in September. Went from 6.75 to 4.75. BoA was offering 5.25 at the time with 1 point. Wells Fargo offered 4.75 with no points. BoA loan officer said I got a good deal and they can’t do any better. It was all said in done in about 4-5 weeks.

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42 peppy October 23, 2010 at 10:13 am

A huge embracing DITTO to everything you said regarding Bank of America with a resounding ” I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH BANK OF AMERICA (EVER) AGAIN!”

I can’t figure out WHY these institutions have been allowed to get away with the raping of people’s finances only to have their customer service, when questiond on their sleazy tactics, treat you like an ovepaid streetwalker.

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43 jaime October 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm

yep I’ve had issues with BOA, actually they’re my current bank and I don’t blame anyone who has issues with them and I will not defend BOA, my bf suggest that I try a credit union ’cause he is happy with his credit union, the only reason I keep my account at BOA is because they’re everywhere.

But honestly if you’re going to travel, and if you do have a credit union account you can just tell them when you’ll be traveling so you’re purchases will go through when you travel,that’s also what you have to do even if you’re traveling and have a BOA account. So my excuse of “oh they’re everywhere” is pretty much an excuse.

I’ve just been too lazy to get a new account but this post makes me think I should find better banking. I think when it comes to finances we should be treated well by our banks/credit unions.

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44 J. Money October 24, 2010 at 8:45 pm

UPDATE: Heard back from my brother:

“BTW, I just called Bank of America’s VP of Customer Services office (found the number online) and talked to someone there. About 20 minutes later, he said he’ll send me a $500 check and a $100 giftcard to Amazon for all of my pain and suffering. He says there’s really zero chance I’ll get the $863 back, considering it was applied to my loan and brought my loan down before refinancing. Since I didn’t technically lose that money, I’m ahead $600! Nice. :)”

AWESOME!!! 20 minutes for $600!! There you go people – stand your ground and keep going up the customer service chain until you feel like you’re heard :)

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45 Lindsay October 27, 2010 at 12:01 am

Your post was a little sexist and racist. Sounds like you had a terrible time with BOA but that doesn’t mean you should revert to stereotypes of non-Americans and women to make your points. Really? Comments about the woman’s accent and vowel-y name? “Maybe she’s getting married?” “Maybe she’s giving birth?” Uncalled for.

You can make the same argument and leave out the sexism and racism, please.

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46 Julie F October 29, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Excellent post. My favorite line:
“Walk me through the process. This is a big step in my life, so hold my hand. I shouldn’t be the one helping you figure out how to resolve your mistakes. You want me as a customer? Earn it.”
I feel like you must have been a fly on the wall in a recent conversation I had about this. My refinance experience was similarly bad. The thing is: refinancing is complicated. Please don’t lie to me and say you’re going to make it easy. No one can make it easy.Don’t abandon me for long periods. Don’t make me hound the title company for the documents you need. Instead, let me know it’s going to be complicated and offer to walk through it with me, step by step.

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47 DD November 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm

My husband has had several very negative experiences with the automatic bill payment feature. It led to many hundreds of dollars in overdraft charges many of which were not refunded. Can you email me that vp’s phone number and name? Seriously … :/

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48 J. Money November 7, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I’ll try and get it from my brother and email you :) He’s been M.I.A. lately – maybe spending his newly given Amazon money?!! haha…

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49 crazyliblady November 8, 2010 at 3:22 pm

When the hubby and closed on our house in July, we had been dealing with another bank for the application process. We had been told that the same bank might or might not decide to manage the account. Imagine our surprise when on closing day, we found out that bank was BOA. I never would have intentionally gotten any kind of account with them. Why don’t we have a choice in what company services our mortgage accounts? It’s not like you can easily switch bank like switching savings or checking account from one bank to another. This practice is deceptive and seems to eliminate any possibility of choice. Because of BOA’s reputation for screwing up people’s accounts (like considering that your account is late if you make your payment a week ahead of time or taking too much out of checking if you do some kind of electronic payment), we have declined doing any bill pay, automatic withdrawal, or mailing payments in. We go in person to the bank each time and make sure to get a receipt for the payment. I also keep track of the payments and receipts just in case.

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50 J. Money November 8, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Smart woman! I wouldn’t trust BofA with any of my money, so if that happened to me I’d do the same thing. Receipts and names of people every single time! What a mess…

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