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Author Topic: If you're looking for a new bank...  (Read 490 times)

Offline Tomato

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If you're looking for a new bank...
« on: September 24, 2011, 08:04:22 PM »
((I want to put a note on the outset that this post is written very much in a state of anger. I would normally not post something like this on any board, but I am so frustrated with the whole situation I have just been put in that I need to vent, and I know you guys'll be understanding))

For the love of all that is holy, do not ever, ever, EVER choose Bank of America. As a (soon to be former) long time customer, I will tell you right off the bat that it is not worthy the constant headache that BoA will invariably force upon you, for no better reason than it delights in bleeding you of your money and constantly torturing you.

First of all, let me begin by saying that the situation today is by no means the first straw, just the final one in a mountain sized pile of straws. Ever since I got my first debit card with this damn bank years ago I have had to put up with impromptu account blocks (They've put blocks on me before for stuff as simple as spending $2 at a BX), constantly increasing and changing charges (within the last year they suddenly decided to charge me if I transferred money from one account to another more than ___ times) and just a general lack of common sense about the dren they're supposed to be doing.

I have put up with all this for the last 6-7 years, primarily because Bank of America is my parent's bank, it was my first bank, and because I pay my bills and keep track of my money well enough that 90% of the retarded charges and nonsense do not usually apply to me. I even got my first credit card last year, not because I have any real use for credit (I spend what I have. Insane I know, but it works well for me) but because I wanted to start building a good credit score to prepare for when I might actually need that money.

That brings us to today. I had not one, but TWO unforgivable and overall retarded issues come at me at the same time, BOTH of which alone would have had me at least seriously looking at going over to other banks.

The first incident apparently occurred a few weeks ago. BoA's protection system apparently discovered that someone (I don't know who) had hacked into a list of credit card numbers, mine being among them. Instead of contacting me and letting me know "hey, you might want to watch your credit card, someone haxxored it!" they decided to just set up my current card for cancellation within the next month (again, without telling me) and sent me another one. Putting aside the fact that my bank information/new cards/whatever doesn't ship directly to me, it's sent to my parents who then mail it to me (which is more convenient since I'm in the military and I might, shockingly, get transferred occasionally), the sheer fact that they didn't even bother to send me a computer generated email ticks me off. I wouldn't have even found out that it had happened, except for situation #2.

This being my first credit card, I'm on a restricted plan... I have a ~$500 limit and a relatively high interest rate. However, that's not a huge deal, because normally I put money on it specifically so I never have to go into my credit anyway. That's especially true as of this weekend: because I'm expecting a 300+ charge from LEGO for that Coagulation base I showed in the artist alley, I put in plenty of surplus credit. As of right now, looking at the statement online, I have a surplus of $517.85... Plenty to cover the Lego set plus whatever else I might have gotten this weekend. However, apparently that's not good enough for BoA... upon driving a good half hour out of my way to go to a bigger TRU for some Halo sets, I discovered that BoA was declining a purchase of ~$150.

After spending about 15 minutes playing phone jump-rope with customer service, I was told that even though I had put a surplus of money on the card, it did not matter because I had a ~$500 limit and that is apparently all that counts. Until such time as a BoA person comes in on Monday and deigns to look at my account and see that, oh yeah, I HAVE THE MONEY TO COVER IT ALREADY IN THE ACCOUNT, I'm down to less than $40 for the rest of this weekend.

So yeah, Tomato ticked.

Offline lugaru

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2011, 11:04:22 PM »
BOA sucks but I have an employee account which I heavily customized even though I have not worked there in 6 years, so I stick with them.

Also they hate it when you call 'em BOA, LOL.

Seriosly though I suggest finding a local credit union or something to that effect.

Offline thalaw2

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2011, 03:52:11 AM »
I agree with Lugaru.  Find a good credit union.  My buddy came to visit me in China and he's a BoA customer.  BoA did not disappoint with the reputation for sticking to the customer.  International charges were outrageous and being split 3 ways per transaction (Also, don't bother with Discover credit cards, stick to Visa or Mastercard). 

I keep all my money (actually it's not much) in the US with a credit union and I don't bother getting an ATM card.  They never charge me for walking in, plus I can do some online account management.  All my other bank business is in overseas accounts.  I don't do this to avoid taxes (again, I ain't rich), but I find that the banks I use are a lot more friendly than my experiences with Wells Fargo (which caused me to never want any American based plastic again) despite language barriers. 
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Offline Tomato

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2011, 04:16:50 AM »
All my other bank business is in overseas accounts.

Well see, with me being in the military, I don't think I really have that option... feels kind of like rooting for the other team or some-such.

As of right now I'm planning on checking through some of the credit card offers I've gotten when I go home for thanksgiving (mostly so I can have the benefit of my parents experience with the dreaded fine print) but I'm leaning towards switching to USAA right now. It'd be more suited for being active duty military, plus there's the added benefit of getting paid a day or so early.

Offline lugaru

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2011, 12:38:38 PM »
btw the BOA joke is how Boas swallow smaller animals... I used to work for Fleet and got eaten up by BOA.

I'm not gonna tell you to leave them, honestly since I "customized" my account I've been really happy (for example I got rid of overdraft protection, which is a scam).


Offline bearded

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2011, 02:44:07 PM »
the best bank i've ever had is navy federal. they are open 24/7 by phone, and always helpful.

Offline ow_tiobe_sb

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 03:35:10 PM »
btw the BOA joke is how Boas swallow smaller animals... I used to work for Fleet and got eaten up by BOA.
... and, prior to BOA's swallowing of Fleet, Fleet swallowed BankBoston, which was the result of a merger between Bank of Boston and BayBank.   When I moved to Boston many, many moons ago, I opened an account with BayBank, and my account has been morphing into new bank accounts (because the banks were new, not because my account changed!) fairly regularly about every 3-7 years since then. :o

I feel your pain, 'Mato.  Sorry to learn of your troubles, which seem to go far beyond reason in new and preposterous ways. :(

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Offline lugaru

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2011, 04:47:58 PM »
... and, prior to BOA's swallowing of Fleet, Fleet swallowed BankBoston, which was the result of a merger between Bank of Boston and BayBank.   ow_tiobe_sb
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Yup, so I got a job with Citizens Bank which was incredibly cool, until they got swallowed up by the much maligned Royal Bank of Scottland. All of a sudden we had our salaries capped, vacations reduced and read about the CEO in another country being picketed and protested against. I got out of there quickly.

I was hoping we would get bought up by Santander, they are a bank out of spain but are very old fasioned retail, rather than being obsessed with risky trades.

Offline Amazo Version 2.2

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2011, 09:13:32 PM »
glad too know that i'm not the only one who got corked by bofa
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Offline cmdrkoenig67

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2011, 05:53:01 PM »
I have a few friends who have warned me about BOA too...All of them were royally screwed by it, unfortunately.

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Offline GogglesPizanno

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2011, 07:51:12 PM »
I have friends who worked at BoA and they hated it. Said the place was terrible.
I got fed up with big giant banks years ago and went the route of the local credit union and have never looked back.

Offline Uncle Yuan

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Re: If you're looking for a new bank...
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2011, 11:38:55 PM »
I bank with Wells Fargo because I used to bank with Norwest, but, and here I follow the theme, they were bought by WF.  That being said I am quite pleased with WF.  They have excellent customer service and if they've screwed me over they were so gracious about it I didn't notice.

I am also a big fan of credit unions - as non-profits they exist only to serve their members.  Some regional ones can be fairly big, which is nice when it comes to paying ATM fees as they might actually have one of their own (or affiliated) that you can get to.  But even the smaller ones will susbscribe to one of the international ATM networks and you'll only pay half fees since THEY won't charge you.  Besides, I use an account linked debit card for all retail purchases and rarely use cash anyway.
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