I have had nothing but trouble with Bank of America and it's lack of customer service. I trusted this financial institution to handle my monetary affairs and to look out for my well-being.
When seeing a commercial on TV, the banks express their interest in benefiting their customers and desire to work for you. Well, my experiene with BofA has been downright humbling. I have even asked them why they are not acting on my behalf and why they are constantly looking for ways to obtain overdraft and NSF charges from me.
Over and over again, I have had trouble with this institution. Back in October, I did a check-by-phone (not a debit) for a trial membership with a company. They sent me all of the information in a packet. I thouroughly read through the packet to be sure that I did not have to do anything to cancel my account if I decided that it was something that I did not want to do.
In November, that company debited, without my permission, the monthly fee for remaining a member. I am not a wealthy person, so that $17 that I was unaware of sent me into a cascading overdraft and NSF hellish nightmare. I called the bank and explained that the $17 was NOT AN AUTHORIZED CHARGE. I never signed any agreements, nor did I give implied verbal consent for the charges to be automatic. Nor did I ever insinuate or agree to continue my membership past the 1-month trial period.
The Bank said that they would do an investigation into this charge and would send me an affidavit to file with them. They did this, but after my account was charged $175 in fees and all of my $3, $7, $5, etc. checks were returned to the merchants as NSF. After being sent to the collection agency for a $7 check that should not have bounced in the first place, and being sent to Telecheck for a $5 check that should not have bounced, I called the bank and asked them what exactly my options were.
They pretty much told me that since the errors were not bank errors, even though they were not my errors either, there was no way that they could help me to get reimbursed for all of these charges. Of course there was the bank charges and collection bureau charges by this point. And I still had not been credited with the $17 or Overdraft/NSF charges in my account.
Later, I called the bank, again, to request that they send a letter to me to forward to the merchants or for them to send the merchants a letter directly explaining that these checks should not have bounced. I did not set out to write bad checks and I cannot afford all of these charges. They simply refused and said that they do not have a letter of the such available to send to merchants on behalf of their customers. Pretty much--I was screwed.
I had to pay all of the charges with no support, backing, or advice from the bank.
Next, at the end November, I filed bankruptcy and had a few checks already sent out to some of the merchants that I was filing against. I called the bank and told them that I was filing bankruptcy and the check numbers that should not be allowed to go through. One of the merchants waited until my payday, which they knew because of my credit agreement with them, and cashed the check that I had given them which had been postdated. The bank not only cashed it for them, when I called them to find out what was going on, they treated me like crap and told me that they were not willing, nor was there anything that they could do to help me because of all of the overdraft/NSF charges that I had recently on my account and They said that the check had already been paid to the merchant even though it was only presented the day before.
If you can remember in my previous paragraphs, these charges were not my fault. Then, I also noticed that they allowed the same merchant that I had an investigation into just the previous month to debit my account again for the $17.
I called them again to find out what the deal was. They said that I would need to file another complaint for fraud and they would investigate it. I asked the woman on the phone if I could close this account and reopen a new one so this problems would stop. She said that because I had so many NSF/overdraft charges in the previous months, she was not able to do that for me.
Finally, in December, they found in my favor and then reversed the $17 from November and the $175 in charges. Some of the charges that I didn't mention above were not reversed. And of course I did not mention the charges associated with the $400 check that they cashed, which they had assured me they would not.
Bank of America paid themselves about $500 out of my direct deposit child support checks for all of the charges that were a result of all of these problems.
After they reversed all of the charges that were a direct result of the $17 charges (they finally found in my favor for the second $17 charge also), I called them to cancel this account and reopen another one so this kind of BS would not happen anymore. They, again, told me no because of all the NSF/overdraft charges that had been incurred previously. I asked them if they were not able to see the charges were reversed because they were not my fault--and the person on the phone said that it did not matter.
Today--yes, I am stupid to still have an account with them, but I work full time and I am a full time student. They are only open from 10:30 to 5:00, which makes it impossible for me to get down there in person to withdraw my money and close my account, I looked on the online banking website. I overdrew my account by 18 cents (my register said that I still had 23 cents). They charged me an overdraft fee of $25, which sent me into overdraft again at the tune of another $25. I called them to find out if this is for real. They said it doesn't matter if your account only goes over by 1 cent. An overdraft is an overdraft so I owed them the fees!!
Needless to say, I am taking time off from work on Monday and closing out my account. This bank is in the business to make money at the expense of the consumer and do not care who they hurt in the process.
Thanks for letting me vent. I am not a happy camper today.
Walla Walla, Washington
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