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- Topic started on 19-10-2011 @ 11:05 AM by Tripnman
- Over the past two weeks, I have been closing down and
moving money out of my Bank of America accounts. I
have done my personal and business (I own a consulting business) banking
there for over ten years but have decided to vote with my wallet and express
my displeasure with the system by removing my money from their clutches.
One by one, I have zeroed out the balances on various accounts by transferring
and consolidating via their website. After each transfer I then called
to close the accounts over the phone without issue.
- Yesterday was different. I visited a branch to make a
business deposit and when I arrived, there were signs on the ATMs indicating
that the system was down and that customers should come into the branch.
Before I got to the business customers' line, I was stopped by a banking
associate and asked the purpose of my visit. I told him I was there to
make a deposit and he waved me to a desk. When I sat down the banker first
asked for my account number. I don't know it, so I handed him my ATM card.
That's when he explained that all of their computers were down, and although
they would accept the deposit, without the account number they would have
to give me a generic receipt. Say what huh? When I told him that my newly
opened accounts at a local (small, community) credit union would
like the deposit he insisted that their computers were down too. Fifteen
minutes after leaving BoA I found that to not be true and the money was
happily deposited into a new account at the CU without issue.
- Later in the afternoon I hit up a different branch of
BoA and found their computers working just fine. I went in, asked to speak
with a banker and was seated in an office. When the young associate came
in and asked the purpose of my visit, I handed her my ATM card and requested
that she tell me the balance. When she did, I then asked for a cashiers
check in that amount. That's when things got wonky. She froze, stumbled
over her words and asked why I needed that amount (It was not a small sum).
This gave me an opportunity to explain that althouth I personally would
not be affected by their new fees I know plenty of friends and family that
would feel the pain. In solidarity with them, I wished to close the account
and move on. She unwittingly suggested that if I just use my debit card
once a month then there would be no fee. That was good for a belly laugh
from me, then I again requested the balance to be issued to me in the form
of a cashier's check. She then told me that there would be a $10 fee for
this service. Another laugh. I guess it didn't sink in when I told her
that I was fee adverse. There was an easy work-around anyway - I requested
the cash. That finished my time with this associate banker as the amount
I was requesting was "well past" her daily limit for withdrawals.
I asked if there would be an issue with securing the cash and she said
"I honestly don't know if we have that here" and walked out to
get the branch manager.
- The manager was pleasant enough and very direct. After
introducing herself she flat out asked "What can we do to change your
mind?" "We don't want to see you go" she emphasized. This
opened a door for me to further explain my decision to leave the bank and
why I was doing it. Amazingly, it did not fall on deaf ears. She indicated
that understood where I was coming from and actually showed genuine surprise
at some of the facts I provided her about the less than consumer friendly
policies and mechanations of her employer. She did make some feeble counter-arguments
and repeatedly asked me if I would change my mind (with a hint of desperation!).
I stood firm and by the end of our conversation she asked if I would be
willing to put it all in writing so she could send it up the chain. She
shared that management is nervous, they are seeing money leaking out of
the bank and realize that they have made mistakes. She even hinted that
there has been high-level discussion on reversing the new fess since there
has been so much consumer push-back. They are also aware of the growing
momentum behind the November 5th ###snipped### action.
- I agreed to arm her with addition information but that
I was running short on time and now wanted my money. She picked up the
desk phone and asked the original associate to rejoin us. The young lady
walked in carrying stacks of cash like you see in the movies - paper bands
with the amounts stamped on top. The associate then counted every bill
in front of me with the manager over her shoulder, and when I was satisfied
I walked out with it in a grocery bag. The money is now in a local credit
union, leaving me with just one BoA account - my business checking. Moving
business money is a bit more complicated and has to be seamless, so over
the next two weeks I will finish putting the pieces in place and on November
5 I will shut that one down and be done with BoA banking for good. Will
be interesting to see if they have the cash on hand for that withdrawal.
- why do I share all of this with you? For one, I wanted
to let people know that it IS still possible to withdraw large sums of
cash from BoA and close your accounts - just be ready for them to beg.
Two, that management is aware that people are angry (how could they not
be!) and have put an ear to the ground.