I have been a customer of Bank of America (“BofA”) on and off for about fifteen years. More off than on.
My first experience with them was when I came over to work in the States. in 1995, my employers had moved me to California. My boss knew the manager of the local branch of BofA, and he was able to set me up with a checking account. He was a great chap, and was able to make things happen. Unfortunately, he was unable to approve me for a credit card (even though I had an account with them), and I ended up getting one through MBNA instead. I closed my bank account six months later when I left the state.
My next encounter with BofA was a few years later when MBNA was “eaten” by BofA and I received a new card in the mail. This was odd, as the card I already had still had two years to go before its expiry date. I called up BofA, only to find that the old card had already been canceled without my knowledge or consent. When I called and asked why they had done this, they explained that I “needed” a “branded” card. I explained that MBNA had been good enough to offer me a Credit Card when BofA wouldn’t… then I closed the account.
My next run-in with BofA was in 2009. Countrywide, with whom I had my mortgage, had just been “eaten” (I used the term deliberately, as the process is analogous to taking something intricate and successful and turning it into crap) by BofA. I had no problem with this, as they did not have the ability to change any part of the Mortgage, and life went on as normal.
In late 2009 we decided to refinance. We spoke to many Mortgage Bankers and Brokers, and were subjected to a confusing array of interest rated, fees, terms and conditions. By far, the worst deal that we were offered was with – you guessed it – BofA, who offered the worst deal of all – the highest fees coupled with the highest interest rates. The best deal was with the Broker with whom we got our original Mortgage, who have my wholehearted recommendation. Like many lenders, they re-sold the mortgage, and I was not surprised to find that I was once again with BofA. I got the deal I wanted… but it was no thanks to BofA. It is amazing to me that they would rather drive my refinance business away than make an effort to retain the business.
At the same time, BofA were once again busily crapping in the nest that others had built. They decided to erase Countrywide from existence, and part of that meant removing their perfectly-good and familiar website with Bank of America’s, which meant I had to…
- Create a new profile on B of A’s website
- Create a new and less-secure password (Countrywide’s allowed “special characters” such as !, @ # $ and % in their passwords, while BofA did not, which made the passwords significantly less secure)
- Re-link my bank accounts.
All because they couldn’t be bothered to migrate the information.
No wonder Dave Ramsey refers to them as “BoA”, deliberately comparing them to a large strangulating snake…
Background Reading: B of A forecloses on paid-for house!