I've been dealing with something Bank of America did to me for awhile now and today I'm even more pissed off because they keep adding on late fees even though we've got automatic payments set up!
It all started when I got an e-bill that showed an amount larger than we normally have to pay. I couldn't figure out why in the world that would happen since we haven't added any charges to that account.
I went online and dug around, finding out that a late fee had been added to our account! I couldn't figure out why this would happen since all our payments are automatic and they're even for a little more than what we need to pay. Come to find out, the reason why a late fee was added was because they said our minimum amount was $2 more than what our automatic payment was. What the heck? I kept digging and went back a few statements and finally found a note on one of them that said something about an APR increase with a number I could call if I wanted to reject the increase. Of course I'd want to reject the increase! Who in their right mind would want to pay more money than they're supposed to?!?
I called the number and got a customer service representative that was less than nice and basically just told me there was nothing she could do because it was already past the deadline to reject the APR. She did say that I could talk to someone else who could 'figure something out for me'. I talked to another person who said they'd make an exception but before I was given any kind of confirmation or anything, the call disconnected! Talk about getting mad, oh my god. I ended up sending them an email through their customer service form online telling them all about how upset I was that they could just increase my APR like that. I also told them about how I was hung up on.
This response came back to me:
Dear Mrs. Branson,
Thank you for your inquiry dated 7/30/09 regarding your interest rate.
We are happy to assist you.
Allow us to apologize for any inconvenience or aggravation that you may
have experienced in this matter. Our commitment is to provide the
highest level of service possible. These standards demand that we treat
you and your requests with understanding, integrity and respect. We are
greatly disappointed to hear of an incident where we have not met this
commitment for you. Discourteous treatment is not acceptable behavior
from any of our bank associates.
After reviewing your account, our records show the late
fee assessed on 07/04/2009 has been waived.
According to our records, a Change in Terms notification was mailed to
you with your statement of 04/20009 stating that your Annual Percentage
Rate would be increased for your statement of 05/2009, if you chose not
to opt out of the new terms.
You were offered the option to decline the Change in Terms by writing to
the PO Box address that was provided. The deadline to opt out of the
Change in Terms was 07/04/2009.
In addition to your written rejection being received by the date
indicated, you also were notified that you would be required to
discontinue the usage of the credit card; this includes recurring
transactions as well. The new Change in Terms would be automatically
applied to the account, if any charge is posted on the account after
opting out of the Change in Terms.
Your account received the new Change in Terms because we did not receive
your opt out letter.
Regrettably, we are unable to reassign your previous APR.
If we may be of further assistance, please contact us again by e-mail.
Thank you for choosing Bank of America.
Jose Revilla, Bank of America
Seriously? I can't freakin' believe that they think it's an OK way to run a business by increasing rates or fees and making the customer reject it! I can't even believe this happened! At least they removed the late fee but I was still upset that my interest rate was higher for absolutely NO reason. The reason I set my account up to pay automatically was to avoid a late payment.. it's not like we have extra money floating around to send to them!
Even though I was mad I knew I couldn't do anything else about it so I went online and increased our monthly payment to make sure it covered the additional interest we were being charged. I thought all was well until today when I got another statement. This time it said we had to pay more than 3 times our normal monthly payment!
So I go check online and sure enough, we were charged yet another late fee! Even though they refunded the late fee, it was still tacked on to the previous month's bill and since it was more than our automatic payment... it was considered late! It is seriously one thing after another with them and at this point I don't even know what to do.
I sent them yet another email about half an hour ago that explained the situation all over again and told them I'd be transferring my balance to a different company because of their unfair business practices. I know they're not even going to care because what's a couple thousand dollars to them? Nothing.
So - are any of you Bank of America customers and did anything like this happen to you a few months ago? If something fishy has happened, I'd love to hear about it. I'd like to know how many other people were screwed by this APR increase.