B of A, Bite my Ass

A while back I walked into a bank with a wad of cash and opened a bank account. I’ve been loyal to this bank for years, as has my entire family. My account is not anything large, but it’s also not extremely small. It’s about what you’d expect from a young person with good financial habits, and I hope that it will grow in the future.

They set me up with an account that would charge me no fee if either I had a direct deposit or a transfer into saving. Since I like to be there to see everything that comes in and out of my account- touching the money makes me more aware of where it is going- I chose the deposit to savings option. This turned out to be a good idea because my current job does not offer direct deposit.

This worked for me for years. Then I moved away from the US and was away from reliable Internet so I could not do online banking (though I did have someone back home keeping an eye on things). FWIW I was also not using much in the way of bank services. I think in two years I used an ATM 3 times.

When I came back, I looked at my balance and discovered that for a good chunk of those two years, they were taking out a not-small monthly fee. This added up to actually a good chunk of my (measly) volunteer salary.

I write them and say “Whats up with that? When did this happen and why?” and they send me a meaningless form letter. Totally meaningless. I write them another letter saying “When exactly did you decide to start charging me fees, why, and why didn’t you tell me?” and they told me they decided to convert my account two Februaries ago. And also that “they understand it can be surprising to see unexpected fees.” And that of course they would be glad to help me convert my account to something that better suited my needs.

So I look up different accounts and discover that the plan I got automatically switched to is being currently offered on promotion with no fees, and that ANY OTHER plan they could have chosen would have meant I was paying fees. So basically they not only converted my account to something else without my consent or even notification, but they converted it to the worst possible thing AND made it impossible to convert to the best option (my current account plan with the “no fees” promotion they are running now.)

I told them that I feel like they should offer me the current plan with the current promotion. We’ll see how that goes over.


Have you talked to them about getting some of those fees back?

I hate BoA…I’ve ranted about them before. I was deliriously happy with MBNA and one day I woke up and found that all my credit cards were BoA now and I would soon understand customer service hell.

BoA sucks, indeed.

They converted your account without your permission or your knowledge? I would expect nothing less than getting all of those fees back. That was your money, in your account, that you generously let them use to make money for themselves since the account was opened. They don’t have a say in changing the format of your account. (Usual caveat - my knowledge is from the Canadian banking system. YMMV, of course.)

On the other hand, the lesson you need to take from this is never, ever let bank accounts/credit cards/utility accounts go unsupervised by you, personally.

My understanding is that they can legally do this because there’s fine print that says that if the bank closes down a certain type of account it can transfer your assets to a different equivalent account. This seems like boilerplate but it means that the bank can bait and switch you. It can offer attractive no-fee accounts to draw in customers and then shut down those accounts and move the money in expectation that some customers won’t be paying attention. It’ll open up a new series of no-fee accounts to draw in new customers but it can legally claim that these are not the same type of accounts as before.

“You signed up for our platinum bonus account. We discontinued those and moved your money into another account. Our gold supreme account? That’s a new line we started the same week we discontinued the platinum bonus line. Why didn’t we move your money there? Well, we thought you’d prefer to have your money in one of our high-fee vampire accounts.”


So I bank at BoA. I’ve banked with them for quite some time. Back in April, I closed my accounts because they were joint accounts with my ex, and opened new ones.

So close this checking and this savings and open that checking and that savings.

Simple huh?

When I opened the new accounts they asked if I wanted checks. Now most of my billls I do online. Really I only need checks for my rent. So I said “Yes” I’ll need a small ammount of checks.

They give me some checks but…

The checks don’t draw from my checking account, they draw from my savings account.


So of course I bounce a rent check which is BAD!
It takes a while to figure this out.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, the old checking account appears when I log into my online banking with a negative balance.


Apparently, what happened is that when I closed my account, there was a pending charge. A song from iTunes. 99 cents. So the same stupid twat that gave me checks that draw from my savings account, left $1.03 in my old checking account, to cover the 99 cents. Which of course left 4 cents in the account. A closed accout with 4 cents. Because it is closed, I don’t get a statement, I don’t see it when I log into online banking. Then because it is inactive it gets a service charge. Still not news to me.
Finally a new service charge is added and then I see it. Now the people at the bank can refund the most recent charge, but the first one, well, that is too old to do anything about so now they tell me that in order for me to close the account, I need to deposit $5.91 into the account to bring it to zero balance.

I’m not shitting you.

Because they owed me 4 cents, I now owe them $5.91.

I’m going to have to take off and nuke them from orbit.

Banks can be bastards but I have little sympathy for people who do not keep track of their bank accounts. Keep track of your money. Look at your bank statements. Do internet banking. You cannot leave your account unattended for two years.

Rant and Rave. Be a pain in the ass. Constantly remind them of how you’ve been a loyal customer, but you WILL leave over this issue. Point out that you’ll be earnin’ the big bucks in a few years, and your bank of choice will be…who? I wonder.

You have nothing to lose. Enjoy going postal. Up here in the frozen north my lovely and talented wife will occasionally turn over this kind of issue to me, her immigrant husband, and say “It’s time to unleash your inner American”.

Its fun to go off the leash.

blinkingblinking, I wanted to feel the same way you did, but I’m pretty sure the OP has spent the last 2 years living in a hut in Cameroon.

Obviously she was a Doper that whole time, but I’m willing, maybe, to cut her a smidge of slack. :smiley:

BofA has always been good to reverse account charges with us (bank accounts and charge accounts), even when the fault isn’t either of ours or is technically ours. When a credit card bill never arrived in the mail (yikes), we still made a payment knowing it was “out there” but it posted a day late. BofA reversed the late fee.

We had a mini-mess a few months ago when I forgot to transfer funds from accounts when I paid off a credit card. We had plenty of cash, but not specifically in checking. We became overdrawn, and were charged an overdraft fee every flipping time we used the debit card–never mind there were two other accounts with more than enough $ to cover it. NO ONE TOLD US were were overdrawn; it was when I went online and saw the charges that I had a heart attack. They let us continue to buy our groceries and what not and slap on a $35 charge each time we did without a call or email saying “Um, hey, you might want to look at your checking account.” Thankfully I caught it the next day, but still, those fees added up. A lot.

The branch manager I spoke with on the phone agreed to credit half the overdraft fees (admittedly, the fault was mine for not making the fucking transfer–still pisses me off) and signed us up for overdraft coverage, meaning the money would automatically be pulled out of one account to cover an overdraft in another. I swore we already had that coverage–and I still swear we did–but the manager insists the accounts did not have them. I wonder if we got the Magic Switch, too.

I’ve gone OCD about our accounts now. Kind of have to in these times, and apparently, with this bank. But they are good to rescind their fees, so give it a whirl.

In your communication be sure to emphasize that you feel you are being penalized for volunteering your time with Tear Jerking Relief Organization. You feel it is a shame that BofA is charging you for spending your time with Tear Jerking Relief Organization.

Do NOT specifically threaten to out BofA as an organization that actively hurts volunteers with Tear Jerking Relief Organization. Let them draw that conclusion.

When I paid off my loan, Suntrust started charging me for online banking.

A quick meeting with the representative, I was moved into another account category, the fee was refunded…no problems since.

The local bank changed my checking when I was severely ill and pretty out of it. I hadn’t written a check for a few months. I get a notice that the account is over drawn for over $73. They changed my account to a monthly fee, and charged it down to an over draft, that they charged fees every day for 2 weeks until they closed the account. They still think one day they’ll get the fees. When I called they said the account would close immediately when overdrawn. I got no suitable answer why it didn’t close when they overdrew it by a dollar something, instead of adding fees for two weeks. I had $20 in it a few months earlier. Bastards.

I know you are kidding, but I will not cut them any slack.
I work in a bank. I reverse fees for many people every day. We at our bank are happy to reverse fees as long as the customer understands why they have got the fees and how to avoid them in the future.
On another topic -if customers need replacement bank statements we charge $15 for each one. Unless there is some error on our part or the post office loses them- then we waive the fee. But every week we will get some yo-yo asking for a copy of his statements from 2005 and getting angry when we say we must charge a fee. The idiot may say that it was our fault because some bank employee spelt his street name wrongly. I say to them that I understand that may have happened but why has it taken 3 years for you to tell us.

As a former banker, I can assure you that this is a laughable suggestion. It’s not like the CSRs get a commission from your account. A ranting and raving customer is usually more than welcome to take their business elsewhere. Doubly so if their account balance is less than $500,000.

I’ve had success with the ranting/raving* strategy, even with banks, and especially from troubles arising from banking overseas.

Once I did not have overdraft protection and yet was permitted to overdraw my account (I was overseas so I couldn’t see the balance) which resulted in substantial overdraft fees. I got them all refunded.

Another time I arranged a payment plan to begin after I left (they wouldn’t let me begin it on the spot). I explained as clearly as I possibly could that I would not be in the country when the payments started coming due, so at that point they were to take these very clear steps to withdraw the money from my account. Eventually my parents started getting collection calls because they payments were not being made. I wrote a strongly worded letter, naming the person who had assured me that “everything is in order” before I left, and very soon I got a phone call from that very person to assure me that everything was fixed and the payments were coming out and we were so sorry for the inconvenience.

Try it. Be polite but firm and make sure you only direct it towards someone who can actually help you. Nothing to lose, really, especially if you’ve already decided to switch.

    • always, only, strictly, very polite ranting and raving, directed towards someone who is actually in a position to do what you want them to do

Because for 3 years it did not matter until they needed a mortgage, and that is when they caught the typo (and when it became a problem).

I have a checking account and a savings account at BofA. My savings account is set up to be used as overdraft protection for my checking account. Recently, I have a situation that required this overdraft protection, and money was taken from my savings to cover the deficit in my checking.

BofA charged me a $10 fee to borrow my own money.

No, she really, truly was living in a hut somewhere. She’s been in the Peace Corps.

They are giving me the runaround, saying I have to do all this stuff to change my account type. They screwed me over and I want them to fix it. I mean, can they change my account to the new “Super fee!” account type that charges a $10,000 monthly fee? Bullshit!

You know those guys in Nigeria? They were my neighbors. My Internet ran over satellites. I have no idea how that works, but I can’t imagine it was in any way secure and I know there were plenty of people with the will and the saavy to clean me out- and I wasn’t too hard to find. No way I’m doing anything even vaguely confidential over those wires. I did have someone at home watching my statements, but they didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to be charged fees.

The primary problem with that is now banks have so many layers of CSRs that finding a person who actually CAN assist you is like finding a needle in silo full of hay.

The banker you talk to MAY be able to assist you to some extent, but it’s been my experience (lately) that a banker really can’t do shit without calling half a dozen CSR’s who may/may not have a clue who may then have to transfer your banker to a super-special CSR who may/may not have a clue…&c.