figmo: (Lynn-Lady)
[personal profile] figmo
I have been a Bank of America customer since 1981. I have had an Alaska Airlines Debit Card through them for several years.

A couple of weeks ago I tried to use my card at Myrtle's Lodge, owned by Fenton's in Oakland, right after I ate there with my fiancé and his cousin. My charge was declined by the bank even though the money was in the account. When I checked my account online, it showed the two declined charges as having gone through -- and since I saw the denials, I knew it wasn't the cashier's doing.

The next day I spoke on the phone with someone and explained that yes, those were legitimate charge attempts by me and no, they should not be processed because you denied them.

Monday I tried to get gas at Costco. My ATM/Visa didn't work. WTF????? I checked and yes, the money was there.

I called Bank of America yesterday, found out that some idiot had mistakenly closed my account and that they had sent me a "new" card, and that it was not an Alaska Airlines Debit Card because the Alaska Airlines program is going away at the end of May. I demanded that the old card be reinstated (I never asked for it to be closed; I have had the card the whole time!!!) and that the new card be closed. After several escalations, I was told it was enabled and that I would be able to continue accruing miles through the end of May.

Today I decided to test this by making a small charge. It got denied. This time I tried an online chat so I'd have a paper trail.

After several escalations, the person told me that my "new" card (that I never asked for and wanted turned off) would not accrue Alaska Airlines miles, "apologized" for the screwup, and gave me a useless number at Alaska Airlines to call. My chat window then hung (I presume the guy at the other end didn't want to escalate it and did this on purpose) so I couldn't reply.

I am furious. I have been ripped off, and I am ready to take my business elsewhere unless someone at Bank of America fixes this and soon.

Date: 2014-03-13 01:56 am (UTC)
poltr1: (Marcus scowling)
From: [personal profile] poltr1
Too big to care. Who holds them accountable? The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (http://www.occ.gov/). That's who you'd send your complaint letter to. Start on this page: http://occ.gov/topics/dispute-resolution/consumer-complaints/index-consumer-complaints.html

Date: 2014-03-13 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hillarysherwood.livejournal.com
Unfortunately, Bank of America is known for screwing their customers. You might be better off just taking your business elsewhere and being done with them.

Date: 2014-03-13 02:43 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
BofA won't do anything. I have had a number of different situations with them including them refusing to refund overdraft fees from a fraud case.

Date: 2014-03-13 05:23 am (UTC)
ext_1844: (it figures)
From: [identity profile] lapislaz.livejournal.com
Run, do not walk, to your nearest credit union. Regular banks are not your friend, and they never will be.

Date: 2014-03-13 07:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lemmozine.livejournal.com
I have one suggestion: Post this on their facebook page. They do have one. Post it as a comment to one or more of their posts. They have people who read and respond to stuff posted on their facebook page. If that doesn't work, write a song about them and post a video on youtube. Someone did that to United Airlines when the airline broke their guitar and wouldn't do anything, and it went viral and cost United a LOT of money.

Date: 2014-03-13 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] figmo.livejournal.com
I posted it to their Facebook page and it was removed.

I also posted it to the Facebook "Bank of America SUCKS!" group.

I have yet to write a song about it, but I am now researching alternate banking institutions.

Date: 2014-03-13 02:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] achinhibitor.livejournal.com
BofA is famous for being craptastic, and they've lost more than $150 billion due to bad investments in mortgages (a lot more than they've been fined for not quite telling the whole truth when selling bad mortgages to investors), so they're reeling, aren't paying for the best employees, and are mostly worried about keeping customers that have enough money they have some hope of making good money off their business. So changing banks is probably your best long-term plan.

But in the short term, I'd try going to your favorite branch at 10am on a weekday and explaining your problem to one of the officers and that you're gonna dump them if they don't get things straightened out.

(It seems like the real value at stake is the Alaska Airlines miles you'd accrue over the next few months. How many miles is that likely to be? At the usual value of $0.01 per mile, how much money is that? And how much of your time is that worth?)

Date: 2014-03-13 05:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] figmo.livejournal.com
I've been averaging 1k-2k miles/month. That's pretty significant.

Date: 2014-03-14 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] achinhibitor.livejournal.com
2k miles is worth around $20 (unless Alaska is giving a particularly good deal). Over 4 months (Feb to May), that comes to $80. At any reasonable value on your time, it's not worth spending a lot of time fighting, though it's worth complaining to the regulator.

Fortunately, BofA pulled its head out of its ass without you having to put too much effort into it. Good work!

Date: 2014-03-21 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] figmo.livejournal.com
Thank you!

As for miles, $80 is a lot of money in my book. If I can do better than that, even cooler! :-)

Date: 2014-03-22 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] achinhibitor.livejournal.com
Well, if it takes 10 hours for you to get $80 of benefit, you're only making $8 per hour, which is barely above minimum wage. There are a lot of factors which go into whether a person would think that was worth the trouble. From what I've read, most people trade their time against money at a ratio which is close to their after-tax wage. And I figure you must be making more than that.

Date: 2014-03-13 05:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] capplor.livejournal.com
Fred here: I used BofA once back in my wild & halcyon youth & got ripped off of all the moneys I had put into my "student account" (I was under 12 & it was through my school, & had only accrued about $10 at the time) when Bofa unilaterally stopped accepting that kind of account. The only time I have dealt with BofA & not felt ripped off afterwards was when I was temporarily employed by them in my capacity as a draftsman helping design a theft-proof vault. Then I had fun & got paid what we had agreed upon.

Personally I'm of the opinion that anyone who uses BofA for personal accounts is asking to be ripped off somehow. My advice is to find a credit union which will suit your needs & transfer everything (& BofA will fight it, they want your money, not you) to that new account.

Date: 2014-03-13 08:37 pm (UTC)
elemirion: (badgers)
From: [personal profile] elemirion
Bank of America closed my account randomly several times, leaving me always with no way to get money out when I needed it, so I went in to complain one day, yet again. The Teller told me that she didn't know why it was closed, did I ask for it to be closed, No! So I told her, just give me the money in my account and I would take my business elsewhere. Wells Fargo does the same sort of crap too. My advice to you is to go to a Credit Union. They are far less likely to do these sorts of Shenanigans, and they are far less crooked...

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