When I graduated from grad school, I was offered a credit card which upon use and my payment, would give a small percentage to my graduate school. I thought it was a great idea considering how much I owed on student loans and how long it would be until I could make annual contributions.
The credit card was with Bank of America. I was immediately given $10,000 in credit. Over the years I rarely used the card (I am not much into credit cards at all) but now and again it came in handy. When I travel, I tend to pre-pay or leave a credit balance on the card in case while traveling something happens and a bill is ‘skipped’/lost in mail, etc.
When I went to Kenya, I did this again with this credit card. I periodically used the credit card in Kenya as there are currency conversion fees for using a card abroad. Stupid me for trying to be responsible…..what ensued is a great customers worst nightmare, well second worse when you consider identity theft (although, really, it is difficult enough for me to be me – I would not encourage anyone to attempt the task).
When I returned, there was still a positive balance on the acct. Knowing this, I planned to use the card to make purchases and use up the positive balance. It seemed logical to me at the time as I had in effect given Bank of America the cold, hard cash up front. I had no clue being a good customer would require so much aggravation.
Bank of America, upon my giving them a new address stateside, decided to issue me a check for the positive balance. Why? I don’t know, I did not request it. As I said, I planned to use it when I got home. The check was mailed and LOST – no surprise there considering it was mailed at the height of the holiday season (Dec. 17, 2009). I called Bank of America to report it and ask for a stop pay and to merely credit back my account. I would spend the money by charging things to my card.
I was told it would first be credited to my account by 20 January 2010. Then, upon calling to find out if the credit had been done, I was told it would be applied 27 January 2010.
I called again. It was not applied. I was put into the phone que three times. I hung up.
I called again on 29 January 2010 and was put in the phone que two times by two different incompetent customer service representatives who could not read the notes on my account to explain a stop pay and reissue was done on the check as opposed to a stop pay and credit my account, which is what I had actually requested.
Finally, I closed the account and then spoke to a manager named Heather Roberts who explained the stop pay reissue. It took some very specific questions from me to get a ‘commitment’ as to when I could expect the reissue (it must be done by the CIA or something). Finally we came to an agreement that I would be called to be on the lookout for the check.
Considering the time spent on resolving these issues, at least 1 1/2 hours with various customer service representatives, two postages to mail checks, paper to print check and then have me close my account with, it actually would have been more cost effective to credit my account instead of a stop pay reissue. It would have also been more cost effective to have a responsible customer who has never missed a payment.
Apparently one can be hired to do customer service without passing through algebra, which would make the paragraph directly above make sense to anyone trying to manage a business.
We have to do better with our education system – if we do not, we will be unable to run our own banks and have a functioning economy – Oh, wait……that is what is going on now.
To date, Heather Roberts has not returned my call. On 2/6/10 I spoke with Kim Mitchell who verified everything in this blog and told me Heather had it on her calendar to call me. Today is 2/9/10 and I am speaking to Rashad Whiting. Since I am on hold, I am able to type. Rashad is hesitant to pass me on to anyone else for fear it may mess up what Heather is trying to do. Nyree Koch came on the line to try to help me…..Nyree asked if I had recently moved – I said, yes, from another country…..
I don’t think the small amount of money is enough to do much for the Merrill Lynch Fiasco or bonuses, yet it seems to be cost effective for me to speak to many customer service people and be put on hold and have them attempt to track down the mystery person named Heather Roberts.
Nyree called back. She promised a check for the remaining positive balance would be issued. Today is 20 of Feb – still no check. Thank you B of A for continuing to use my $122.00. I remain ever hopefull that I will finally get my money back.
Due to a mishap from USPS – kind of sort of understandable as I was able to get my old apartment back after having put in a forwarding address for all my tax stuff……..I received check on 27 February 2010 and promptly deposited.