Comment from: Mari [Visitor]

I feel for you … it is an awful predicament to be in and there is nothing that you can do about it at least until Monday. I offer no solution - except to tell you that some years ago I had the same problem with my ATM card when I made a deposit at a Bofa ATM machine in Northern Virginia. My card was “confiscated” by the machine. It took 10 days to get a replacement card. At any rate I have never again made a deposit through the machine and never will. Jó pap holtig tanul :)))

07/04/09 @ 15:48
Comment from: Tara [Visitor]

We actually saw a commercial from Bank of America about a week or so ago, claiming to be “on your side” and “there for you” or some joke. They’re currently screwing T over and he is extremely pissed at them. So we had a nice laugh at that. Really, the fact that they have to make a random commercial like that, tells you something. Thou doth protest too much??

07/04/09 @ 16:06
Comment from: MycityM [Visitor]

BoFA is the epitome of why capitalism can go very wrong. They prey on people’s necessity to access funds & don’t deliver decent customer service unless you threaten them. I personally am disgusted with their tactics. They once mistakenly emptied my corporate bank account twice (by processing a transaction in double uneccessarily) leaving me in overdraft, with almost $1000 of fees. When I asked for a credit I was told that was “against” policy & I would have to just apply the extra paid to future balances. It prompted me to move to Wachovia which is overall better - but not without it’s own problems.

It’s like cell-phone carriers - banks prey on the fact you don’t understand all intricacies of the industry and that you NEED the service they provide. Disgusting. I can’t think of a better word…

But here’s a tip that might help as you navigate through customer service hell.

Visit: - it’s a site that lists shortcuts for reaching live agents at over 900 US companies.

I also recommend keeping a stress ball handy & bringing up a web site that has humorous things on it. I find wasting my “wait time” while I’m on “terminal hold” with funnies eases the stress of the experience and gives me an edge to remain in a better mood no matter how bad it gets.

07/05/09 @ 09:19
Comment from: MycityM [Visitor]

Actually the URL is for the access to customer svc reps at over 900 companies. is a sobering site about hunger throughout the world (which isn’t a bad thing to be aware about - but unrelated to this customer service issue).

Another tip is to press “0″ or say “agent” rather than venture down the pre-recorded maze of customer service hell. Dorothy barely made it out of the enchanted forest alive - you however may not be so lucky, or make it with your sanity intact.

07/05/09 @ 09:24
Comment from: Zozi [Member]

Thank you for all the comments, they are very useful. A couple of appendices…

1. While testing my “tags” in Google, like “BofA", “ATM card", “confiscated", “retained” (to check if Google points to this blog using these search words), I found a slew of similar comments/complaints from all over. Also, the fact that among the relatively small number of readers of my blog someone turned up (Mari Erdos) who had the same experience, seems to point to the fact that the ATM card retention/confiscation is a common practice BofA uses against their customers. This is an interesting twist, given (as you can hear in the taped conversation), the rep I spoke to clearly tried to push the blame down to the ATM level as being an “error", as opposed to a deliberate action of BofA (due to whatever policy or algorithm they deliberately use). In other words, chances are increasing that this occurrence in fact reflects their deliberate strategy/tactics and then they are ready to lie about it.

2. I agree, that “disgusting” is the right word, especially considering they run ads to suggest they care about customers. Unbelievable they have a face to say that! Not only they don’t care about customers, but in fact they push it to the limits, to the point of legal boundaries. Clearly, spending too much on customer service and other areas to ensure customers’ needs are addressed well (helping avoid unnecessary inconveniences) is not as beneficial to the bottom line as doing the minimum (and saving on customer satisfaction as much as possible).

But it could also backfire if they go too far de-prioritizing customer satisfaction. Therefore, there is a balance and it is a business decision for them to determine where to draw that imaginary line between the endpoints of (A) too crappy customer service and ignoring customers to the point it backfires and they start losing customer more than they want; and (B) too “good” (and therefore expensive) customer satisfaction, which they view as hurting the bottom line. Clearly they tend to mind less if they err falling too close to end-point “A".

3. Someone recommended local credit unions and I wonder how you feel about that. Obviously, they don’t have an as perverted of a capitalistic approach as a big commercial bank, but I think the list of services they offer may be limiting (which is something big commercial banks know well for why they can afford their outrageous customer handling strategies)… For example long time ago I tried to play with a credit union bank, but the did not support Quicken direct connect (plus their web-based banking was rather limited), all of which seemed prohibitive to me (and BofA crappy customer service, although annoying, with all the services that ARE available, it is NOT prohibitive; I think that is at the heart of the concept that helps them abuse customers).

4. With respect to the shortcut to live agent, thanks a lot, it seems useful! On the other hand I find that some “smarter” companies actually figure that that is what most people do now (press ‘0′) and thus disable that feature. There are some cases where I just can’t seem to figure this out and I am sure they put in significant effort to figure out ways to comply with existing regulation yet “outsmart” their customers in preventing easy access to a live person. On the other hand, the fact so many do have live customer support (if 900 entities are listed…) there may be some federal law mandating it and perhaps it is also regulated how they should make it available, etc. I am interested in any further comments there…

Thanks again,

07/05/09 @ 10:29
Comment from: Mari [Visitor]

Re: Credit Union banking.
My experience with our particular credit union was similar to yours. I would not recommend them for any online business and found their customer service very spotty. The truth of the matter is that I have been using BofA’s online bill pay system for approximately six years and have never had any problems. For me it works like a charm. It is very easy to use and it is well organized. I have been frustrated a few times with BofA (besides my ATM card being eaten by the machine) all caused by some morons working in our nearest branch office. Actually I moved our account and safety deposit box to another branch where the management seems to be more competent and professional. BTW I use a local bank for business purposes and while they are a fine financial institution their online system is less then desirable.

07/05/09 @ 22:18

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