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No. of Recommendations: 4
So annoyed at Bank of America right now.

For several years, we had our bank accounts there. However, a few months ago we switched to someone else. We had had their highest tiered checking and savings accounts for no fee because we had a mortgage there. But, we recently sold that house. We decided to leave $3000 at BOA which was what you needed to have for a checking account with no fee. We've had that account for about 3 months.

I just noticed that on the brand new statement they just charged us a $25 monthly fee. I went and looked at their current checking accounts and now they have an account that is no interest and no fee if you keep $1500 in it or you can get one with interest that has no fee if you keep $10000 in it.

What is supremely annoying is that they apparently changed our account to the $10000 minimum requirement to avoid a fee rather than change to the $1500 minimum requirement to avoid a fee. I even went back and double checked each statement I've received to make sure they didn't say anything about the change.
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Hi DeterminedMon,

I have been debating about cnceling my Bof A CC because I have no use for it, and Bof A is a sleazy operation anyway.

Just PM me your real name, and when they ask me why I am cancelling my CC, I will tell them it is for jerking you around so egregiously.

;-) Bill
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They did this to me to recently. It's one of my big to-dos to find another bank, but just been too busy lately.
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I was introduced to Pentagon Federal CU by this board several years ago. I have been very pleased. I had to join some Military Connected Organization, which might have cost me $5, but I have not had to maintain that membership.

I re-fi'd my Mtg with them.... closing costs <600 as I recall. I had been quoted over 2K by the local Mtg Co.

And they sent somone to my home for the signing...

Very Nice People. Very pleasant to deal with.

bill
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They switched your account to a Prima account without notice or it wasn't setup as the correct type?

I have had some issues with accounts not being properly linked. They have always immediately reversed the fees and waive them for a year, but CS wasn't telling me the underlying problem. After a couple of rounds, I was finally told the problem was identified and it was corrected.
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vkg -- Until a few months ago we had whatever was their highest tier of checking. Required your linked accounts to have $X in them (I forget exactly what it was but it was high) or to have a mortgage with BOA to avoid the fee. We had a mortgage with BOA. We sold the house with the mortgage and I didn't want to keep the high dollar amount in the account. Also, I wasn't that crazy about BOA and the location wasn't convenient for us either. We don't keep a lot of money in a local bank but it is convenient to have one for paper checks to be deposited, etc.

Anyway, we went in about 3 months ago and closed all the accounts but one and changed that checking account to one that was an interest checking account but required you to keep $3000 in it. So, for the last few months it has been sitting there with $3000 in it, with no fees being charged. (I had in mind that in a few months I would likely close it but was leaving it for awhile to make sure I hadn't forgotten to stop any automatic payments, etc.)

On the new statement which just went out a couple of days ago, they abruptly charged me -- without warning $25. I looked up the account type they now say I have and it requires $10,000 to be fee free. I don't see on their website any option to have an interest checking be fee free with $3000 any more. So, I surmise they got rid of that kind of account or raised its required amount to be fee free.

What annoys me is that they didn't tell me they were doing that. If they had done so I would have opted for the $1500 fee free no interest account. As it is, it has been 3 months since we closed the other accounts and I fee confident all automatic payments have been stopped so we'll just close this account entirely.
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No. of Recommendations: 4
What annoys me is that they didn't tell me they were doing that. If they had done so I would have opted for the $1500 fee free no interest account. As it is, it has been 3 months since we closed the other accounts and I fee confident all automatic payments have been stopped so we'll just close this account entirely.

I would ask for the fee to be reversed before closing the account.

I guess I am not surprised that they didn't notify you before changing the account type. My assumption is that all financial institutions will annoy me over time. It is just a matter of time.

Wells Fargo is the one that has most recently confused and annoyed me the most. As executrix, I notified them of the situation. I expected to leave the account as is until probate completed. The only choices I was given was to transfer the funds to a new account in my name or take a check in my name. It was less of a surprise after talking with a friend who had to sue Wells Fargo over their mishandling of mortgage payments from an estate.
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I have been a BOA customer for more than ten years, during which I've always had a personal checking account. I've had decent luck with the pc account and not too many problems. As issue came up, BOA usually resolved the matter in my favor (e.g., reverse fees, etc.). Knock on wood, it's probably been about two years since I've had any problems with that account. But still I have been annoyed by the periodic "restructuring" of account terms and fees and the need to jump through hoops in order to stay on top of things and avoid new fees. I currently have the type of account that requires the $1500 minimum to avoid account fees and offers free on-line banking, but I may get dinged if I need to talk with a teller (although I usually asked them to waive that fee as well, especially if it's due to problems with their own ATM or webservice or such).

However, I have also had numerous business-related accounts with BOA during that same time and consistently had issues with those accounts. Excessive fees, poor customer service support, blah blah. I recently moved those accounts to Chase, which seems (so far) to be much more business-account friendly.

For now, I'm going to keep the BOA for my personal use...only because I don't want to hassle with changing over all my on-line banking accounts...but I've been researching other options to be preapred in case they decide to increase the minimum balance.

I sense that BOA is getting much more agreessive with fees and their customoer service is low on the list of priorities.

More generally, to me it seems that the push (for all banks and credit card issuers) to transition to an electronic/paperless system may just open up new opportunities to generate fees. Because online access makes it so easy to check balances and posting status, I rarely open up a monthly statement. In the old days, statements included key information/changes and that was how certain account changes were communicated. Now, because we get bombarded by requests to go paperless...statements are only accessed online and you may now be charged a fee if you request paper copies.

Because "statements" are stll generated, they still include account changes/info. But I wonder how many folks bother to read their statements now since the opening log-on screen already makes current balances accessible for trackng. Is it possible that important account information gets overlooked because of the way customers access their accounts? Yeah, I know that they now have "messages" when you log-in. But often the link is off to the side and I tend to overlook it. Or when I do check, there are so many "offers" in the messages that overtime one doesn't bother to read them....it's just another source of junk mail that doesn't have to go through your spam filter.

Digressing just a bit...<RANT ALERT> I have two accounts (my wireless phone and a cc acount) that (of course) only offer paperless statements, but it is almost impossible to find the links to the statements from my account page. (I swear that the other day I spent at least 5 minutes trying to "locate" my most recent cell phone bill--the full bill not just a summary.) Many cc/utilities now send wonderful e-mail notifications with the amount due and due date. How convenient, now most folks don't even have to look at their statements. With this change in trends/behavior, it seems to me that this trend can leave consumers open to missing lots of important information on their accounts, including changes in interest rates, increased service fees or even erroneous charges. And while I'm ranting, I'm annoyed by the pressure to totally give up paper checks. It's just a matter of time before accounts that offer free "checking" are eliminated and we are charged ATM fees even at bank sites. Isn't it silly that we are incentived to go "direct depost" and "checkless" and then penalized with fees to try to access our deposits? Even when they are already holding $1500/3000/10,000 of OUR money hostage and while reducing access to customer service? <END RANT>

DM, is it possible that you missed gettting the message about your account change because of the customer non-service of electronic messaging? If you're still not ready to close out the BOA account, I suggest you ask them to change it to a the lower-minimum service and see if they will reverse the fee. If they aren't willing to waive the fee, then I'd close the account there on the spot.

Good luck!

Making Trax
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Oh, I agree about the fee reversal. We've decided to ask for the fee reversal and to switch our account to the $1500 minimum account. Then once we get the fee reversed, we'll close the account.
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I did not miss the notice. I did wonder when I saw the fee yesterday so I went back and looked at each statement from when I changed accounts a few months ago to see if there was any notice there and there was not.

Back when I was in debt BOA the account I least liked because at the time I had credit cards there but no bank account. BOA made it much more difficult to pay using a non-BOA bank account. You actually had to go to a separate web site to do it and it would just a real pain. Later, when we had our mortgage there we ended up opening bank accounts there as BOA was convenient for us although I found that overall they were just a pain to deal with. We don't owe any money to them now though so no reason to stay.

When we switched banks recently we did switch to Chase which so far has been fine and easy to deal with (at least at our local branch) and online is much easier than at BOA.
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When we switched banks recently we did switch to Chase which so far has been fine and easy to deal with (at least at our local branch) and online is much easier than at BOA.

I've had checking account with Chase a couple of times, and I still have a Chase Freedom Card of some flavor gathering dust in a locked file drawer.

The reason Chase ultimately lost my business was, they seemed incapable of leaving the same terms and conditions in place for longer than a year. The last time, the reworked the T&C less than a year after I adjusted to the last set of reworked T&C. No, they didn't go so far as to automatically charge me a fee before I could react to new T&C; but it was clear that I couldn't count on the rules staying the same.

Patzer
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I've given up expecting them to not change terms on me. I just want some warning so I can react to it.
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DM and Patzer,

What are your thoughts about credit unions?

We've decided the very large banks aren't to be trusted any longer, for a number of reasons including the T&C switch, games with fees, etc.

MH (curious)
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DM and Patzer,

What are your thoughts about credit unions?

We've decided the very large banks aren't to be trusted any longer, for a number of reasons including the T&C switch, games with fees, etc.


Credit unions have my business for checking and most savings. I can find competitive rates, and the T&C don't change for years at a time.

I still use large banks for credit cards, because credit unions don't have very good reward programs. If the rewards degrade to the point where I need to spend a lot of time evaluating how to spend to overcome annual fees and gimmicks, I'd consider switching to a no-fee, no-reward card from a credit union. We aren't there yet.

Large bank credit card scorecard: Citi Dividends MC and FIA (I think BoA?) Fidelity Amex are my regular use cards. Discover and Chase Freedom card currently gather dust, but haven't been bad enough to make me cancel them.

Patzer
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Then once we get the fee reversed, we'll close the account.

Good On Ya.....
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We've decided the very large banks aren't to be trusted any longer, for a number of reasons including the T&C switch, games with fees, etc.

Credit Unions are perfect either. My Credit Union has changed terms and added fees. Without a minimum balance, they now charge for just having a savings account. At one time I had accounts at two different Credit Unions and then they merged.
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Yes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

My thought is if an institution gets big enough they will stop thinking of their customers as people, and start referring to them as consumers. For me that is a red flag indicating the business' interests are no longer aligned with mine as a small consumer. YMMV.
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We have an account at the credit union that DH's former employer used. In general, we were happy with the customer service and it was easy to get things straightened out if there was a problem. FWIW, when the credit union would change terms on checking accounts and such if you already had the account you could keep it under the old terms. However, now that DH is retired the credit union isn't close to us and so doesn't fill the need of a nearby place for paper checks. Still we've kept the account open.
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Further evidence of their "evil:"

http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/29/pf/bank_of_america_debit_fee...

Of course, that $60 a year will send people back to cash or credit cards...

nomes
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Of course, that $60 a year will send people back to cash or credit cards...

Neither of which is a bad thing. Cash if you have problems with spending and debt, credit cards if you don't.

It does put one category in a tough spot though: Folks who have credit problems not related to bad spending habits.

Will be interesting to see how this particular fee structure plays out.

v/r
Tom
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No. of Recommendations: 16
Follow up -- the BOA account is now closed.

My husband went down to the local branch was intended to get a refund of the fee and then change the account to the account where there is no fee if you keep $1500 in it.

Unfortunately, they refused to give the refund. The argument he said that they made was (1) we're doing this to a lot of people and not just you,(2) when you switched to this account a few months ago they should have charged a fee then, and (3) the person who told you then that it was fee free was wrong. For good measure, they added that if he changed to the $1500 minimum account, that he shouldn't expect that it would be kept fee free and that, if it changed, they would start charging a fee without warning. The general attitude was that if they started charging a fee to everyone then they don't have to give advance notice they are doing it. Also, took the position that we should have had a fee for the last 3 months and should feel happy that they failed to charge it the first 2 months and the fact that we were told it was fee free was just wrong.

So, DH closed the account.
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Follow up -- the BOA account is now closed...

I learned my lesson with BOA many years ago when they sold my name and my bank balance to 'who & what-evers'.

TB
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I ditched BOA years ago, because they are just dirty.

My then-husband did some transactions over a weekend that would put us overdrawn by a negligible amount when a check cleared on the following Monday. LIke we'd have one transaction overdraw the account, and owe a fee for such.

I had a screen print that showed all these transactions as *cleared*, not pending, from checking the account that Sunday.

That Monday, when I logged on to verify the check cleared and that one fee was assessed, I found that they had gone back two business days, cleared the check first then proceeded to clear all the other transactions again on Monday's business - and charged hundreds of dollars in resultant overdraft fees.

I. Was. Livid.

I got it resolved - but only because I had PROOF that those transactions were listed as cleared. If I had not taken the nanosecond to print a copy when I was already looking that weekend - I would have been out hundreds of dollars.

They are truly evil. This new fee is just another way to screw people, because so many wised up already over the years with other tricks.

impolite
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I got it resolved - but only because I had PROOF that those transactions were listed as cleared. If I had not taken the nanosecond to print a copy when I was already looking that weekend - I would have been out hundreds of dollars.


Smart thing to do....and, yes, I think you are right about them.
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and today their website is down. They are saying it is a coincidence. One of the largest financial institutions in the nation, and their system goes to crap for no reason?

Meanwhile, I can't log in to pay our mortgage.
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The general attitude was that if they started charging a fee to everyone then they don't have to give advance notice they are doing it. Also, took the position that we should have had a fee for the last 3 months and should feel happy that they failed to charge it the first 2 months and the fact that we were told it was fee free was just wrong.

So, DH closed the account.


So much for a customer service attitude.

I have always checked my account online and balance using Quicken or Money. I assumed that the reason I wasn't notified of fee changes was that I wasn't carefully checking the printed statements. Fees that appeared have always been reversed.

It is time to look for a backup checking account. When Chase took over WaMU, the terms changed to the point that I closed that account. US Bank is a possiblility.
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There's a poll at METaR board asking if you would move your money if it started charging fees for debit:

http://boards.fool.com/poll-would-you-move-your-money-if-295...

Thought you all might be interested....


Andrea
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I refuse to do business with them.

We had a money market account with a local bank several years ago, and it was acquired by BoA. Within a couple months the MM rate was sliced almost in half. I went in and talked with a very nice young man, who indicated it was being done on instructions "from corporate" (of course), that "notice had been given" by separate mailing (probably in a plain envelope that got tossed because it looked like junk mail), and that was that.

As I instructed him to cut me a check and close the account I asked if he was seeing a lot of this, and he rolled his eyes and nodded his head up and down furiously as he said "I'm not allowed to say."

Sleazy doesn't begin to describe it.
 
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llamalluv,

You wrote, and today their website is down. They are saying it is a coincidence. One of the largest financial institutions in the nation, and their system goes to crap for no reason?

Meanwhile, I can't log in to pay our mortgage.


The part that is down is just BAC's home page. There are links on their "Home Page Temporarily Unavailable" page. The links say:

Continue to Online Banking
Access Merrill Lynch Online
Find a Bank of America ATM or branch

Click on the text of one and it will take you to the appropriate site that handles that part of their business.

- Joel
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The part that is down is just BAC's home page.

Incorrect.

I was unable to log in when I posted that. It timed out.

I was able to log in earlier, and I am able to log in now, and it times out when I try the "Pay Now" link.

It would be really nice to have monthly statements. Then I could mail a check for our payment. Without the payment coupon, I don't trust them to apply the payment to the correct account. Even with the payment coupon, they were unable to apply the excess payment amounts correctly. And, actually, I need to make additional escrow payments this week, so even if they were sending statements, it wouldn't matter.

We can't wait until we are able to refinance with our credit union.
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And this is becoming a frequent problem with them.

The online banking went down in January, in March, and in July.

They had a three day outage for California users in February.
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Meanwhile, I can't log in to pay our mortgage.

The home page is down, but you can click Continue to Online Banking. The banking site isn't down.
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KCFA NEVER uses a debit card or an ATM card for any reason.

Kahuna, CFA


You may have the time to actually go into the bank for cash, but for most of us ATMs are very useful.

This site convinced to stop using a debit card long ago.
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We don't really use our debit cards except rarely at an ATM to get cash, so the $5 a month fee doesn't really affect us. DH did mention it today as something else he didn't last and was told that, well, everyone would be charging that fee (which wouldn't surprise me). One advantage for us favoring Chase when we switched banks was that there is a Chase ATM in the Target we regularly shop at which makes it convenient to get cash. Anyway, not sorry to see the BOA account go particularly given their lousy attitude.
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determinedmom,

You wrote, We don't really use our debit cards except rarely at an ATM to get cash, so the $5 a month fee doesn't really affect us. DH did mention it today as something else he didn't last and was told that, well, everyone would be charging that fee (which wouldn't surprise me). One advantage for us favoring Chase when we switched banks was that there is a Chase ATM in the Target we regularly shop at which makes it convenient to get cash. Anyway, not sorry to see the BOA account go particularly given their lousy attitude.

Actually the primary reason to not use a debit card should be the security risk they pose together with the poor legal protections extended by Reg E. (Yes, Visa and Mastercard claim 100% fraud protection, but this protection is contingent on the bank's investigation.) From a security perspective, simply having a debit card issued and active on the account is a security risk - one you might feel is acceptable, but it exists regardless.

Using a debit card exposes you further because it increases the odds of the card being compromised, but simply having that access mechanism means that if someone gets your debit card information, they can fraudulently make purchases from your deposit account.

Of course checks can be forged too; but a debit card exposes a new access method to your account. And at least with checks, most merchants are suspicious of them, while they never seem to care about a credit or debit card transaction.

And of course you need to be protective of deposit accounts primarily because it's your money at risk, not the bank's. With credit accounts, it's the bank's money at risk. Also the Fair Credit Billing Act extends a great deal more protection than Reg E and losing access to credit is usually less inconvenient than losing access to your deposits.

So if you're going to avoid using a debit card except at ATMs, you should probably insist on getting an ATM-only card and having them cancel the debit card. (The banks will issue them - I've gotten ATM-only cards out of 2 banks and 1 credit union in the past and only Presidential Bank didn't balk.) This way if someone actually swipes your ATM card, they won't be able to use it by simply signing for a purchase...

- Joel
Who wishes banks would take customer account security more seriously. Unfortunately state and federal banking laws tend to put the burden of fraud on the customer unless reported in very short order. This limits their losses, but also limits their incentives to fix the problems.
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I agree with you about security which is the primary reason I don't use the debit card except at the ATM machine. You have a point about getting an ATM only card.
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keep reading.
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Unfortunately, they refused to give the refund. The argument he said that they made was (1) we're doing this to a lot of people and not just you

That's AWESOME! Coupled with the CEO saying they have a RIGHT to make a profit (disclaimer: I've just seen the headline, not read the story), BOA needs some serious customer relations training, top to bottom.

FWIW, the CEO probably meant to say they have a responsibility to their shareholders to make a profit. Or maybe what he said was taken out of context. Or maybe he is a moron.

v/r
Tom
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