Medicated Money

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

If You Play With Fire, You're Going To Get Burned...

Well, I just got burned! Burned rather badly, by my opinion, by the almighty Bank of America. You see, we have been so busy that I just have had many things on auto-pilot in order to make sure that things hopefully run smoothly while I don’t have the time to address them. And because of this thinking, I got burned.

I recently set-up bill payer, which has been a God-send, (but that is another post) and have been paying down our one credit card on an automatic basis. This particular card was with Bank of America at 0%. For 9 straight months, the due date of this bill was the 14th of every month. So like a good financial blogger, I set our automatic bill payer to pay the bill on the 9th. Unfortunately for us (fortunately for BoA), BoA decided to change this date to the 8th. By doing this, the billing cycle changed as well to start on the 10th.

Well, guess what, I paid the June bill on May 10th, and thought the payment on June 9th would pay the July bill. Ah, no! It was credited to the June payment. So in the month of June, I made 2 payments, and for the month of July, no payments. Due to this, BoA decided to change the 0% rate to 15.99%, and charge me $39 late fee. All in all, $80 for the slip up. I immediately contacted BoA and spoke to one of their robots, err, Customer Service Reps.

  • Mr. Medicated: I am calling to contest a late charge, plus receive an explanation for the rate change.
  • BoA Robot: I’m sorry sir, your account show a late payment, hence the rate change and late charge.
  • Mr. Medicated: I realize that, hence the phone call. The payment was received and credited on the 10th. The billing date starts on the 10th, so it was paid the same day the cycle started.
  • BoA Robot: Yes, the bill was paid on the 10th, but our computers cannot credit an account for the same day the payment was received!
  • Mr. Medicated: You’re kidding me, right! In today’s world of technology, your computer cannot credit an account for a payment, but can remove the money from my bank account and place it into the hands of BoA. Even more, it can then add that payment to my last payment cycle even though that ended on the 9th, and the money was received on the 10th, the first day of the billing cycle!
  • BoA Robot: Err, um, yes, that is correct!
  • Mr. Medicated: Well, please remove the finance charges as well as late fee because of the incompetence of your computers.
  • BoA Robot: Um, I cannot do that, sir, the computer does not allow us to remove a finance charge, but I can remove up to $20 of the late fee.
  • Mr. Medicated: Good thing your computer knows when it is working for BoA and not the customer. Can I speak to your supervisor?

Long story short, I ended up talking with this robot’s boss, supervisor mega-robot. After pretty much the same exchange, I could not get more than the $20 refund of the late fee, even after I played the ‘if this is not fixed, I will cancel my account and go with another credit card!’ card. I swore to her that I would never use Bank of America and would tell every person my experience with their company, leading to her response of ‘I’m sorry to hear that!’ So am I.

After hanging up, I immediately contacted a new card service for 0% balance transfer and will be transferring all funds in a matter of days to this new account. Amazing how fast these credit card companies screw people over.

To be honest, I was surprise that they would not fix the problem, but since I never once used the card (was a 0% balance transfer deal almost a year ago); they probably figured I would transfer the balance anyway after the special deal was up. They guessed right, but still, you would think they would at least do a better effort in trying to keep us. Now I have to go and find some ointment for this burn!

7 Comments:

  • ThAT IS CRUMMY!!

    I also think that is deceitful to move the billing cycle significantly. It is a set up in my opinion. I would file with the BBB! I would also contact the attorney general. This is very deceptive practice.

    By Blogger Casper, at 6:16 PM, July 28, 2006  

  • Casper,

    I have thought about calling the BBB. As for the attorney general, looking over the paperwork in the fine print, it looks like they have the ability to do this.

    I agree with you that it is/was a set up. I truly believe that the CC companies do this on a daily basis. Why do they get away with it? Because most Americans probably don't do anything about it! It really is criminal, though!

    My revenge will be to always give a negative review of BoA. I plan on telling everyone about this. Probably in the end, this will do nothing to effect their business, but will give me some peace of mind if I prevent this scam from happening to another person!

    -Medicated

    By Blogger Medicated Money, at 7:13 PM, July 28, 2006  

  • i just got a BoA credit card offer with 0% balance transfer for 12 months, and no fee for that period. I was thinking about going forward with it; with a little hesitation, since there are no other benefits. BUT, after reading your post, i quickly sent the offer into my shredder! Thanks!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 AM, July 30, 2006  

  • BoA S&cks!! I had a similar issue with my Cheking Account, a check went trough one day later than expected, therefore I ended up with three cheks that overdrafted my account on the same day. So I got charged $19 for the first, $19 for the second and $36 for the third.... ouch!!! The funny thing is that I had been a BoA customer for +3 years and had NEVER overdrafted my account and they did not care. More Funny however, was the fact that because of the way they structured the debits my account was overdrafted three times (they debited the bigger check first and then the two small ones). Basically, I had $1,000 in the account and wrote 3 checks for $1,100, $200 and $100. Because they debited them from bigger to smaller I got slamed. If they had done it backwards, my account would have ended overdrafted by the same amount but only by one check!
    I hate the Customer Service people at that company, I closed the account and took my bussines elsewhere....

    By Anonymous Imtos, at 1:15 PM, July 31, 2006  

  • Here is a helpful tip to make sure this never happens. Set your AUTOPAY to send a payment EVERY WEEK. If your monthly payment is $400, send $100 EVERYWEEK. This ensures that you always cover the minimum (usually $50) and pay down the debt with no late fees or getting screwed over!

    By Anonymous Rich Slick, at 8:16 PM, August 05, 2006  

  • Rick...I too use the weekly pay plan. It allows me to set it and forget it, with the auto pay.

    By Anonymous King of Debt, at 11:09 AM, August 18, 2006  

  • Definitely like the idea of Rick's to pay down the debt weekly to avoid 'getting burned!'

    Thanks to everyone else for reading and your comments!

    -Medicated

    By Blogger Medicated Money, at 7:55 PM, August 18, 2006  

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