1. Bank of America Has No Follow Through

    Three months ago I went into my local Bank of America branch and closed out my account. After about 15 minutes of work, they freed me up and sent me on my way. They assured me that I was taken care of and thanked me for my 8+ years of business… simple… easy…  not!

    Just this week, they sent me a official letter threatening to report me to ChexSystems (Credit – Banking History) if I did not pay my over-due balance. Included in this postcard was a customer survey for their services. Having never recieved any other communication from Bank of America since I closed my account I was a bit peeved to be receiving threatening notices in the mail 3 months later!

    I called up my local division number given on their website and waited on the line for 15 minutes listening to the jingle music before hanging up. I called the 800 number and was connected with an agent right away… The poor rep was at that point forced to face my ire.

    She explained to me that my account had never been closed and that she had no notices for closure. Note: I had received a letter in the mail noting that I had closed my account and asking if I would like to follow up with BofA regarding my experiences with them…

    Apparently a re-accuring charge went through my account within a 48 hour period that BofA uses to process any last transactions. Unfortunately, once this was done, I was never notified that my account was not closed. The fact that I cut up my debit card, and had the banking rep put a stop on my card for any future charges was good enough proof to me that I wouldn’t be hearing from them again… WRONG.

    In the months following my account closure, BofA charged me over $50 in fees, and never sent me a notice (till now, when threatening to ruin my credit score). The rep told me that she’d reverse the charges, and explained that I’d need to go in to the branch and pay them 3.93 in actual overage charges (that took place after they stopped my old card…).

    Before leaving, I got a balance inquiry which showed me over-drawn in my checking, and with ZERO balance in my savings account. When I went into my local branch and paid the 3.93, they informed me that there was a balance of .70 that needed to be paid to me from my savings account. Once we’d settled up, she told me that I’d need to call customer service back and work with them to cancel my account.

    I finally got things straightened out but it’s pretty much taken my entire day and this experience has brought a few things to my attention.

    1. Just because they’re a huge corporation doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes – I think there is a mindset with people who see huge companies and give them too much trust based on their “INC” size alone. This has got to stop!
    2. Never trust what another person says when it comes to your banking. – Call, double check, and triple check with the bank to make sure that all accounts are closed, transactions are processed, and make sure that they remove your email / contact information from their “shared services” so that you don’t receive their spam
    3. Does the bank actually know how much money is in my account? The fact that they couldn’t even get the 70 cents right really worries me! There is a difference between a “balance of zero” and a “balance of .70″… look it’s even spelled differently!

    Bonus round — Bigger picture!

    There is much talk going around today regarding institutions that are “too big to fail”. I realize that this term is applied in the bigger sense of the word, however, with BofA particularly, I think that they are so big that they are inevitably going to fail.

    For example… here in my town, when BofA bought out Countrywide, they took over their old offices and began rebranding process. For several months they rebranded, finished setting up the new location. Then, they promptly closed their doors.

    From what I was told, BofA was so big that they took over a branch, remodeled and set it up even though it was already closed.

    How big do you have to be before your communication is so bad that you’re spending (conservative estimate) thousands of dollars remodeling something that you’ve already closed…

    How long can that last?

    As a quick disclaimer, I must say that I cannot speak with 100% factual insight regarding the local BofA branch, however my source was very knowledgeable on the situation and gave good insight…