Friday, February 12

I don't trust Bank of America

How can I continue to leave my money in the care of Bank of America (BOA) when I don't trust them? Answer: I can't! As soon as I can, I'm bailing out of this horrible bank.

I used to do my banking with Fleet and then they were absorbed by BOA. At first, we just had to put up with the inconveniences of marginal customer service. The wait time is ridiculous, both inside the bank and outside, through the drive through. The fees are punitive. Still, we'd developed a good rapport with a couple of the tellers and one of the customer service reps so we stuck it out.

Then ... our mortgage was sold to BOA. That began the irreversible slide to my total mistrust of BOA today. We applied for a mortgage restructure in November--we qualified for one of the many programs available to struggling home owners. After a nightmarish 90 minute long ordeal of trying to get through to someone who (a) spoke good English and (b) knew what they were talking about, we finally spoke to a person who said we'd fit into President Obama's newest initiative. Great!

We received all the necessary paperwork, filled it out and sent it by overnight. Luckily. I kept all the receipts. And then we waited. And waited. Finally, we got a letter that said our file had been closed because we hadn't returned any paperwork. I called and spent 2 hours on the phone. The first hour was spent getting through the "outsourced" personnel who are the ones who answer the calls first. I have no idea which country they're from and I suppose BOA doesn't care that the first contact their customers have are with people that cannot speak English well.

The second hour was spent trying to get a straight story from someone. In that hour I was told:

don't worry, the letter says we're still processing your paperwork (I had the letter; that's NOT what it said--it said the file was CLOSED)

you didn't provide your financial information (I did and had copies of what I'd provided)

you didn't return the packet to us in time (I did and had a copy of the overnight receipt from the post office)

Finally I got a supervisor that said the truth was, we'd been declined because we didn't meet the requirements of that program. We were still current with our mortgage, not 90 days behind. Further, they knew we didn't meet the criteria when we applied.

I talked with the person in charge of the HUD programs. There is another program we should have been plugged in to -- one for at-risk-of-defaulting homeowners. He said he could use the information we'd submitted and go for that program, no problem.

What could I do? I felt I had to trust him.

The other day, there was a message on my machine from BOA. The return number provided was the one from hell, the one where the representative speaks broken English. So I called and explained I need to speak to Mr. Smith (not his name). The representative, of course, couldn't just put my call in. He looks at my account and tells me there's nothing to indicate that we have a pending application for a restructure.

I felt like I was going to have a nervous breakdown right there and then. I hung up. I went online and sent an email to my bank asking for help. I contacted BOA Home Lending to tell them from now on, we'd communicate in writing only.

I have no trust in them.

Now, to make matters worse, I no longer trust the branch where we do our checking. We'd had several small savings accounts--one of them linked with our checking. We were dealing with heavy fees because we didn't maintain $300 in each account so it seemed better to close them. The one that was linked though ... I remember clearly that TB asked the customer rep if it was linked to our checking account, provided overdraft protection and was free from the monthly maintenance fee? The woman said yes and so TB said, okay, good, that's the one we want to keep.

The other day, the company we deal with for vitamins and supplements made a mistake and put a hold on our account for $200. They thought they were supposed to ship a supply of stuff but they weren't. While the money was on hold, other things "bounced". TB said it wasn't a problem because, for a $10 fee, the bank would just automatically move the money over from savings until the mistake was cleared up ... but they didn't.

I tried to deal with them first and was just put off. I'd already had such a bad experience the other day with Home Lending that I said I wanted out of BOA, wanted PNC and nothing more to do with BOA. So TB called them back yesterday and from what I heard, things didn't go well at all.

Apparently, they told TB that he'd *insisted* on removing the link between the checking and savings accounts and that's why there was no transfer, no overdraft protection. They also refused to credit back the overdraft charges, even after the vitamin company removed the hold. When they did that, there WAS plenty of money in the account for the other things so ... WTF? The person talking to TB suggested he try to recover the overdraft fees from the vitamin company. At that point, TB hung up and shut down.

This, after he'd done business with that damn bank for well over 10 years. This, from people we thought we knew and trusted.

It's no wonder that BOA came in as #7 on the list of America's least trusted banks. Not that they care...


Nessa said...

What a horror. And there seems like there's nothing you can do.

Flash 55 - Priorities

Gattina said...

That's a shame ! Never trust anybody, they are only employees and when one nice is gone he is replaced by a less one. I only do discuss by writing when I want to change something, then they can't say I haven't told them. That bank behaves as if they were your customers and not the other way around !

Grace In Small Things

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