Many years ago, when I was looking for my first Credit Card I applied to Bank of America (BofA). They turned me down flat. I swore that day I would never carry any card with the Bank of America logo on it. MBNA took a chance on me. End of story. Or so I thought.

Fast-forward to 2006. For many years I was a happy MBNA customer – with not one but two cards. BofA acquired MBNA, and one of their first acts was to invalidate one of those cards (which still had about a year before expiration) and replace it with a brand new “Bank of America” card, which they did without my knowledge or permission.

Naturally, I cancelled it.

I still had the second (MBNA) card. When I went to MBNA’s website to pay off my balance, I was redirected to BofA’s website. Once there, I had to register and set up my account all over again.

Nooooooo!

Why was this? BofA had all the information necessary to avoid making me jump through all those hoops (registration, setting up my CC account, inputting my checking account info).

The payment that I sent “bounced” (probably because I confused the sorting and routing numbers) and they “bounced” the payment and then hit me for $54.34 in charges on on a $21 balance!

I phoned them and enquired about this. “Lisa” agreed to drop the $39 “return fee”, but insisted that I had to pay a $15 late fee and a 34c finance charge. I did so. They she asked “Is there anything else I can do for you?” and I replied “Yes – close the account”.

Sad that it should end this way – a nine-year business relationship ended over fifteen dollars and change. It is also mystifying that after spending millions of dollars on marketing and advertising you are willing to lose a long-standing customer over such a trifling sum.

The point is not that BofA did not have the right to make those charges, but that they would not waive them even once in the interest of keeping their customers happy.

This could have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship… but BofA have shown their true colors, and I will have nothing further to do with them as long as I have a choice.

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