Customer Service Fail

I called Bank of America to stop payment on a check -- for some reason this seems to be one function that cannot be performed online.  I got right through to their business banking number.  However, they told me my account actually qualified for their special preferred, presumably premium, customer service number.  So they transferred me.  And I am still on hold, having waited now for over 10 minutes.  I have no idea why they couldn't solve my simple problem at the regular number without a transfer and long hold.


  1. marfdrat:

    Getting transferred to hold IS their preferred customer service. Congratulations. For Platinum service -where they actually talk to you- you need a bigger balance, I'm guessing. I'm a BoA customer, too, and I never thought much of their customer service, but switching banks (for one that's arguably no better) is too much of a hassle.

  2. ColoComment:

    I don't know about commercial accounts, but I've become a very persnickety consumer: I would not tolerate that kind of negligent customer service from my bank. Banking is now a commodity -- all they have to differentiate themselves is their customer service.

    Changing individual [in my case, checking] accounts is easy. Not inconvenient, but not difficult either, given how internet-friendly the world is today. You may shudder at the thought of changing all those online transactional "profiles" and bank account payment info, but don't worry. You just need to mind your dates.

    I keep no paper; I receive and pay all bills via internet (and save records by pdf'ing them, and yes, I have multiple backup HDs). All I did was generate a 1-2 month record of which statements, bills, and payments came in / went out on what dates, and then I quickly reviewed my financial records to catch any that were paid on a quarterly or annual basis. I then decided how much needed to remain in the old account to catch laggards, and how much to seed the new account with to cover bills as they arrived. A few automatic payments I put off, as they were coming due within a week & I didn't want to "confuse" the systems.

    I then spent a bit of time logging into websites & changing each of my profiles' banking information, working down my list and checking them off to make sure I didn't miss any.

    Sure, it takes a bit of time, but would you rather feel that you've surrendered without a fight to an institution that values your time, custom and relationship so little that personnel won't even check your phone line to see if you've been helped?

    If Warren treated his customers like that they'd find another campground to visit. And, it's not like there's any dearth of banking opportunities.

  3. Alexander:

    Coyote on line 3. Who's at lunch we can transfer him to?

  4. jdt:

    My guess is you were ending up on hold no matter what line you qualified for. The person on the phone was probably not qualified to do any more than route the call to someone else. If not for your "special status" you would probably be on hold for even longer.

  5. Not Sure:

    Bank of America is proof it is possible to have customer service worse than the DMV.

  6. Joel Fine:

    Someone once stole three outgoing checks from my mailbox. They changed the amount and payee on one and cashed it. I called to put a stop-payment on the other two. The bank asked how much the check was made out for. I said, "What does it matter, the crook changed the amount on the first one?" They said if the check was presented for an amount other than the figure I gave them, they would honor the check. So it was up to me to predict what amount the crooks would choose!! Brain-dead! And yes, this was a Bank of America business account.

  7. marque2:

    You are the reason they can get a way with this crap. Get off your lazy ass and switch your account to a credit union.

  8. ErikTheRed:

    After dealing with that crap with my previous bank (Chase), I finally got around to dumping them. As has been noted, this is a huge and expensive hassle - a couple of thousand dollars worth of time and printing (personal accounts and accounts for multiple corporations). In the end, it was sooooooo worth it. My new bank gives me almost no hassles, and they actually correct most of them before I can even say anything. I suspect this has more to do with having a great branch manager than it does the particular institution involved. If I need anything I just call her directly and she takes care of it. I don't ever have to deal with the corporate "support" staff.

  9. Curtis:

    I came back from a year in the Middle East and found my bank had been bought by BA. I was actually standing in the lobby debating what to do with my account when a very irate BA customer got louder and louder demanding to know why they cashed a check he ordered a stop payment on in plenty of time to keep it from being cashed. It was for $80,000. The bank told him they were sorry but they didn't really mean it when they said they could stop payment on a check since that was impossible.
    I made up my mind there and then to never do business with BA, take my money out immediately and to never stop payment on a check. If I decide I need to do that I'll just show up and withdraw all my money from the account, close it, and then tell them to stop payment since it will then be their problem.

  10. rxc:

    I have a BA account because they bought the Schwab credit card business, and I can say that the service has been getting worse and worse. They frequently sent me surveys of customer satisfaction after I call them, but I have noticed that they only do this when the call has been successful. When I have a problem, I NEVER get a customer service survey request. As a result, my general satisfaction ratings with them have been heading towards the bottom of the scale.

    Once I move back to the US I will stop using the BC account - I may keep it open, but will not use it.