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 _____?
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
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.