Tuesday, July 28

Open letter to BOA & the end of my banking drama

I looked at my BOA account this morning and found that my paycheck had been returned in full.

They even kept the original deposit date on the check, so to the casual observer, nothing untoward happened.

I'm very happy to have 3 weeks worth of money back in my account, and I know that I'm lucky that I only had to wait 5 day for everything to get fixed.

I am still going to write a formal letter of complaint and close all of my accounts by this weekend. I have already transfered my IRA to Vanguard and will be finding a new bank for my regular checking and savings account.

I do not trust them with my money, and am also investigating if there is a higher authority (not that high..like the better business borough perhaps!) that I can contact with my grievances.

Overall I feel that:

1. Bank of America had no right to debit money from my account once it had already cleared

2. If they did feel it necessary to place an extended hold due to concern about the validity of the check, I should have been informed immediately. When someone used my card for fraudulent purposes last summer, I received an email alert with customer service contact information. Something similar should have occurred in this situation.

3. When I called customer service after I noticed the initial debit, I was told that it could be cleared up in a branch. When I went into the 1st branch, I was told this was not true. It was only after I became upset that the manager bothered to call their internal service. I'm convinced that it was this phone call that eventually paved the way for an earlier release of my money...but I should not have had to beg for help.

4. Bank of America took advantage of my account and put me in a potentially perilous financial situation. Even though I know that I'm very lucky in that I can always turn to B, my family and friends if I need emergency money, the bank manager who 'helped' me did not know any of this information. Her casual disregard of my financial situation and possible ramifications made me very angry.

In some ways I feel like BOA used my money as an unauthorized loan. I no longer had the money, and they could do whatever they wanted with the funds. I feel like they should pay me interest for 'borrowing' my paycheck for 5 days and then returning it without any explanation.

I also find it potentially unethical that they changed my account data to reflect the original deposit date. The check may have cleared last Thursday evening, but since it wasn't returned for a full business week, I think that the statement should reflect this data. For all I know they can't even trace the extended hold and debit now that it's been wiped from my account. Were I to follow up with my complaint, I have only my word and the branch visits to validate my story.

Again, I know I'm lucky. This was resolved (relatively) quickly, but I have no intention of staying with a bank that has so little regard for its customers. I will also be including the name and ID number of the bank manager who was so callous and displayed totally unacceptable levels of customer service in my complaint. I'm going to recommend that they withhold HER paycheck and then refuse to help her navigate their own system (just kidding..maybe).


Rena said...

damn straight, sas. take your business to chase!

beth shuman said...

I am so glad that it is resolved. Mom