Monday, July 27

Plan for the week: Pay of BOA credit card and promptly close ALL OF MY ACCOUNTS

I really dislike 2 things:

Worrying about money
Being taken advantage of/lied to

Thanks to last Friday’s debacle, Bank of America (BOA) has managed to totally lose my trust and make me feel very unhappy about money. I just schedule a final payment on my credit card (another story there!), and the second that clears I am immediately closing all of my accounts.

I think I’m going to join B’s bank. It will be more convenient, and hopefully they will not engage in seriously shady business practices like BOA.

If you think I’m ranting now, you should have heard me on Friday!

Reason for ranting:

I received a paycheck last Friday from my employer (large gov’t department).
It was for slightly more than usual ($200 extra) because of a payroll snafu from the following week.

I deposited my check at the BOA ATM on Thursday and went on my merry way.
The check cleared that evening as planned.

When I went into my online banking account on Friday morning to make my usual post-paycheck transfer into a savings account I saw that the ENTIRE paycheck amount had been debited from my account.

Not just labeled ‘pending’—but pending and debited.
I had no access to the funds, and NO explanation for why they removed money from my account after a check had cleared.

I was confused but not panicked.
I called the customer service line and spoke to an employee.

I began to worry when he said he wasn’t sure why the money had been removed.
He said I should go into a branch. They could fix it in person.
He also told me to bring documents proving the check wasn’t fraudulent, because it was possible it had been ‘flagged’ due to the larger than usual amount.

I went to a branch with my proof (thank you large gov’t HR person for being so helpful!)
I waited for a manager.
I explained my confusion and frustration.
Not only had my money been removed after it had already cleared, but I had received NO warning.
No email alert.
Or phone call.
I asked her “what would have happened if I hadn’t signed into my online banking account?”

She told me I would have received notice of the debited funds within 7-10 days!
I was even more concerned.
So I asked “What would have happened if I had written multiples checks? Or paid bills?”
She shrugged.

I wrote down her employee number so I could report her.
She seemed totally unconcerned.
She also told me that the customer service representative was wrong.
She couldn't’t fix it.

It had been referred to their liability company, and I just had to wait until at least the 31st for them to prove it wasn’t fraudulent.
She couldn’t be sure either why it was flagged.

When I asked if there was anything at all she could do, she said no.
I asked to speak to her supervisor.
She told me he was at lunch.
At 4:30 in the afternoon.

I took the subway 15 minutes away from my apartment and went into another BOA.
I met with another manger.
He at least was sympathetic.
He explained that my large gov’t department had either been the victim of fraudulent checks recently, or had provided employee checks they could not cover.
All paper checks from my department were being flagged.
He could not fix it, because he would lose his job if he overrode the debit from my account and it turned out to be actually fraudulent.
I asked if there was some way for me to speak to someone else. I didn’t want him to lose his job, but I wanted my paycheck!
His manager told me the same thing.
The bank could flag and debit funds, but they couldn’t fix things more matter the situation! Even with proof!

After 2+ hours of feeling taken advantage of and frustrated I gave up.
I’m still waiting for them to put my entire paycheck back into my account.
As soon as that happens (and the credit card payment mentioned above) I’m done with BOA.
SO unfair and unethical.

The check had it was my money!
Even if there was a question of validity, I should have been notified!
AND even if they had notified me before removing the money, there should be a way to resolve disputes in a timely manner.


Katie Kotowski said...

I've had my share of problems with Bank of america so while this is horrible I'm not surprised... big banks are SO HARD to deal with. I hope you get it all worked out soon so you can switch. If you can, you should check out a credit union... everything they do is in the best interest of their members :)