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Bank of America is Scamming Me? [SOLVED]

CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
edited September 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
What. The. Hell.

I guess I should've been reading my bank statements every month but I never saw much point to it since I never had any huge strange charges pop up and I generally had a good idea of what I'd been buying each month. I mean, I'd be checking in my recent purchases throughout the month but I never really went through previous statements with a fine-tooth comb because I had no reason to.

Well, now that I started graduate school I've been keeping an Excel sheet of all my expenses, so I actually had to look at my previous statements, and what do I find? A day before each billing cycle ends, Bank of America charges me a few dollars for "Credit Protection Plus", and has been since January.

I'm immediately annoyed because I know I've never signed up for such a service. I've never replied to anything they've sent in the mail. I've never picked up any of their automated calls. I've always pressed "Kthxbye" when it tries to sell me something when I log in online.

So I google "bank of america credit protection plus" to figure out what the hell it is. The first link does describe it as some pointless service I don't want but it's the later links that caught my eye.
An entire gaggle of people complaining that they've been signed up for the service without their consent. A class action lawsuit is being considered against BoA over this. Many of these people have $1000+ charges racked up over this.

So... what steps should I take, and in what order? I've only been charged $25-30 for the service so far but I'm more angry than anything else. I don't owe them much of any money so I can easily threaten/switch banks.

One person says they wrote a letter directly to the high-ups at BoA and it got resolved that way. Do I want to contact local news stations to make some noise? (I'm in NYC so plenty of news to contact). Should I write to _____?

-EDIT-

So I went to my bank today and they told me they couldn't do anything because the Credit Security Plus company is an affiliate but not part of BoA or something or other. I had to call them directly anyway. So I did:

The guy explained that I'd signed up by phone a year ago and blah blah blah he could cancel the service but he can't refund me any money because I started the service more than 35 days ago.

Well, not quite says I. I spoke with my bank manager who said that you could do that.

Oh uh, well, no, we can't do that.

Well see, I looked it up online and apparently a lot of people are having this problem where they get signed up despite not consenting to it. And they explained how your department can be quite difficult but some of them eventually got refunds.

Oh uh, well, I can give you this month's refund back but not the whole thing.

Well that would be very nice of you, but I still insist on a full refund so when you're done with that can you connect me to a supervisor? See, apparently they mentioned on the Internet that if you just go through the supervisor to supervisor chain high enough, eventually you get someone willing to do the right thing and refund you.

Oh uh, well, actually I think I can just give you a full refund right now and cancel the service.

Why thank you. Have a nice day.



Easy peasy, provided you don't take any of their bullshit. I recommend anyone with a BoA account check and make sure they haven't been signed up either. Thanks for the advice folks.

Cognisseur on

Posts

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    All banks suck. B of A sucks slightly more than most. Credit unions suck slightly less than most regular banks.

    Thanatos on
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Personally I wouldn't write to anyone. Go to the bank in person and talk to someone.

    tsmvengy on
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  • ButtcleftButtcleft Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Cognisseur wrote: »
    So... what steps should I take, and in what order? I've only been charged $25-30 for the service so far but I'm more angry than anything else. I don't owe them much of any money so I can easily threaten/switch banks.

    Before dragging out the nuclear options, Why not go down to your bank and have a chat with the representative there before deciding on what further action, if any, should be taken.

    Also, let this be a lesson to check your statement every month [more often if online if you care to] because you never know what kind of wacky shit your bank will decide to do.

    Buttcleft on
    that's it, I'm shutting this entire forum down, everyone thank buttcleft
  • PracticalProblemSolverPracticalProblemSolver Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    From my experiences with BofA they don't really care about you closing your line of credit with them, in fact it seems to be something they want, so I don't know how much leverage you've got there. I would just tell them you want to see the original document where you agree to the service and unless they can produce that you're going to sue them unless they refund your twenty bucks.

    PracticalProblemSolver on
  • CognisseurCognisseur Registered User
    edited September 2009
    I'm just trying to see it from their perspective and I'm having a hard time doing so.

    I've read a "confession" from a BoA telemarketer where she confesses all the rotten ways they misrepresent the truth to try to get you to sign up for the service but I never even had that conversation. This was the first time I have ever heard of the service. I really can't figure out how the hell it could've originated.

    Cognisseur on
  • ascannerlightlyascannerlightly Registered User
    edited September 2009
    go to the branch. ask to speak to the branch manager. explain to him that you never requested this service and sure as hell never authorized this service. tell him he can either refund the money you've been charged back to your account or he can direct you to which teller will assist you with closing out your account.

    also: what does "credit protection plus" even do??

    ascannerlightly on
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  • ThegreatcowThegreatcow Lord of All Bacons Azusa Ca - The Quarry Armpit of AmericaRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    *Waves hand*

    Ahoy there! Banker man-cow here.

    That "service" basically sounds like a stripped down credit monitoring service that banks that offer credit cards often try to offer customers as a way of notifying you if something funky happens with your credit card/credit profile (which honestly they should already be doing to a certain degree but that's neither here nor there).

    Anyhow, as people have already said, go down to your local branch and ask to speak to a supervisor or someone in new accounts. They're most likely going to have to call their "back office" or card services as this is most likely some kind of credit card/credit profile/identity theft protection service so 99% of the time, the branch can't even deal with it at the branch level. They can, and should however, assist you in calling said back office and get this sorted out. If they can't show any proof that you signed up, they should be able to refund you the fees back to your account.

    Keep in mind that unless the manager of that branch authorizes it directly, the fee refunds are probably going to come from back office, meaning it might take a couple of weeks to process. Just keep an eye on your accounts and note everything they say about when and how the refunds will be credited, they should be able to just credit your checking account since it's being debited directly from it, but I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled a "rebate check" style refund and cut you a check and send it snail-mail to you. In either case, just keep note of everything and anything they promise.

    Thegreatcow on
  • Durandal InfinityDurandal Infinity Registered User
    edited September 2009
    It is a stripped down credit monitoring service. What bank of america does with me on the phone sometimes is go "And for your convenience Ive just enrolled you in Credit Plus this is free for the first 30 days...." You just have to no thank you them. You can do this over the phone and probably get a refund for some of the money too.

    Durandal Infinity on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I don't thinmk I have to read the OP.

    Of course Bank of America is screwing you. That's (really!) how they make their money.

    The Crowing One on
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  • WulfWulf Disciple of Tzeentch The Void... (New Jersey)Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Yeah, Bank of America is right behind TD Bank on my Whatthefuck-o-meter.
    I would definitely go into your local branch and have a sit with the manager, and stress that not only are you not very pleased, but you never agreed to said service nor to a trial of said service. Usually sleazy companies have employees who are slightly uncomfortable with said sleaziness, and when face-to-faced will set you on the right track more often than not.

    Wulf on
    Everyone needs a little Chaos!
  • 1ddqd1ddqd Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    If they give you shit, tell them to prove you authorized it.

    1ddqd on
  • Zombie NirvanaZombie Nirvana Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Bank of America is arguably the worst bank in the history of banks. You need to move your account.

    Zombie Nirvana on
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    Don't move your accounts to Chase though, they will drain you dry with their fees.

    My advice is to look around for a good credit union.

    LadyM on
  • Durandal InfinityDurandal Infinity Registered User
    edited September 2009
    LadyM wrote: »
    Don't move your accounts to Chase though, they will drain you dry with their fees.

    My advice is to look around for a good credit union.

    You're all fucking nuts. JP morgan chase, Citigroup, and BOA are possibly the best banks to go to for the simple reason that they exist nearly everywhere. There is an ATM within 500 feet of you at all times (save rural areas). Credit unions fuck you over because there are 2 banks within a 10 mile radius and NO ATMs.

    Clear up the problem you are having with bank of america online, and do what you wish but a credit union is incredibly inconvenient.

    Durandal Infinity on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    LadyM wrote: »
    Don't move your accounts to Chase though, they will drain you dry with their fees.

    My advice is to look around for a good credit union.

    You're all fucking nuts. JP morgan chase, Citigroup, and BOA are possibly the best banks to go to for the simple reason that they exist nearly everywhere. There is an ATM within 500 feet of you at all times (save rural areas). Credit unions fuck you over because there are 2 banks within a 10 mile radius and NO ATMs.

    Clear up the problem you are having with bank of america online, and do what you wish but a credit union is incredibly inconvenient.

    Convenience is one thing. Blatant disregard for individual rights, wishes and needs in the name of profit is a shade above evil.

    Believe me, I deal with BoA every day as an advocate for people getting screwed. BoA is at the absolute top of my asshole list. They are consistently ruining lives, and making a goddamn fortune off of it.

    The Crowing One on
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  • Durandal InfinityDurandal Infinity Registered User
    edited September 2009
    I think it has more to do with people no inspecting every aspect and listening closely when it comes to things regarding their own money. OPT INTO NOTHING, EVER, any mail from bank of america or citi that I get that is not a statement or info reg. my account turns into confetti within seconds.

    Durandal Infinity on
  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    There may be a credit union just as convenient where the OP lives. My credit union has branches spread all across my city, plus branches in several adjacent small towns, including a couple in a neighboring state. It has CU-specific ATMs all over the place and you can use non-affiliated ATMs for a fee (but I usually use my debit card rather than cash anyway.)

    LadyM on
  • The Crowing OneThe Crowing One Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I think it has more to do with people no inspecting every aspect and listening closely when it comes to things regarding their own money. OPT INTO NOTHING, EVER, any mail from bank of america or citi that I get that is not a statement or info reg. my account turns into confetti within seconds.

    Of course better financial literacy will solve the issue.

    The issue is that BoA penalizes you for a lack of education (which isn't most people's fault, entirely) and then makes money off the very people who it will hurt the most.

    EDIT: You, Durandal, are part of the problem.

    The Crowing One on
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  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Captain East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited September 2009
    LadyM wrote: »
    Don't move your accounts to Chase though, they will drain you dry with their fees.

    My advice is to look around for a good credit union.

    You're all fucking nuts. JP morgan chase, Citigroup, and BOA are possibly the best banks to go to for the simple reason that they exist nearly everywhere. There is an ATM within 500 feet of you at all times (save rural areas). Credit unions fuck you over because there are 2 banks within a 10 mile radius and NO ATMs.

    Clear up the problem you are having with bank of america online, and do what you wish but a credit union is incredibly inconvenient.

    Cause nobody lives in big cities like DC, Boston, or New York where credit unions are incredibly common. I can name 4 locations off the top of my head and I don't even use them.

    Iceman.USAF on


  • Durandal InfinityDurandal Infinity Registered User
    edited September 2009
    Well I live in a big city where credit unions are fairly uncommon. Thus my advice may not be most pertinent. I still say that the issue should be fixed as per the Ops request. Anything else isnt necessary and extra.

    Durandal Infinity on
  • Zombie NirvanaZombie Nirvana Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I've never been hit by a bank for anything as I carry a pretty high balance and I realize that the best thing that people can do is educate themselves and pay attention But that doesn't mean I have to support institutions with blatant disregard for pretty much everyone. BoA is one of those companies and I hope that one day they manifest themselves as a physical entity and are consequently screwed in a place much like the back of a volkswagen.

    At some point people have to stop being lazy and start paying attention to what they are supporting in this country. I'm going to keep pretending that it matters - that's my full advice to the OP in hopes that I don't garner yet more infractions. :)

    Zombie Nirvana on
  • VisionOfClarityVisionOfClarity Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    I don't know where all these people who have issues with BoA are from because I've never had an issue or anything less than great service. They've waived late fees, overdraw fees and worked fine when I was abroad.

    It's all about how you talk to CSRs. If you act like a prick or get all pissy right away, they're going to dismiss you immediately. Just go to the bank and talk to them, and yea, be prepared to be super polite and mature about it if you want this to go your way. Also, if you start throwing the 'I'll close my account!' around right away you're probably not going to get crap. You're account isn't worth the headache of them listening to you have a fit in the lobby, in fact, you're account probably isn't worth crap to them to begin with, so yea, be super nice.

    VisionOfClarity on
  • Vater5BVater5B Registered User regular
    edited September 2009
    LadyM wrote: »
    Don't move your accounts to Chase though, they will drain you dry with their fees.

    My advice is to look around for a good credit union.

    You're all fucking nuts. JP morgan chase, Citigroup, and BOA are possibly the best banks to go to for the simple reason that they exist nearly everywhere. There is an ATM within 500 feet of you at all times (save rural areas). Credit unions fuck you over because there are 2 banks within a 10 mile radius and NO ATMs.

    Clear up the problem you are having with bank of america online, and do what you wish but a credit union is incredibly inconvenient.

    Cause nobody lives in big cities like DC, Boston, or New York where credit unions are incredibly common. I can name 4 locations off the top of my head and I don't even use them.

    Yeah man, as a member of a credit union in Oklahoma, I have three branches within a five minute drive of my apartment, and two in the city where I go to school over 35 minutes away. Also, there are two branches in the city I work, which is 25 minutes in the opposite direction. Credit unions are not as bad as you make them out to be.

    [EDIT] Also, in the cities nearby where I don't have a branch, I can visit a credit union service center and take care of whatever needs I have there...

    Vater5B on
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