So, yeah, this is going to be a little ranty; feel free to skip it if you like Bank of America, or just don’t feel like hearing a windy blowhard spouting bile.
I’m not going into the many reasons I decided to close out my Bank of America account, just the representative experience of actually doing it.
So I rolled in, got to a teller, and told her I wanted to close my account. She directed me to the back of the bank, since tellers can’t close accounts.
Okay, fine. I’m not going to get into asking why I can’t just close my account through their horrible, horrible website, but fine.
Right after I’d emptied the account in preparation for closing it, they hit me the very next day with a $10 “below acceptable account balance” fee. And, of couse, a $25 overdraft fee, since there was a zero balance.
Okay, fine. I’m leaving, it’s your last chance to nickel-and-dime me, I understand.
The account-closing lady offered to take the fee off, but their fee-refunding computer system was down. And there were people she could call to fix it, but they weren’t going to be in until Monday. I could come in Monday, and “maybe” she could get the fee taken off. No thanks, I’ve been on that merry-go-round. (“Maybe we could take off the balance charge, but you’ll need to come in next Wednesday to take off the overdraft.” “Maybe we could take $5 dollars off the overdraft, but you’ll need to call our service in Turbekistan, which only operates every other full moon.” “Oops, this other fee got put on your account. Maybe you could…”) Bleh. NO THANKS. I’ll just take my lumps and pay the stupid $35 “Get Out of Our Bank” fee.
So she redirects me back to the tellers, since she can’t deal with money.
Okay, fine, FINE. I get back in line.
Once I get hold of another teller, I hand her my credit card. She starts talking about a “cash advance” and whoa! I stomp the brakes, because my CC charges painfully punitive cash advance fees. Apparently, Holy Cow, THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO RUN A CREDIT CARD AT BANK OF AMERICA.
So I offer her a debit card. She gets that look, like “Oh no this guy is about to flip out.” Apparently, I have to go to the ATM machine outside to withdraw cash to deposit, since THEY CAN’T DO DEBIT CARDS EITHER. Although, she says, some customers have reported having “trouble” with the ATM machine.
No kidding. Trouble, you say? Shock!
Okay, fine. Hit me with the cash advance fee, so I can finally close this stupid account and LEAVE. Sure, sure.
She proceeds to walk over to a CREDIT CARD IMPRINTER. You know, the old machines they stick your card into with a carbon slip, and slide the handle over, going “SHONK-SHONK?” Seriously, she used one. I don’t think I’ve seen one of those since well before I was old enough to have a credit card. I thought they only had them in museums for failed technology. But I have physical evidence, a carbon-copy sales slip, which she then ran through the scanner hooked to her computer.
Honestly? Take that 700 billion dollar bailout and buy yourselves a credit card machine. You can get them on Ebay pretty cheap, I hear.
Then, of course, I get to take my fancy carbon slip back to the account closing lady.
Digression: Have you ever been to a renaissance festival? They’re a lot of fun: people dress in armor and medieval clothing and pretend to be lords and ladies and knights and so forth. You can buy period clothing, big turkey legs to gnaw on, swords and axes, etc. from vendors scattered throughout.
Why do I bring this up? THIS FAT HAIRY MAN IN CHAINMAIL, WHOSE STOREFRONT IS EFFECTIVELY A FEW PLANKS ON A MUDDY PATCH IN THE MIDDLE OF A FIELD, CAN ACCEPT ANY DEBIT AND/OR CREDIT CARD IN MY WALLET. PERHAPS BANK OF AMERICA SHOULD CONTACT THIS MAN TO LEARN THE SECRETS OF HIS TECHNOLOGICAL MARVEL.
So maybe my account is closed, maybe not. I’d give even odds that something else was “down” and I’ll need to come back in for something. Because I can clean every last dollar and dime from my account over the internet, but actually closing the thing is serious enough to require my physical presence on bank premises.
Bad bank. Bad naughty. Bad.
UPDATE: While I understand that a good rant can be a lot of fun, I’d respectfully ask that you keep comments relatively clean– if it’s not something you’d say to your boss, or your mother, or shout at random passersby on a street corner, please don’t put it in a comment. Thanks!