Swindling From Disability Checks: A BOA Tradition
Thanks to Glenda, who despite her years of banking with BOA was also a recent victim of the check holding/overdraft scheme BOA's got going...
"I have been banking with Bank Of America for 10 years. The first time I experienced them repeatedly overdrafting my account was in 1998. I was working, so I had automatic deposit. They would hold checks and then put them through when my account was low. Now they are starting to do that again. I have automatic deposit for my disability check. They said that I have overdrafted 13 times in the last year, which is incorrect.
I have been overdrafting lately because they hold [checks] then put them through when I have a small amount of money in it. I pay out at least 50 to 100 dollars a month. I did not notice what they were doing until recently when I made a purchase over the weekend. They claim they took it out on Tuesday morning at 6 AM when I called the automated machine (and also looked on the Internet - my account was fine). As soon as I put my money in there, they claimed that I was overdrafted by $70.00.
I do not write checks; I only use my debit card. I was under the impression that when you use the debit card, the money automatically comes out (when you tell the merchant it's a debit). They are misleading people with their debit cards. When you try to explain or ask them to explain they are hostile and act like you are beneath them. It is very frustrating trying to talk to them. They also reply that they have no one for you to talk to except supervisors over customer service who are very rude and don't really care about the reputation of Bank Of America.
This is very disturbing to me. They are misleading people about their debit cards. I know I am not the only person this is happening to..."
Glenda, I'm absolutely certain you're not the only person this happens to, because we've heard about this sort of thing. You know, there's a special level of hell reserved for people who steal from disability checks.
I wish I knew someone who could help with all these problems, but I don't. The best advice I can give anyone is three-fold:
1) Don't ever try to solve a problem on the phone, if you can help it. Go talk to someone in your local branch face to face. See the manager, if you have to.
2) Send our site and every site you see in our links your complaints. Make it loud. Writing to consumer affairs or Clark Howard (or your local consumer advocate) helps at least get the message out.
3) DON'T bank with Bank of America. Use a credit union if you can or some small local bank. You may lose a few bucks to ATM withdrawals here and there and you'll have to carry more cash, but you won't be losing it to stuff like this. Those places value your business more.
(Please note: if you close your account with BOA, make sure to document everything! I don't want anyone to go through what I went through.)
Good luck, Glenda! God bless.