Approximately a week or so before or on 10/1/08 I entered into BOA (Bank of America) for some type of transactionwhile I was there I decided to speak to a personal banker regarding a secure-line of (CC) credit card. I was greeted by Sonia L. Colon right away I mean it took less than a minute after I left the teller booth.
Sonia then asked me for my personal information and entered this into her computer. She then told me that based on the report that she got back she could offer me a 10.95% credit card with a credit limit of $300.00 that required a $29.00 account fee. This sounded too good to be true. I questioned this right away b/c I had filed bankruptcy 7-years ago this month and she said that what came back was 10.95%. First red flag in retrospect.
I told her that I would have to think about it but I most certainly was interested. When I returned home I told my partner about the offer and was told that this was a good offer; better than what he was being offered. I thought okay why not?
So when I got my next direct deposit (10/15/08) I decided to proceed forward with the transaction, also b/c I had received an alert on my credit report that BOA had checked my credit history on 10/1/08. Would have been nice if she would have told me that she was going to check my credit report first of all? I thought she was doing this all internally since after all it was a secured line of credit /CC; what's the need for a credit report being pulled. Second red flag in retrospect.
Okay now I am mad after waiting nearly over a half an hour in the lobby with others who were lined up at the door waiting to be seen by one working personal banker. I thought be cool relax they'll call youSonia proceed to call my name (I didn't hear her) and another couple stood up to go next ahead of me, however, when I saw this she made them wait making them leave back towards their seats. (Bad mannered customers at this bank location do your banking at Wyomissing PA if you don't mind the drive). Third red flag in retrospect.
Anyway, I gave Sonia my electronic signature in addition to my other deposits (wrapped coins and checks) for my checking account, and thanked her for previously getting me a newer military debit credit card that's attached to my checking account. She said no problem. I asked her when I would get my picture taken for my new debit card and she told me to return. I thought this was odd b/c she told me that when I opened up the account I could have this done right away, so I returned home and then called back to the bank. Fourth red flag in retrospect.
They told me that she most likely sent me home to wait for my new secure CC and then return to take the picture for both cardsI thought well that would make sense; so I hung up. Nevertheless, I thought was didn't just say that? Fifth red flag in retrospect.
The day after on 10/16/08 I noticed that my new secure CC account was built online and later that day had received an alert from Experian notifying of such via text alert from my credit report. So I went online to check out both and this is what was exactly done. Cool I thoughtI was really excited b/c I wanted to and still want to rebuild my credit history using my secure CC instead of my debit card/Visa card.
Sometime between the weeks before 10/1/08 through 10/16/08 I had received a correspondence from Credit Operations Card Services in Phoenix AZ. I opened it up and didn't find a CC in it so I tossed it aside. Big mistake on my part! I'll admit it but to my defense I was looking for my CC not anything else. So this one incident I'll mark as a red flag number six but I'll take half the ownership of this one respectively since I didn't read it.
This morning 10/23/08 I received my secure CC at lunch time at home and was happy about beginning to rebuild my credit again. It's been 7 long years and I've learned from my mistakes about credit so I wanted to use this card responsibly for just immediate bills only such as cell, insurances, etc. Slowly build up the credit line b/c I obviously make more than $300.00 this was I couldn't exceed my spending. Plus I thought it was at a rate of 10.95% anyway, so I am not in any danger of going exceeding my personal income to debt ratio. My goal is to rebuild my credit in the interim, save money and then use my VA loan to buy a home, and plan for the future.
This secure CC vehicle was my starting/jumping off point to accomplish my financial goals. So after eating lunch, I proceeded to read the correspondence regarding my new secure CC account and I am getting extremely disappointed to say the least. Turns out that what Sonia told me (or lack thereof) was not true at all. Red flag number seven.
The agreement for secure CC's APR was NOT 10.95% as advised and informed it IS 15.99% for balance transfers and purchases; 20.99% for cash advances, plus if I were to default two times in one year in not making a payment on time or exceeding my small amount of $300.00 they could make the default pricing 28.99%. I am not even going to get into all the other transaction fees, finance charges, and account fees. OMG! Red flag number eight.
I immediately picked up the phone and called BOA customer service for Bank number location where I opened up the account, and was transferred by Tiffany as she didn't have the direct number. Are you frigging kidding me? They transferred my call to the bank and low and behold who picks up the phone but Sonia.
Explaining that I am completely vexed and disappointed I wanted to know why I was told 10.95% and now I am reading 10.99% plus 5% prime. She knew she opened up my account, she knew she gave me bad information, misinformation, misrepresenting the truth, and this was fraudulent on her partso the best she could say was to call another TF number 866.275.3074 x3 and speak with them.
Wanting to get this cleared up instead of putting my hand through the phone and sticking my fist through her head I let her go to save face in the meantime. But before I let her off the hook I ask her how long would it take for me to get my money back if I closed the account. Sonia told me 30-45 business days. I so wanted to scream at her, to her, at her boss, at BOA, but I kept it cool.
While I am on the phone now with Tiffany Garcia at this new TF number she's giving me the old customer care platitudes and understands how I feel. Does she really? Does she know I tied up $300 on a fixed income? Does she know that my checking account has less than $10 in the account waiting for a secure CC that was promised to me at 10.95%? Does she know that waiting up to 30 -45 days for a check to be sent to my home puts me out of $300 until the very last until December 22, 2008? Does she know what hoops I have to jump through now in order to get this expedited to have this money put back into my checking account from the place that Sonia took it out from and have to deal with a someone else in her bank that has the discretion to not allow this to happen any faster than the stipulated 30-45 days?
I am flipping mad and I need help please. If anyone out there know who I can report this incident to that would be greatly appreciated. How can you do this to a United States Veteran? Is there no shame in this country? Look I made some poor choices in my life that led to my bankruptcy and filing and serving my 7-years was not something I feel proud about. I am trying to do the right thing for myselfif I cannot afford it I don't buy it; that simple.
Paying 10.95% on my own money is not so bad; it's not great but that's the price I will pay for my mistake okay I get it. 15.99% isn't that bad either but that's not the point either. The fact Sonia lied, misinformed, misrepresented, made an untrue statement with intent to deceive and/or created a false or misleading impressing is unethical.
Sonia was told upfront by me the day of inquiry that I had filed bankruptcy 7-years ago this month. This should have sent off some kind of RED FLAG in her mind after all she's in the banking industry right? So I go back to the correspondence that I didn't read on or about between the weeks before 10/1/08 through 10/16/08.
It states Your application has been reviewed and while we were unable to approve your original request*, you are pre-selected to receive a new BankAmericard Rewards Secured credit card. This was what I was applying for in the first place! Are you serious I think to myself. Then I read on to find this (*) asterisk and it reads, *We are unable to approve your application under the terms you originally requested. The principal reasons for our decision are: you have previously filed bankruptcy or have an account included in bankruptcy
OMG! Why didn't Sonia say something right away when I inquired about the card? Did she get a commission for opening up the account? Did she play me? Why didn't she tell me was running a credit report right away, and why it was needed for a secure line of credit for a CC in the first place? Why did I have to wait again for the transaction when it was already in her computer just waiting for a simple signature? Why didn't she manage my expectations with regard to the picture taking of my card, when in fact she told me once I got it I could simply come back and get it done when I was ready? I was already there. Why didn't Sonia call me to tell me that I couldn't get the offer she requested for me based on my bankruptcy? Why didn't I just read that stupid letter back then instead of today at 3:30PM.
Why didn't Sonia own up to the information she gave me was bad, and as a result of this bad information my APR would be higher? Why am I transferred to a bank instead of given a number for that location? Why didn't she tell me what I needed to know when I had her on the phone instead of giving me yet another number to call and explain this crap to another representative? Why am I given boring dull apologies from someone that didn't lie to me? Then told she knows how I feel; does she really?
Why must I know dispute and close this account and jump through hell and high waters to get my money back in 30-45 days when in fact it only took them seconds plus one day to open up an account for me and take my money from my checking account? Why and how is Sonia personal banker if she hasn't the first clue to basic customer service? This could have been prevented right up front but instead it was not. I am pissed!
I feel that BOA's lack of communication on services on many different levels were greatly exaggerated, overstated, under stressed, morally incomprehensible, fraudulent, misrepresented, and most of unwelcomed and unwanted in the end. I don't' want to report this to a bank manager, I want this to go to some type of banking commissioner so money-counting-fingers get slapped and this serve as a learning experience for future personal bankers and customer care representatives in the banking industry. I want an apology. I want my money back in one day like it was taken.
And banks want to know why people are pulling money out of their accounts and going elsewhere. If they haven't noticed there's a big crisis out here financially. They should be treating someone like an investorafter all I don't have to pay 10.95% or 15.99% on my own money. I waited 7-years I think I can wait a few more months to have the public record clear my credit report. Yet on the other hand now I have a ding on my credit report, my credit report number increase 11 points b/c of the transaction, and I may have to close this account.
In other words, I have nothing to show for all of this; not a secure CC, not $300 anytime soon, not even an apology. Does anyone know anything about banking and who I can turn to in order to get some attention to this incident? Thanks for letting me vent and thanks for reading about my little problem. I so feel like a peon against an International Bank. Thank goodness I haven't paid the annual $29.00 account feel or activated the card yet.
Please help; thanks.
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