Bank of America

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harriet1954
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2009/10/10 20:08:24 (permalink)

Bank of America

I had the same bank since 1987, when I moved to New Jersey. First it was called United Jersey Bank. Than it changed names to Summit Bank. Then after that it became Fleet Bank, and then I guess a few years ago, it became Bank of America. So I never had any problems. I needed the convenience, because, as most people know, I work two jobs and it's not unusual for me to hit the ATM at 4:30 or 5:00 AM on my way home from my paper route. That location was nearly walkable from my apartment. In fact, it is walkable. I usually only withdraw cash to get gas for the car...and I'm always filling up the car. I also sometimes would run over to the bank at lunchtime. That location was a 3-minute drive from work with the lights in my favor. Well, one day about a month ago, my boyfriend tells me that that branch closed and there's a For Sale sign up. I was pretty surprised. So one day I was off from my day job and went to the one at the corner to deposit something, and talked to the manager (who used to manage the one near my work). I was like, "Mr, Keyes, what do you think about your old branch closing?" and he was like, "Well, I hope they don't close this one! They tell us everything at the last moment!" Well, guess what. Two mornings later I drive up to their parking lot to get a quick 20 out and I was like..."WHAT????" The ATM was boarded up, the signage was gone, and it looked very eerie. It literally closed overnight. No letters in the mail, no nothing.  I believe also that maybe two or three days later, B of A's CEO, Ken Lewis, retired with a $53 million windfall. Lovely.
 
No convenient branches anymore, so I closed my account which was not easy. And it's STILL not closed completely! This bank has to make sure you have a zero balance in it for five working days before you completely close it. I don't know any other bank that does it that way, really. I figured you close it, it's closed! Well, my direct deposit at my day job -- no problem switching that over, but the paper route? Idiots! Even with the paperwork switching over to my new bank, they STILL have managed to put in two direct deposits to my OLD account, thus keeping it from staying at that zero balance for five working days! Can you say frustrated? Oh, and I've got more, which involved the new account, but it's just their rules and regs.
 
It's OK. So I have part of a direct deposit in one account and part of a mailed-to-me check in my new one (the first hundred of it is available to you the next business day -- which will be NEXT TUESDAY, since Columbus Day is a bank holiday!)
 
Stay tuned. I've never had this problem before. And there's more, involving my old debit card being "cut off" -- but yet I have MONEY in that account!
 
I'm going to sleep now...beautiful Lancaster County beckons tomorrow! Roadtrip...must clear head!
 
Have a great rest of the weekend, everybody.
#1

58 Replies Related Threads

    David_NYC
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/10 20:47:58 (permalink)
    Nationally, B of A was supposed to close 10% of their branches. B of A got a lot of federal bailout money. Meantime, there is movement afoot to quash Lewis' pension:
    http://www.seiu.org/2009/10/10000-taxpayers-sign-letter-to-stop-ken-lewis-bailout.php
    #2
    felix4067
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/10 21:00:06 (permalink)
    I, too, ended up with an account at B of A when they bought my bank.  I, too, tried valiantly to close my account so I could go somewhere else.

    It costs some money, but this is the only way I know for sure will do it:  Overdraw your account.  Leave it that way for two weeks (yes, they'll charge you fees).  After two weeks, you'll get a letter in the mail telling you they've closed your account because you've been overdrawn too long, and they don't allow that.

    It ended up costing me about $100, but it was actually worth it to get out from under their shadow.  THEN, they went and bought Merrill Lynch, where I have all my investments. I can't win.
    #3
    mar52
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/10 22:29:48 (permalink)
    I closed my B of A account back in the 80s over a major screwup on their part.

    I also got rid of their VISA card just because it was theirs.

    It's good you left them.  Don't feel guilty.

    Just enjoy your weekend!
    #4
    MikeS.
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/11 00:14:31 (permalink)
    We too left BofA back in the late 70s because of a screw-up on their part. Haven't looked back since.

    Since moving to WVa 11+ years ago we've dealt with a Federally chartered CU and a local bank that has 5 branches. The closest branch being 1/4 mile away.
    #5
    WarToad
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/11 08:53:28 (permalink)
    When I lived downtown Seattle, BoA was very nice, ATM or branch every couple bloocks it seemed like.  Then I moved to ND.  Not a single branch IN THE ENTIRE STATE!

    I do all my banking online.  Bill paying, ect.  Just makes it a pain in the ass when I get a live check. (though thats rare, most incoming money is electronic anymore.)   I had to open a US Bank account just for live checks.
    #6
    ces1948
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/11 23:49:55 (permalink)
    We opened a B of A account last year because it was the only bank I could find that had locations in both Tennessee and Florida. So far no problems and none of the branches have closed. They do advertise themselves as being the ONLY national bank. Don't know if that's true or not
    #7
    felix4067
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/12 07:11:20 (permalink)
    I haven't looked them all up, but Chase lists branches in every single state, including Hawaii and Alaska.  I would assume that makes them a national bank as well.  So does PNC.
    #8
    Tedbear
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/12 08:33:53 (permalink)
     
    I have a couple of recommendations for Harriet.
    First, take a look to see if there are any Wachovia branches that are convenient for you.  I also live in NJ, and my account has passed from...Core States Bank, to First Union Bank, to Wachovia due to buyouts.  I can report that Wachovia's customer service has been superb in all respects over the 6 years or so that they have been my bank.  In fact, Wachovia typically comes out the best in ratings of all big banks in terms of customer service.  Yes, they have been bought-out by Wells Fargo, but I perceive little or no change in the 6 months or so since the buy-out.   According to my local branch manager, it is unlikely that Wells will change the award-winning policies and services of Wachovia.
     
    Another bank to look for is Hudson City Savings.  This is a home-grown NJ bank and it is consistently rated as "The Best-Managed Bank in the US" by Forbes magazine.   Hudson City is very secure and usually pays a higher rate on CDs than other banks.
     
    Aside from where your bank is located, my other suggestion is to start using a credit card.  
     
    Why keep driving or walking to the bank a few times a week for pocket cash when you can simply place most of your purchases on a credit card? 
    Besides saving gas, you will also be saving precious time by not having to go to a bank frequently.
     
    The only purchases of mine that do not go on a credit card are the car wash and the occasional lottery ticket.   Virtually everything else, including my newspaper delivery, my phone service, my cell phone service, my alarm company, my satellite TV service, my landscaping service, my garbage collection service, and--of course-- items like supermarket, appliance, and clothing store purchases are put on a credit card.   My gas & electric bill can only be paid by credit card if I pay a $5.95 "convenience fee", so I continue to mail in a check for this utility.
     
    And, since I only use cards that pay "rewards", I benefit financially from these cards, as well as enjoying the convenience of not having to go to retrieve cash frequently.   One card periodically sends me vouchers that I can use for servicing my car.  The other ones send me checks.  In total, I receive about $700 per year, just by using these credit cards, rather than cash.  The only time that I normally go to the bank is to cash a check.   I use the ATM only 4 or 5 times per year, due to such a meager need for cash.
     
    And, by using credit cards and paying them off in full each month, you will build up your credit score.   If you go for a mortgage or if you are someone who needs to take out a loan for a car purchase, the higher credit rating will almost always get you a lower interest rate on a mortgage or a loan.  And, consumers have additional consumer protections when their major purchases are made by credit card, as opposed to cash or a debit card. 
     
    This is the 21st Century, and I think that the need to use cash is now very limited.
     
    #9
    kland01s
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/12 09:36:56 (permalink)
    Tedbear
     
    This is the 21st Century, and I think that the need to use cash is now very limited.
     


    Tell that to a couple of the local mom & pop restaurants that I go to that only take cash. And the teenager who mows my lawn and shovels the snow.


    #10
    David_NYC
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/12 11:38:50 (permalink)
    Tedbear 
    In fact, Wachovia typically comes out the best in ratings of all big banks in terms of customer service.  Yes, they have been bought-out by Wells Fargo, but I perceive little or no change in the 6 months or so since the buy-out.   According to my local branch manager, it is unlikely that Wells will change the award-winning policies and services of Wachovia. 

    I hope your branch manager is right, but my experience with the banks I did business with that got bought out eventually were folded in with the rest of the aquirer.

    #11
    felix4067
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/13 03:09:29 (permalink)
    kland01s

    Tedbear

    This is the 21st Century, and I think that the need to use cash is now very limited.



    Tell that to a couple of the local mom & pop restaurants that I go to that only take cash. And the teenager who mows my lawn and shovels the snow.


    Also every taxi driver who has ever taken me anywhere.  Or, you know, a strip club.
    #12
    Tedbear
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/13 08:15:20 (permalink)
    kland01s

    Tedbear

    This is the 21st Century, and I think that the need to use cash is now very limited.



    Tell that to a couple of the local mom & pop restaurants that I go to that only take cash. And the teenager who mows my lawn and shovels the snow.


    I did say that the need for cash is now "very limited".  I did not say that the need for cash was non-existant.
     
    Some people may have more need for cash than I do, but overall I think that many people could shift more of their spending to credit cards, rather than relying strictly on cash.  Even many taxi cabs now take credit cards, as do drivers of tow trucks.    The acceptance of credit cards in one's environs may actually be more wide-spead than you think.   Even my dentist and most of my MDs accept credit cards!
     
    By shifting to credit cards, rather than using cash for everything, the savings in terms of both time and gasoline would be considerable, not to mention the "perks" that come from using credit cards.  Of course, one has to have the self-discipline to pay the entire balance each month, or the resulting finance charges will negate any benefits.
     
    post edited by Tedbear - 2009/10/13 08:18:31
    #13
    jonjax71
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/13 10:17:56 (permalink)
    ces1948

    We opened a B of A account last year because it was the only bank I could find that had locations in both Tennessee and Florida. So far no problems and none of the branches have closed. They do advertise themselves as being the ONLY national bank. Don't know if that's true or not

     
    Last August when our next door neighbors and best friends traveled to Denver with us for the DNC they discovered as B of A a/c holders that there are no branches of B of A banks in Colorado, they do have ATMs and mortgage offices in CO but no bank branches.
     
    As a Wells Fargo bank customer we rec'd a letter a few months ago announcing their merger with Wachovia making them like Chase, a bank with offices in very state
     
    Curiously, both Wells Fargo and B of A are San Francisco founded and based banks

    #14
    jonjax71
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/13 10:22:04 (permalink)
    On the wierd side of B of A

    In the late 1960s when the Bankamericard- now known as Visa-just like Mastercard was known as Master Charge. was in its boom, Bank of America built its credit card main office here in Pasadena, a huge building that looks like a cube with NO WINDOWS. I have known many who have been employed there-all of which have asked for transfers or quit because it was too bizarre too work in a huge building like that with no windows, not a one

    #15
    Davydd
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/13 10:35:00 (permalink)
    felix4067

    I haven't looked them all up, but Chase lists branches in every single state, including Hawaii and Alaska.  I would assume that makes them a national bank as well.  So does PNC.


    Interesting. I've had a Chase Visa card for more years than I can remember but can't think of any Chase banks in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There are no PNC banks either. We have Wells Fargo and USBank as our largest banks. I started out with a small independent community bank in Excelsior, MN. It was bought out in steps by bigger banks and eventually Northwest Bank. Northwest in turn bought Wells Fargo and changed the company name to Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo did not buy Northwest as might be assumed. So now I bank at Wells Fargo. I have no complaints. They are the most convenient bank for me and I do almost all transactions at a Lund's grocery store Wells Fargo ATM close to my home and the rest online through computer or iPhone. Since everything is now direct deposit I rarely have checks to deposit and when I do I do so at the ATM.
    #16
    felix4067
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/14 04:18:58 (permalink)
    Davydd

    felix4067

    I haven't looked them all up, but Chase lists branches in every single state, including Hawaii and Alaska.  I would assume that makes them a national bank as well.  So does PNC.


    Interesting. I've had a Chase Visa card for more years than I can remember but can't think of any Chase banks in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There are no PNC banks either.


    Chase bought (merged with?) WaMu, and they have several ATMs in your area, but I don't see any actual branches.  PNC lists a huge number of branches.  Not that it matters, but I was curious.
    #17
    Pigiron
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/14 08:25:47 (permalink)
    felix4067

    Also every taxi driver who has ever taken me anywhere.  Or, you know, a strip club.




    I haven't used cash in a NYC taxi for several years now.  They all take credit cards and it's almost always a very quick and easy process.  
    I charge everything.  Saves a lot of headaches come tax time.  
    #18
    mar52
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/14 10:19:05 (permalink)
    Jonjax, it was that building in Pasadena where I went and tried to show them the errors of their ways.

    The proof right in front of their faces, they kind of admitted they realized the problem but they would not do a thing about it.

    It was also the place I asked for a scissors so I could return my card to them.  Cut it up right there in front of them.

    Remember when you had to return a card?


    #19
    Davydd
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/14 12:14:46 (permalink)
    felix4067

    Davydd

    felix4067

    I haven't looked them all up, but Chase lists branches in every single state, including Hawaii and Alaska.  I would assume that makes them a national bank as well.  So does PNC.


    Interesting. I've had a Chase Visa card for more years than I can remember but can't think of any Chase banks in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There are no PNC banks either.


    Chase bought (merged with?) WaMu, and they have several ATMs in your area, but I don't see any actual branches.  PNC lists a huge number of branches.  Not that it matters, but I was curious.


    Chase, PNC and WaMu have no bank branches or ATM machines in Minnesota from the searches I just conducted.
    #20
    jmckee
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/14 12:27:44 (permalink)
    kland01s

    Tedbear

    This is the 21st Century, and I think that the need to use cash is now very limited.



    Tell that to a couple of the local mom & pop restaurants that I go to that only take cash. And the teenager who mows my lawn and shovels the snow.


    You beat me to it. That seemed to be kind of an ivory-tower view. I'm not going to pay with plastic for a quick hamburger or a magazine. Or one beer after work with friends.
    #21
    mayor al
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/14 12:35:25 (permalink)
    We use a local bank here in Indiana for most of our personal stuff. It is nice to be on first name basis with the staff and get that 'small-town' service, compared to the negative memories I have of (corporate image) BofA in my youth in SoCal. 

        However I must say that Wells Fargo has also served us well for over 25 years. It was my bank of choice when I was living in SoCal in 1986-2000 and continues to be used for my teacher retirement transactions. We have no Wells Fargo banks in Southern Indiana (there are some in the northern part of the state) so for ten years I have enjoyed the services of Wells Fargo without stepping into a branch. I use Direct Deposit and ATM cards/checkbook to complete whatever I need to do. All communications are via computer, and so far, that has worked well for us.
    #22
    rumaki
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/14 12:53:15 (permalink)
    Credit cards are great and convenient, and I always pay my balance in full.  But I've noticed in the past few months that two of my credit cards (both Mastercard) have refused to process transactions on a few occasions, not because of anything I did or didn't do (nowhere near my limit, account fully paid) but because they suspected fraud.  In both cases, they said it was the merchant they were concerned about, not me.  I've not had this happen with my Visa or Amex cards.
     
    I know that credit card fraud and identity theft are genuine problems, but I have to say that I've pretty much stopped using those Mastercards and shifted my "business" to Visa or Amex.  (I still use the Mastercards at least once a month with vendors I've used frequently to keep the accounts open, but if I have any doubt about it, I'll use a different card.)
     
    Speaking of the cash-less society, what about checks?  I lived in the Washington, D.C. area for about 20 years, and used checks only to pay bills.   No one would have accepted a check for a purchase (except in grocery stores, where it was always an excruciating long wait for them to process, so I never even tried). 
     
    But when I moved to Minneapolis, I discovered that everyone here writes checks, for all kinds of things.  There are a few restaurants that won't take them, but I've been astonished that not only do most merchants gladly take checks, they prefer them.
     
    And one more thing -- I was in London (UK) a couple of weeks ago, and was buying a small antique.  I apologized that I didn't have enough cash to pay for it, and that I'd have to use a credit card, which I knew meant the merchant would have to pay a fee. But he told me that no, actually, he'd rather have the credit card than the cash -- that his bank charged  him more to process a cash transaction than it did a credit card transaction.
     
    And, as it turned out, I got a much better exchange rate using a credit card than I would have had I paid cash.
    #23
    Davydd
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/14 13:34:50 (permalink)
    Minnesota was a night and day experience for me too. When I lived in Newport, RI 1968-70 it was impossible to write a check to anyone. Only the grocery store did but required you to open an "account" and have your check pre-approved every time you shopped. Then when I got to Minneapolis I was shocked that everyone wrote checks everywhere for everything and no one ever even asked for ID. It has got a tighter since. You do run into places that will not take personal checks or out of town checks and they will usually ask to see your driver's license if you write a check now.
    #24
    felix4067
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/15 15:03:20 (permalink)
    Davydd

    felix4067

    Davydd

    felix4067

    I haven't looked them all up, but Chase lists branches in every single state, including Hawaii and Alaska.  I would assume that makes them a national bank as well.  So does PNC.


    Interesting. I've had a Chase Visa card for more years than I can remember but can't think of any Chase banks in Minneapolis/St. Paul. There are no PNC banks either.


    Chase bought (merged with?) WaMu, and they have several ATMs in your area, but I don't see any actual branches.  PNC lists a huge number of branches.  Not that it matters, but I was curious.


    Chase, PNC and WaMu have no bank branches or ATM machines in Minnesota from the searches I just conducted.


    Interesting.  I looked on their websites and searched for branches by city, and came up with several in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
    #25
    Davydd
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/16 12:26:41 (permalink)
    felix4067,

    All I can say is look again. You made a search mistake. I live here. Trust me they are not here. They all use searches by zip code. Use the zip code for downtown Minneapolis, the center of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. It is 55401.
    #26
    felix4067
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/16 13:46:51 (permalink)
    Ah, I see the problem.  I just looked at the number of listings, not the details.  Who would've guessed that both banks would list branches in Wisconsin (which they did using the ZIP code also)?  I get it now.
    #27
    Rookiecook
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/18 20:19:34 (permalink)
    Like Harriet, had 4 check names for same bank over the years, and now my usual BOA is padlocked, but Mahwah had two anyway.  As soon as they finish the new TD Bank near me, so goes my business.  
     
    Years back I deposited five American Express $100 gift checks inside under the head teller's direction, to hear a couple month's later it never happened!   Guess they finally erased their videos.  It took months to prove and restore my half-grand, but still await an apology from either BOA & AE.   After 35 years, I returned pieces of my AE card in protest, and now leaving home without it, to save me the annual $50+ fee now.   Question: if you try to steal from a bank, the FBI soon visits.  If a bank does the same to you, no problem? 
     
    A few months ago, BOA notified me they were cancelling my long-standing (pre-BOA) Visa card due to an IRS problem I rectified two decades ago!   My amused at their ineptness stopped, despite having other cards.  I have a knack for silent curses, and find things have gone downhill for them.  
     
    Sorry, but rarely post, though I love Roadfoods and regularly hit the site.  Guess I'm a slacker, but this time it really hit a nerve, and hope to soon improve my involvement.
     
     
    #28
    David_NYC
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/10/18 21:20:28 (permalink)
    Rookie, I'm including this link from your local paper. Thousands of papers across the country ran the same story about B of A:
    http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/Stock_futures_flat_after_GE_earnings_report.html
    #29
    harriet1954
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    Re:Bank of America 2009/12/25 15:10:35 (permalink)
    Well, the problems with B of A are gone, thankfully. The only few things I don't like about my new bank are when you go to check your balance or recent transactions by phone, it makes you type in a particular date. With B of A, it just started automatically "reciting" them from most recent to a few days prior. Then you pushed 7 or whatever and it went back further. At 2:00 AM I'm not in the mood to start pushing 12/24/09 or whatever on the phone. Just recite it for me! Also the website could look less childish and without so much crap on it. Just get to the point and say who I made the payment to. Not all this "DBA" or "DBT" or "POS" that takes up an entire extra line. B of A's website, I have to say, was awesome, and showed my purchases and everything within MINUTES of them taking place -- not the next day. Also when I got paid, it was in there at 12:01 the next day -- not at the start of the banking day. Obviously, I'm not going back to B of A unless they reopen the local branches they closed, and that's unlikely.
     
    One thing, and don't tell anybody, but I'm keeping my debit card until it expires. The first weekend of each month, B of A has "Museums on Us" and you get free admission to whichever museums they sponsor for that. I've got this card till 2012, and I'd sure be stupid to pay $10 to get into Grounds for Sculpture if I can get in for free, yes? So you can't say I can't use this debit card anymore!
     
    Thanks for the advice, everybody. If I get disgusted with this bank (hint: there's a stadium named after it where my favorite team plays), then I'll move on, and possibly to Wachovia.
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