I Beat Bank of America

Seal of the United States Office of the Comptr...

Seal of the United States Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, part of the Department of the Treasury. The design is the same as the Treasury seal with a Comptroller of the Currency inscription. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wrote this for another blog I used to have but it shutdown. I was able to save my most important pieces. I came across a person having issues with Bank of America and I thought, why not repost in the hopes this could be the ammo they need. I hope it does help and I want to share it with everyone just in case…..

I beat Bank of America! Yes! It’s true! You can too. I didn’t want to blog about it until I had a viable

resolution and solution to pass on. Let me explain. It all started when I moved to from Texas to Nevada. I

needed to be able to put my Dad on the account in case of emergencies and needed a bank in both

places. I did my research and discovered the only common banks between the two states were Bank of

America (B of A), Wells Fargo, Chase and Citibank. Wachovia had recently been eaten by Wells Fargo

and Washington Mutual by Chase. The credits unions post very little information about their affiliates so

I decided against that route. I’ve had issues with Well Fargo and Citibank in the past and didn’t even

want to go back through that fire again! Chase, well who can afford their fees? Not me! So, bank of

America it is. I opened what was to be the first of 2 accounts. I wasn’t banking with them a full month

before my account was suddenly over drawn with fraudulent charges. I call to dispute the charges and

told it can take up to a month to investigate and in the meantime I am out that money. They didn’t have

a policy that allows them to return the funds until the instigation is over. I was floored by this. So, 2.5

paychecks later the investigation closes and they return all but $115 worth of fees because according to

them they lost track of how many overdraft’s were caused by the transactions that kept coming in during

their investigation and all my bills bouncing because there is no money in my account. So, I let the $115

go and chalked it up to life. I had resigned myself to finding an alternative that could accommodate my

dad having access to my finances since I was now living so far away and he couldn’t get to me easily if

needed. The casinos allow you to cash your checks for free and I thought about getting a prepaid card

and loading it up. But that wasn’t going to work either. So, I had to stay with B of A. they opened a new

account for me and added my Dad. He had to go into a branch and fill out his end of the paperwork, etc.

Also not an easy process. Fast forward a few months and everything seemed to have settled down and

leveled off. I was wrong! I am in my local Kmart store buying a television and a few other household

items and my transaction is declined. I am given a number to call from the cashier and it turned out to

be the B of A fraud department automated system advising me of fraudulent activity on my account

AGAIN! I finally got through to a human only to find out they think my Kmart purchase is fraudulent

because my transaction history doesn’t show any previous charges from them. I went ballistic! I think I

scared the Kmart personnel and they were probably getting ready to call security. I told the B of A agent

that it is me buying local! Mind you, the other fraudulent charges came from unknown origins outside

the USA per their own investigation! NOT LOCALLY! Apparently in B of A’s infinite wisdom, when they

opened my new account, put a high fraud alert on it based on my spending patterns. I was also

supposed to call them if I was going out-of-town to let them know so none of my transactions would be

declined. I was livid! How dare them since I was never informed of this at all! I told that agent to take it

off and if they didn’t hear from me regarding fraud then LEAVE MY ACCOUNT ALONE!! She complied and

let the transaction go through. I then went into a branch to make sure it was done and it had and while

there I asked them to take off that “Keep the Change” scam! The teller looked me in the face and told

me she took it off and the next thing I know I am showing overdrawn again by $1.00 because of a keep

the change transaction. I put the $1.00 back into my account before midnight that night so I wouldn’t be

hit with a fee. I marched back to the bank and ripped her a new a**hole over the blatant lie she told.

The “Keep the Change” scam doesn’t help you save; it only screws up your accounting. The last straw

came when the banks opted to cut off people’s overdraft protections unless they said otherwise. I chose

to stay opted out and started to make preparations to close the accounts and give Citibank another go. I

whittled the account down to a mere 24 cents. I cancelled or moved all my automatic payments to

Citibank so nothing was supposed to go through there anymore. Apparently Netflix missed the memo

that I cancelled their service and charged me for another month anyway! B of A, who is supposed to

decline any and all transactions, let it go through and charged me an overdraft fee. I had 24 cents in the

account and according to their own policy that was supposed to be declined with no NSF fee. So, they

broke their own rule to get that overdraft fee. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to pay it! So, I hopped on

the World Wide Web and started searching for a solution to my dilemma. I was looking for any

consumer help possible. I discovered a website for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency or OCC

for short. (http://www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/index-consumer-protection.html) The site

explains how to obtain help with a financial institution. They offer a link to another government site

called HelpWithMyBank.gov (http://www.helpwithmybank.gov/) I followed the links and was able to

email them my complaint about Bank of America. I emailed them from the site and I figured even if they

didn’t respond, at least I got it off my chest. Two weeks later, I received an email advising me they

received my complaint and were starting an investigation. Approximately two and a half weeks later I

received a letter in the mail notifying me that B of A would be contacting me with a resolution and if it

was satisfactory then no further action from the OCC would be needed and I only needed to contact

again if B of A didn’t offer anything good. That same week, a letter came from B of A informing me the

account had been closed and I owed them no additional funds and apologizing for the inconvenience

they caused me. But they included a convoluted explanation as to why they let the charge go through

even though there was only 24 cents in the account. They said it was because Netflix had been a

previously occurring transaction. But that still goes against their own policy of declining transactions for

lack of funds. They bounced utility payments and those are recurring charges also! So the explanation

doesn’t wash! However, I will accept the victory and spread the good news. So, if you have an issue with

your financial institution, visit the above sites. They especially want to know if your issue is with Bank of

America! They should make them rename themselves Bank of Usury and Crookery! Happy banking!

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