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Bank of America Is The Suck

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I always read about how Bank of America sucks this, and Bank of America sucks that, but never had experience the suck that is Bank of America first hand. I opened an account with them a year ago with my then-fiancée because they had a branch within walking distance of my house and because they have ATMs essentially everywhere. I looked past the Bank of America horror stories because, honestly, every company has its bad moments. Well, today I met a bad enough moment to make me can Bank of America and go with M&T Bank. (I opened up a personal and business account with them because a good friend of mine works in their new business development side)

No, they didn’t screw me out of $23049823049 in fees or otherwise hosed me by being unreasonable – they did something far worse because it wasn’t some technical glitch or some procedural hangup. They’re going to lose me as a customer because they were rude. When there are as many choices as there are in the world, you can’t even mess up like that. Sorry!

Today, I went to a Bank of America branch to make some check deposits. When I walked up to the counter with my checks, the first thing the teller asks me is if I had counted the amount. I responded “No” because I wanted them to double check my math, as they always do. The responded with a bit of a roll of her eye and then asked me if I filled out a deposit slip. Again I said no, deposit slips are useless anyway. When she counts them up, she’ll print out a slip that goes with the checks and the deposit slip is just a wasted branch on a tree we’d otherwise like to keep around. This is what has happened the other half dozen times I’ve gone in to deposit a bunch of checks (and didn’t want to you the mechanized paper-cut maker of an ATM they have), the teller simply adds them up for you and you’re on your way.

So she pulled out a deposit slip and told me to fill out my name and address on the slip (useless!). Then she put a calculator in my face and told me to add up the checks. All of this was pretty terse and borderline rude but I was content to let it go. As I added up the checks and showed her the calculator, she proceeds to read out the numbers really loudly over and over again. Is there no sense of privacy? I can understand her reading them back softly, but she was speaking more than normal indoor voice.

Okay fine, whatever, at this point the interaction hadn’t gone great but it was hardly worth closing an account over. Then she looks at my balance and tried to sell me on a certificate of deposit. I politely declined. She persisted by saying I was losing money by putting my money in a regular checking account. She’s right, but I still politely declined. Then she proceeded to start talking to the customer waiting behind me! No good bye, no thank you have a nice day, nothing.

That, Bank of America, was the proverbial straw. Keep that lousy $6 you got for giving me an interest rate of 1.0%, which is essentially paying an annual fee anyway, and keep your other worthless products. We’re outta here.

It’s amazing they didn’t make it out of the first round of the Consumerist 2007 Worst Company in America contest (Verizon was a formidable opponent), but you guys should lock up the first round in 2008 against a cupcake like Toys R Us.

Update: Some people have said that I’m being a baby, that I over-reacted, (one guy said he’d punch me) and I respect all of your opinions (maybe I am a baby, but there are plenty of banking options that are more polite) and thank you for sharing them. I actually wanted to touch on the topic of over-reaction. What’s “worse” of a reaction, closing my account or calling out that teller to their manager? If anything, asking to speak to the bank manager and telling them the teller was rude seems to be like a greater over-reaction than closing an account. Thoughts on that?

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101 Responses to “Bank of America Is The Suck”

  1. Nick says:

    Customer service people are expected to deal with a wide variety of challenges, but there are reasonable expecations that the customer will be cooperative. Unreasonable demands on the part of the customer are by definition unreasonable. Does one go to the cashier at their grocery store and leave the groceries in cart expecting the cashier to do all the work? One does no go the clothing store and demand the salesperson dress you. Expecting the teller to fill out your depopsit slip for, you is similarily unreasonable.

    While I will agree that certain conventions should be made for those who are disabled such as wheelchair bound individuals, or those hearing and sight impaired to name just a few. And if it is amatter of illiteracy on your part. Or if you are mathematically challenged I could see your dilemma and reluctance to fill out your own deposit slips. Being that you wrote this email suggests you can read and write.

    Times are hard and a lot of people are in fear of their jobs. So it isn’t hard to imagine how you can intimidate and terrorize a working person into doing the unreasonable with the threat of a complaint. Which is no doubt why the other tellers didn’t say anything when you made them fill out your deposit slip for you. I don’t know, maybe simple addition is intimidating for some. But then again she let you use her calculator. It sounds like you were made to feel uncomfortable by taking advantage of a person’s emplyment vulnerability by demanding the unreasonable.
    Do you go to restaurants and demand the wait staff read you the menu?
    I once heard that the path of the righteous is beset on all sides by inequities of the selfish and the tyrannies of wicked men. It sounds to me like you were being selfish and tyrannical. Did it make you feel empowered? Clearly, you have shown that the customer is not always right.

    • Dan says:

      I think you’re missing the real point: deposit slips are useless. They are simply an artifact of a centuries’ old system and convention. I walk in the bank, I have to fill out a slip. I deposit it the ATM, no slip. The difference? One extra human being paid to make mistakes.

      I don’t expect the grocery clerk to take groceries out of my cart. I don’t expect them to ever leave my cart. My supermarket has a handheld scan as you go system, and self-checkout.

      • Urban says:

        I have been with BofA since the last century. Today, for the first time on my life, I was asked to fill out a deposit slip by BofA. I agree with you, what’s the point? They already have all my information. As I am leaving the teller askes me if I have been told about other convenient ways to make deposits, like with ATMs and my smart phone. I looked her in the eye and said it would be more convenient if I didn’t have to fill out a deposit slip. This is a big step backwards for BofA customer service.

  2. Nick says:

    I am less interested in how the bank transation methods ought to be, and am more interested in how we as customers behave in respect to what we have, and how things are. The teller doesn’t dictate policy. Therefore making their job more difficult clearly doesn’t remedy what seems to be bothering you that there are deposit slips. Bankers would suggest that the solution is to get rid of the tellers which would lower their overhead. That is why BoA has removied deposti slips fomr their lobbys. That is why they force their tellers to encourage customers to use the ATM to make deposits. It isnt to make their jobs easier. It is to make their jobs obsolete. Do you suppose the money saved will be passed along to the banking customers? or even the labor based employees? Or perhaps the executives who make those decisions will simply pass the saving along into each other’s bonus packages? The last scenario seems most likely.
    We wonder why the economy is so bad and where all the jobs are, while we shoot our labor force in the kneecaps. The point isn’t wether or not filling out a deposit slip is morally necessary, nor wether the bank should require a deposit slip for teller transactions. The point is the humnan condition which is affected by our decisions and actions. The jobs we ship out or eliminate today could be your own job tomorrow. And that is the point.

  3. J J says:

    I think youy handled it quite well, A lot better than I would have. It seems Bank of America is getting as bad as WELLS FARGO & THAT’S REALLY BAD!!!!!!!!

  4. djj says:

    suntrust won’t EVER add up checks in front of you. they will correct any errors after the deposit is made. If you put 1 million on the deposit slip and the check is for 1 dollar, then they will make a 1 million deposit entry and then make a deposit correction of -999,999 in the back office. The teller does not even look at the amount of each check…. so suntrust is another crap bank!!!!!

  5. Michael T says:

    Well thank god I found a web site where I can vent.I have been dealing with bank of America for 6 months on my mortgage as I have been placed on disability for a while because I had a seizure.
    Well to say the least rude is not a proper word to use these people make me sick I sent them paperwork time and time again 6 times to be exact to no avail.
    It was the same thing time and time again sorry sir we have not received all your paperwork and finally after they ran out of that is was we are waiting for a negotiator and then went on for 2 months as I have documented all of this.
    Now I wait for 2 more months and they tell me no negotiator will be assigned that all they need to do is update my financial status after doing that they told me sir you do not qualify but if you can get you house out of 90 day status we might be able to help but we cant promise you anything.
    So I get a attorney and he has faxed a release to them 6 times, now and they continue to tell him and me oh we did not receive it WTF my god how do we get control of this shit I have had it.

    Any suggestions please send them my way.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Is it really that difficult to have your transaction ready to go before you get up to the teller window? I work as a bank teller, and I find it really rude that people will wait until they get to the window to start filling out their deposit slip, while the line behind them grows longer. I definitely don’t mind double checking your math, or helping you if you aren’t sure how to fill out the deposit slip, as long as you’ve made an effort to fill out as much as you know how to. I find it’s usually the same people who, every week, refuse to fill out their own paperwork because they are just too lazy. I bet you are one of those people who just comes up to the window and throws your checks at the teller. You’re a grown man, and you should act like one. Don’t depend on someone else to write down your name, the date, and do simple math for you.

  7. Dekker451 says:

    “I responded “No” because I wanted them to double check my math, as they always do.”

    That doesn’t make any sense. If they always do it anyway, why would you need to lie?

    The teller shouldn’t have been rude, but neither should you. If you hadn’t lied you probably wouldn’t have gone through the whole process of recounting it then and there.

    If you do everything you can to prepare a transaction you not only save the teller time and hassle, you save yourself the same.

  8. SCSCS says:

    So, B of A, after 20 years and at least $2M in transactions, decides to start charging me a $12.95 monthly service charge, and doesn’t even tell me, instead leaving me to find it on a monthly statement. I call to inquire and they simply tell me my account was grandfathered and there is nothing they can do. No reason, no overdrafts, no problem deposits, just regular cash deposits and credit card activity that they pay almost no interest on, but loan to other clients and charge merchants. In fact, I’m even a stock holder. Well, now I’m leaving them and selling my BAC shares. B of A will die a quick death by treating their customers this way. Frankly, they can suck it!

  9. Miami Mike says:

    Welcome to the Bank of America suckathon . . .

    I have an overseas client who asked me to fix a simple problem for him with his BofA account. After wading through 500 recordings, I was advised that he could just call the 800 number and they would talk to him (but not me, because I am not a signator). I told them that he couldn’t call the 800 number because he was in England, what’s the regular non-toll-free number for customer service?

    First response – “England isn’t part of the US?” (Really!!!!!!!!)

    Second response – “We don’t know. Can he write us a letter? (as the charges mount at $30 a day)

    Finally got a live body (but not much more) at his local BofA office. Took almost two hours on the phone to do it. I asked him if his building was on fire and I needed to call him to get out NOW or he would die, how could I reach him?

    Answer: “Just send me an e-mail.”

    Tell you what, if his building DOES catch fire, I’m bringing marshmallows and not sending any e-mails.

    BofA is the worst bank in the known universe – I’d rather keep my money in a steamer trunk buried in my back yard.

  10. Dean De Witt says:

    I’ve been using Bank of America ever since they took over FLEET! Never had to pay a service charge. My Social Security is direct deposited. Earlier this year this Bank of America started charging $12 service fee. What the hell is this people? We the people (Americans) bailed you guys out of bad behaviors and now your charging your customers when you never did before! Stimulous? Stimulous my butt. This is just taking advantage of people. Something like the saying “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”. Bank of America is biting and they really don’t care! More or less saying to it’s customers, screw you! Let’s all deal with the good ol greenbacks, don’t even use a bank!

  11. citygirl says:

    Selling you a CD was mild in comparison to what they tried to sell me. Prior to the real estate collapse but when “the bubble” was evident and just starting to be on the news BOA referred me to their brokerage department who tried to sell me a bundled mortgage certificate fund, I could get on the bandwagon and reap some of the profits from the real estate boom . My silence must have spoke volumes. Even in the good times they only sell the amount the bank expects to lose in a foreclosure and the buyer is the last person to get the money back if the house is sold at a loss- meaning usually you get nothing.

    Once the guy heard my silence he hung up and never called me again.

    What pisses me off now is the commercials saying how they gave $12 million in charity and how they are helping all these run down cities and towns. Charity begins at home. They are doing it off of my lousy .38% saving account on a premier account. If you factor in what they pay us and what their loan rates are it is over a 2000% profit on loans. SCREW BOA!!!!

  12. boateller says:

    Man idiots. Be glad you didn’t come to my branch. I would have sent you to the counter where the deposit slips are to finish your slip. I can understand you not knowing your account number but the rest of the slip is yours. I have filled out as many of 50 slips in a day before and I have had enough. Where do you work so I can come give you a hard time? Waterburger?

    • Vicky says:

      LOL the people at Waterburger probably get paid as much as you. Being a teller doesn’t make you better than anyone else. It just means you got a high school diploma, and somehow managed to get a job knowing basic math skils.

  13. Michele says:

    I completely agree with the customer. The way technology is now, you can have the beauty of just swipping your atm card. If you do have a lot of checks that need to be deposited, then you should fill it out yourself, but I think the teller was completely rude!!! First off, the teller should NEVER talk to anyone in the line about the customer. NEVER!!! and second, if it’s the banks policy to re-read out loud, your deposit (which I totally don’t agree with) then by all means the teller should of lowered her voice!!! What an idiot!!!

  14. Vicky says:

    If you think the regular branch of BofA is bad try the call centers. I am a contractor working for BofA, and I’ve had many experiences where the employees are straight out rude. Despite recieving numerous benefits, and being catered to almost every day these people seem to have no appreciation for how good they have it. I don’t even recieve half the benefits that people have and I have to put up with their bull shit.

  15. janet says:

    so you had no idea how much your deposit was? no idea how many checks were in the deposit? nothing in your own personal handwriting with the correct amount of the deposit? so if you decide the deposit was incorrect 2 days later, you have nothing in your hand writing as proof. your laziness is your downfall!!

  16. Eileen Kolton says:

    I have found The Bank of America personell to act extremely rude expecially when i have a bank inquiry over the telephone-I wrote them an emailed complaint and my message back from them was preprinted and did not address the issue of rude employees….I suggested their employees need to take customer service classes to learn how to treat Bank of America’s customers I emailed them back stating I was going to look for a new bank–Later, about two months or so I read they were implementong a new customer service program—What a coincidence !!! They do suck..BIG TIME !

  17. abbey says:

    I don’t think its an over reaction – you’re the customer, and they want you to use their services. It’s as simple as that.

    I would have gone to a bank manager before closing the account. In a terrible experience with a teller I had that my business was banking at, we spoke with the bank manager and found that it was a top down problem because the manager found no issue with how the teller had acted. She even suggested we got to another branch! We did, and had no problems any longer. The two branches were both close to the business so that wasn’t a big deal, but because we are a large company, changing banks was certainly not the easiest option.

    And were I to close an account because of the rudeness of the employees, I’d want to make sure they knew that’s why they were losing the account.

  18. Foreveryoung says:

    Never had a problem with BOA and I find them to be oevr the top polite.

    Also, some of this article doesn’t sound “right”.

  19. Foreveryoung says:

    I find BOA to be over the top polite. Beyond excellent service in our local branch and on phone. Oh well…

    Some statements in this article are questionable.


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