Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Are We Sure Our Banks Know What They Are Doing ?

I realize this is extremely small potatos, BUT. . .

I don't get my bank's attitude on the following siutation:

I was using my Bank of America debit card, as I usually do--this time to purchase time on a parking meter. It "declined" my card. I tried again. It "declined" again.

Then I took a closer look at my card, and saw that there was someone else's name on it! (The first name was Venus. Trust me on this one--I ain't no Venus!)

Then I searched my purse, and located MY debit card. Apparently I had been handed back TWO debit cards sometime in the last few days.

I had purchased coffee earlier that morning with Venus' card. I may well have been purchasing things for several days on her card. When I checked my account online against the receipts I had kept, I found about $30 worth of charges that did not appear on my account. I could only assume those were charges that came out of the mysterious Venus account.

So I called Bank of America to report the error. It was my intent to let them know what charges to transfer to my account.

But they were not the least bit interested.

I was told that the card had already been reported lost or stolen, and that Venus--whoever she might be--was not being charged for any withdrawals in the last three days. I was advised to cut up Venus' card, which I did.

OK--good for Venus.

But here I am, ready to actually pay the items I accidentally charged.

Apparently the bank has no way of doing that!

So the end result is that neither Venus nor I are paying for those $30 worth of items.

A good deal for both of us, I guess. But it doesn't make me confident as to how things are run at my bank!

Maybe Bank of America is too busy with their take-over of Merrill Lynch?


Anonymous said...

Oh Grace. Venus is paying the $30. So are you, and me and everyone else in America. To the tune of 1 trillion dollars.

Now do we understand these bailouts yet????

I'd hold onto the card pieces, I would have gotten the woman's name at BOA and oh, yeah, I would have taped the conversation. Let's hope the feds don't track down the card. Yeah, right!

But officer, I just 'found' the card in my purse.

Anonymous said...

Banks have insurance to cover these kinds of things. Don't fret, the bank will get its money from the insurer. They also know when the solution to a problem will cost them more than ignoring it.

I'm really surprised you would use a mega bank like them, as you are only a number in their view, and they have no regard for your problems. You would be much better off at a small local bank or credit union.

Grace. said...

Actually, I have a number of accounts at my local credit union--I love those folks!

But the Bank of America checking account is a piece of my financial history--I got my first account at age 18 in my small hometown, at my small hometown bank. Forty years and six take-overs later, I'm with Bank of America--never mind that I never moved my account or changed my account number!

Anonymous said...

Great story. I think the issue is either a) basic laziness of the person who'd have to file the paperwork or better b) the paperwork would cost the bank WAY more than $30 to figure out.

BofA is our bank too after they bought out our (wait for it) far more incompetent Fleet bank, locally. Scary but true.

Anonymous said...

I think that is TERRIBLE that BOA was so uninterested in fixing the problem other than to dismiss your offer to pay.

that's very comforting to know that if i'm ever a future victim of identity theft (I know in your case it was accidental), the bank may not be in too much of a hurry to help.


Anonymous said...

Another interesting thing is this: Since I'm assuming you didn't have the same PIN number as Venus, that means that nobody even bothered to check your signature vs the name on the card. I know it happens all of the time, but still...

Anonymous said...

The one who lost $30 is the merchant. I have a small business so I know. It's called charge back. the bank doesn't give a damn because it's not losing any money.

Grace. said...


I hope you are wrong about that, because the merchants were the last people I wanted to see harmed.

At least one of the charges was to a neighborhood coffee shop--I'll ask them if they wound up "eating" the charge.