I became a Bank of America customer in 1979. In 2012, I will be leaving in disgust.
Until last year, we never paid regular fees for any of our accounts or any regular transactions with Bank of America. Things whirred along nicely, just as one would expect of their bank.
Then, the bank started crapping on us. “Hey, thanks for being loyal customers of 30+ years. Here are a few new fees for you!” It seemed that any time our money came or went, there was a fee associated with it. Yeah, that $5 debit card fee felt like the last straw, but I was too busy then to go through the hassle (and it is such a hassle!) to change banks.
Then B of A revised their website and somehow in that process, they lost or Visa account. Oh, we still had it, but it didn’t show up online. Easy fix, right? Nooooo – it took me SIX hours of waiting on the phone four different times over six weeks to get that resolved.
That experience should have kicked me into high gear toward dumping B of A, but yeah, regular life got in the way. And by that I mean that I was still just too lazy to go through the major hassle of moving all our accounts, changing all our auto-pays and direct deposits, and finessing the timing to go through the whole painful process.
I get an e-mail alert from Bank of America that Aleks had overdrawn his savings account. (Yes, I’m connected to the kids’ accounts while they’re still in school.) Overdrawn his savings account? The mandatory savings account that we had to open when we opened student checking accounts for the kids? The savings account he never touches? How could he be overdrawn?
I called the bank. “Yes, ma’am. Yes, there is now a $5 fee for those savings accounts.” (Yes, the mandatory savings accounts tied to checking accounts…)
“HUH? I was never told that!” I complained.
“It has been indicted at the end of your monthly statement since August,” I was told.
“I went paperless in August!”
“Well, ma’am, it’s on the paperless statement too.” Guess it’s my bad for not scrolling to the end of my online statements and reading the fine print.
So… funny thing – as of yesterday, I was “allowed” to close those associated savings accounts. Which I did.
And then I got in the car and high-tailed it to our local BECA office to open a multitude of accounts.
I was seen immediately – though the account manager told me that I was lucky; in November and December, hundreds of people who’d been screwed over by a variety of big banks waited patiently for hours to open BECU accounts.
Within an hour, I had opened checking, savings, Visa, a LOC loan, and a money market account with BECU. After leaving the credit union, I received calls throughout the afternoon from the account manager keeping me apprised on the results of my credit check (suckas, Bank of America, you guys lost a good customer!), reminding me what items and actions were still needed, and just letting us know how things were progressing.
Yes, it will be a pain in the butt to make this change. I’ll be busy notifying all our merchants of the change and trying to time the process just right so that… well, so that we don’t incur any FEES from Bank of America.
Good riddance, Bank of America! You could have kept these customers of 30+ years if you wanted to. You obviously didn’t want to.