The B of A experience: Resolved

Last week I posted about how Bank of America seemed to be messing with me.  It was more frustrating than usual and I honestly was about to take my business elsewhere.  I decided that rather than spending time in the brick and mortar branch nearby, I’d call up, have them transfer cash from my checking into the savings to give it a zero balance and then close it.  I figured that this would probably save me considerable time and paid, as opposed to getting them to refund the fees, admit they were crazy, etc.  It was less than ten bucks so overall, not too much money to lose to get rid of an extreme hassle.

Turns out, I was a bit wrong about Bank of America’s customer service reps.  When I called in (to the same number that previously had me speaking with someone for an hour just to get nothing accomplished) I got an extremely helpful representative, Alex, who was able to fix the problem in less than ten minutes.  Less than ten minutes!  In fixing a problem with an account at a major bank.  I was never even on hold!  Consider the fact that Bank of America also has issues related to the recent credit card fraud at Target and has a call volume going into their centers that is way above average and it makes it that much more amazing that I spoke with an amazing representative and was never once on hold.

Because she took care of the problem so quickly and efficiently, spoke to me like she actually cared (as opposed to script reading) and just made me like the bank a little bit, I actually had her transfer me to her manager.  Now, I never do this.  Even if I’m having a bad time, I usually refrain from talking to the manager because it is rarely the fault of the person on the line.  And since a great experience while calling into a help line never happens, I’ve never had the opportunity to speak to a manager for positive reasons.  So, Alex transferred me to her supervisor and I told him how she did a great job, how the last time I was on the line for an hour and nothing was accomplished and that I really appreciated her work.  At this point, he told me something I didn’t expect: she was going to get a small bonus because of my positive comment.  Apparently, when people get positive comments to their managers (and she never even solicited me for an opinion or a survey, this was me doing it on my own), the reps can get little bonuses, gift cards, etc.  I was so psyched that my comment was going to ensure that someone got a little something extra right around the holidays.

It’s rare when dealing with banks that we have good experiences.  Most times you just see people writing about awful experiences (like me) and never about the good.  But it’s important to remember that when we do have the good experiences, we need to acknowledge them and the people that help make those possible.  If we don’t, then those people won’t be rewarded for helping and we’ll be left with the dregs of the customer service world.  And that is absolutely something I don’t want.

Just to give everyone a heads up, there will be no post on the 25th.  It’ll be Christmas and I’ll be sleeping in.  But stop by on Friday, as we will have a recap of the past year and how we’ve done on our goals.  Happy holidays everyone!

Opinion: Bank of America may be screwing with me

Ah, Bank of America.  My old nemesis.  Always trying to best serve browbeat its customer base.  And of course, with me being laid up, hurting, busy with the end of the year rush, they choose now as a time to really mess with me.  Just in time for the holidays!

You can't fool me with that patriotic spirit!

You can’t fool me with that patriotic spirit!

You see, back in August I decided I wanted to simplify my bank accounts.  I had a checking (chequing?) account with B of A, a savings account with them and a savings account with ING (now Capital One 360, affiliate link!).  The checking account and the ING account were both fine and well.  No fees, served a purpose.  But the B of A savings account was rubbish.  The interest rate was 0.02% and I had to maintain a balance of $500 in order to not be charged a $5 maintenance fee (what exactly went into maintaining an account where they got free money?).  Like I said, rubbish.  So I went to the bank, filled out some paperwork and got it closed.  They transferred everything to my checking account and the savings account disappeared from my online account setup.  That is, until Saturday.

On Saturday, I signed on to the B of A website to check my transactions, some transfers that needed to be made, etc.  And lo and behold, there was my savings account.  The one I closed four months ago!  With a negative balance from four months of fees!  Well, what do we have here?  I immediately called the help line and spoke to someone who tried his best to be really helpful.  As it turns out, I originally had this thing called “keep the change” with B of A.  When I would use my debit card, it would round the transaction up to a whole number and send the difference (the change) to my savings account.  When I closed my savings account, they canceled this program.  Since I wouldn’t have a savings account, there was no way the program could work.  Or so I thought.

Even though we canceled the program, some parts of it, somewhere in their system, were accruing and just waiting.  Last weekend, the $3 that had been just sitting around forced its way into my closed checking account, reopening it and causing it to be hit with numerous fees.  Fees for having a negative balance, maintenance fees, not fixing the negative balance in a timely manner fees.  Fees, is what I’m getting at here.  There were some.

So when I called in, I obviously wanted these all taken out and the account closed.  Like I said, the person helping me (Customer Service Rep ZK6F1SX, they have numbers to identify them) was awesome.  We went through what happened, figured out the problem, and tried to fix it.  Except, nope, couldn’t be fixed over the phone.

Apparently, the phone reps are only allowed to make changes to things that have happened in the past 30 days.  This is to help protect Bank of America from fraud.  It means you have to go into an actual branch office and talk to a real person to get this sort of stuff fixed.  To be honest, I actually understand this.  They want you to sign some stuff in person, get to know you, try to build a professional relationship.  Here’s the problem: my back arggggh pain.  While this can be fixed (and it will) I’m still just extremely frustrated that I have to go back to B of A to try to close this account.  Again!

Who else out there has had problems with their bank?  I know that some banks are better than others and some are downright crazy.  Let’s hear some of your stories!


Picture courtesy of Adam Fagen