Thursday, May 25, 2006

That Depends On The Meaning Of "Referral"...

Greg was nice enough to share 3 ways (numbers in bold are my additions) in which he's personally experienced one of BOA's favorite pastimes: Money-grubbing...

"1) Last September, I referred my roommate as part of the BofA referral program ... After all was said and done, I was owed approximately $55 for the referral, since he opened more than one account, and he was owed approximately $35.

Here we are nearly seven months later and neither of us have not received our referral fees. I initiated a dispute with BofA nearly two months ago and finally received a response yesterday. The letter stated the referral program form submitted lacked sufficient documentation to prove a referral was ever made. In other words, according to them I never made the referral...

2) At the same time, we both signed up for the Keep the Change promotion. The same branch associate explained that BofA would match 100% of the Keep the Change transfers for the first three months (up to $250) and then 1% thereafter.

What she failed to mention - and admittedly I failed to read in the fine print - is the 100% match would take place 90 days AFTER the first anniversary of signing up for the promotion. So we have to wait a year and three months before the match will be deposited into our accounts. Also in the fine print is we must be currently enrolled in the Keep the Change program in order to receive the matched funds. Tricky huh?

3) And while I'm ranting... I tried the Online Bill Pay feature several years ago. I didn't like the way BofA immediately took money out of my account even though the merchant had not received the check. This created a huge problem when my first online bill pay to Cingular was credited to the wrong Cingular account. Cingular was saying they never received the check but BofA was saying the check was cashed. What a nightmare.

The online bill pay is a huge money maker for BofA because the pull the money from your account and hold it until the actual check clears the payee's bank. This could be one or two days. When it's millions and millions of dollars, its a huge benefit to BofA. But do you think they pass this savings back to the customers? Heck no! They merely raise fees to make even MORE money!"

What do you think they do with all that money? Do they swim in it like Scrooge McDuck and then kinda laugh at everyone they profited from? That's kinda what I picture. Anyway, thanks for the stories. Hope you get some of your money back (and your friend's too) sometime soon. And if I were you, I wouldn't wait that year in whatever program that is. I'd get out now.

Common Courtesy Available With Surcharge

Thanks to W (no real no provided) for the following story of how some folks get lucky right from the get-go at BOA...

"My 84 year old mother-in-law recently relocated to Las Vegas, NV ... and wanted to open a account at a local bank. My wife mistakenly took her to the new BOA branch bank several blocks form our home. The Bank of America personal banker was very rude and even insulted them so badly, they went across the street to Wells Fargo and opened an account there.

To add insult to injury I have sent several complaints to BOA and frankly they do not give a damn! I have never even had a response from them at all. Wells Fargo has called several times, to find out if she is satisfied with their service.

Where has common courtesy gone? Obviously not to Bank of America."

She's lucky! Usually you have to wait months or even years for that kinda of frank honesty from BOA - you know, when their claws are in deep and they can take you for large amounts of cash. Thanks for sharing!