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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. ceej says:

    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?

    Well, if you had talked to the manager, they might have poked holes in your “uselessness of deposit slips” theory, and then what would you have to blog about?

  2. bobsaget says:

    Deposit slips ARE useless. The bank already makes money off of my money. They charge fees every chance they get. It is funny then that you can’t simply give them the money to deposit that is going to make them more money. Nope, not only do you have to deposit your money you have to fill out silly paperwork that the teller’s don’t really even need. The only thing thats ever come from deposit slips is the bank(a bad one) punching in the numbers straight from your slip without checking the actual amounts and then using that to blame you when your account is screwed up.

  3. alain says:

    Were you just looking for an excuse to bail out on BofA? It’s not wrong for you to quit them if they aren’t performing up to your expectations, but this sounds more like a bad teller. If this teller’s manager knew how you were treated, it would give the manager a chance to address the problem directly. Your pulling out means there were no repercussions for her actions. She got away with being rude to you and BofA is out a customer (and continues to employ someone irresponsible and a poor representative of the company). You lose, BofA loses, and the teller wins because she got to treat you like a 5-year old and get away with it.

  4. Dave (ChiefExecutiveRockStar) says:

    It’s not a sense of being owed, or filling out a deposit slip, etc. It comes down to value. If Jim values going somewhere else than putting up with somebody’s crap, good for Jim. People (and it seems many on this post) have come to expect poor service. I wonder how this reflects upon attitudes of people expecting that life owes them a job or a good relationship or whatever.

    Look, when I go to Wal-Mart, I’ve learned to consciously NOT expect customer service. If I get it, that’s a bonus. I suppose the same is true for the Wal-Mart’s of banks, too (now if Sam Walton was alive and walking thru his stores, you better believe the OWNER cared about customer service).

    Kudos to you, Jim, for recognizing what you value for yourself and taking action based on your own preferences.

    –Dave Charbonneau

  5. Grumpy Misanthrope says:

    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?

    You should have followed up with the bank manager and closed your account. Close your account, because you don’t need it, follow up with the bank manager because banking is supposed to be a customer service business and you received poor customer service. The teller deserves to be fired for her poor customer service. However, because you haven’t detailed why the bank is losing your business, she will never even be corrected.

  6. Raylene says:

    “It’s interesting that everyone is focusing on the fact that I didn’t fill out a deposit slip. Ultimately, the bank needs to verify the amount I deposit right? And they cannot trust the amount that I put on the deposit slip anyway because if they did, anyone could lie and put anything they wanted on the slip. So, if the value of the deposit slip is zero, what’s the point of making someone go through with filling out a slip.”

    True, the bank does need to verify it but that doesn’t make filling out a deposit slip pointless. You see, if a teller were to fill out everyone’s slips and made a mistake, guess who is liable? The teller. You may say, “Well that’s what she gets paid for.” Wrong. She gets paid for PROCESSING your transactions not for preparing your slips. Shouldn’t you know how much you’re depositing into the bank before anything else? Besides, there are customers who make it a point to have a slip ready by the time they get to the window so the teller can verify it along with theirs. Accuracy is what we’re going for here, so what makes you think you get the special privilege? If no other teller had said anything to you was because they probably wanted to avoid confrontation or did it as a courtesy which many customers take for granted.

    However, she shouldn’t have shoved that calculator in your face or read the numbers aloud.

    p.s. To the person who said deposit slips are useless, the bank gets enough money by charging me fees, blah, blah, you’re wrong. Not only is that irrelevant but slips serve as a paper-trail in case there is ever a dispute or discrepancy…

    • Dani says:

      Thank you! I mean seriously… should you KNOW how much $ you are depositing? And shouldn’t you KNOW your account #? That’s where your $ is!!! It’s kind of important don’t you think?

      I really hate standing in line behind somebody who walks up totally unprepared to the teller window. They have no idea what their account # is, they don’t fill out a slip or add up their checks/cash. So how is the teller supposed to know if you are cashing or depositing? Or WHERE you are depositing to? Savings, checking? Should she just decide for you? And seriously THANK YOU to every teller who has ever asked for my I.D. when I want to withdraw money. I have seen people pitch a fit because the teller asked for their ID. I’m sorry, but don’t you want them to make sure you are who you say you are before they start handing out $ to total strangers?

      Ultimately it is we, the customer who are in charge of our own $ and financial fitness. If we don’t take charge and make sure we do things correctly, like knowing how much you’re depositing, or filling out slips so $ doesn’t end up in your savings when you wanted it to go into checking & you bounce checks or something we have only ourselves to blame. Stand up, ask for help if you don’t know how to fill out the slip or whatever, but take accountability for your own actions and see how much better it is for you then.

    • Lyn says:

      Thank you! Well said!

  7. aaron synn says:

    I’ve worked as a teller for many years. There is a reason that the customer is supposed to count their money and add the checks up first. The bank is only supposed to be responsible for verifying what you have written for totals.

    Here’s why…If I add up your checks for you and put through the deposit, and then, the next day, you call and say I missed a check and the deposit should’ve been more, then it’s your word against mine, and it can be a nightmare to resolve the problem.

    If, however, I’m using what you initially wrote as a basis for comparison, then you’ve got no one to blame but yourself if you later decide that the total was wrong. (Instead of blaming the teller)

  8. Sarah says:

    Wow, how lazy have Americans gotten that they expect other people to fill out a paper!?!? First of all, Aaron is correct. There is a reason you are asked to fill this out yourself. To clear the bank and teller of responsibility of screwing it up,adding incorrectly, or putting it into the wrong account. Not to mention you being responsible for your OWN finances. A teller processes your transaction. They do not serve as your personal assistant or secretary.

  9. Vicky says:

    I believe that filling out a deposit slip is normal practice. However not allot of people can. My grandmother can’t read or write so for someone like her, that teller would have been really traumatic to my grandma. Worst of all your teller didn’t even say thank you, come again. She just looked over your shoulder and said, “NEXT!” Now that was really rude and would I have called the manager out for that one. Can’t let rude people keep their job if they aren’t respectful enough to their customers. I use to have a Bank of America account in the past. When I started being charged $3 for every time I saw the teller I quickly moved onto Washington Mutual and have been happy ever since.

  10. J.W. says:

    Well I just found out my 94 year old Grandmother has been banking with BoA for 25 years. She has 5 CD,s worth well over 1/2 a million they take care of long term customer’s on a 56,000 dollar CD she is getting 1.75 % I didn’t want to look at the others.

  11. J.W. says:

    I think I can find her a better rate turning a page in the Phone book closing my eyes and pointing…

  12. L.T. says:

    I agree, after trying to resolve a problem online, and getting cut and paste responses that did not address my question, I just spent 20 minutes on the phone with a guy named Matt who was sarcastic and rude as hell. I even told him I was closing my accounts over the problem, and his attitude. His response was, “you’re not going to solve the problem by going to another bank”. Maybe he’s right, but at least I won’t be losing any more money to Bank of America!

  13. irishlady says:

    LOL…my husband fills out a deposit slip and almost ALWAYS the amount is wrong anyway.

    She probably read out your amounts loudly as of way of getting back at you and encouraging you to fill out a deposit slip.

    That’s why I do machine and online banking…hate lines, hate rude tellers that act like they’re doing YOU a favor rather than vice versa.

  14. nessa says:

    i LOVE the bank of america tellers in my town. they’re all super nice! they only tell me to fill out my name+address. as they’re filling out the rest, they do it in a way that i can clearly see the writing and the teller tells me what they’re doing every step of the way :D

  15. Dev says:

    I have to say I am not a fan of BofA, though I have been a teller there. Just think of this for a second. That teller was doing her job. She is REQUIRED to have a deposit slip even if you think it is worthless it is part of the process. YOU can order free pre-printed slips and if you dont want to it takes you a couple minutes to fill yours out and be prepared, common courteousy to the teller and other customers waiting in line. Plus you know your address and other info better than her. Her job is graded on her transaction time. Also product selling is what all banks are about. Thats her job, if she doesnt do it she loses her job, which is thankless and low paying. There are alot of real reasons that people close their account but honestly you were just being a jerk, she could have handled it better but she probably had already filled out 50 deposit slips and dealt with inconsiderate jerks like you all day. Also her manager and all the other tellers probably just talked about what a jack ass you were after you left and she probably didnt get in any trouble because SHE DID HER JOB!!! Also the checks are not immediatlely added up and verified there isnt time for a teller to do that the deposits go down to a proof work center at the end of the night and thats why the deposit slip is needed. and Aaron and Sarah are correct!

  16. SBIMISS says:

    Dev has pretty much summed it all up. It is a formality to fill out a deposit slip. Whether you usually do or don’t, it is still customary that we fill out deposit slips. That’s what they are there for. Everyone has bad days but, in my opinion, the only one having a bad day was you. I highly doubt you closing your account made any impression whatsoever on her or anyone else for that matter other than yourself. Just goes to show what type of person you are.

  17. Get it together says:

    Learn how to do your own banking. You shouldn’t expect people to keep track of your accounts for you. Next time, add up all your checks, put that amount as a positive in your check register and know how much money you have. If you don’t keep a check register stop bitching about it. Do you realize how busy those people are and how many other people would prefer you do it and stop wasting their time waiting in line? I would be pissed if I had to stand there and wait for you to do what you should have done already. Actually, why don’t you just deposit the checks into an ATM, you don’t have to do anything yourself there the machine does it for you. The people behind the counter are not machines nor should you expect them to act like one. Of course there are things wrong with the bank, there are at every bank…you just seem to have a bad attitude and want to vent your frustrations online hoping others would support you…get a life. The only reason I came upon your question is because I am doing a project for class and it seems you have a lot to learn about the changing banking environment.

  18. Bank Teller says:

    Sorry you had a bad experience with BOA. In today’s economy we want to ensure accuracy and efficiency with every customer. Asking one to fill out an over the counter deposit slip is not unusual. This protects the customer ie; fraud, account impersonators etc. it also protects the bank and bank teller. Adding your own checks and knowing the total also helps. This helps you by knowing exactly what amount you deposit in case this is an error with the teller/proof department processing your transaction. I’m sure you wouldn’t hand over your child to a complete stranger, so why would you hand over your hard earned money without counting it first to a stranger? Beleive me when I say that with all of the scams out here trust yourself and no one else. The teller was performing her job. She may have not had a pleasant attitude or great customer service skills but when you are a bank teller irrate customers can wear you down. This teller clearly needed a break off the window and some positive coaching. In the future you may want to use the atm. It requires no deposit slip and you will not have to encounter any negative experiences. Hope this helps and good luck with your banking.

  19. IAmOverIT says:

    When you make a deposit in a bank its your responsibilty …its YOUR money. It is NOT the tellers job to fill out your deposit slip for you and count your checks..whew..so glad I am not LAZY and incapable. Grow up..your Mama may enjoy you still being her baby but I can assure you the rest of the world thinks you are an annoying, incapable oaf. Wah Wah baby need a diapy change?

  20. Lee says:

    I do verily think that closing the account because of this was a great over-reaction. Especially since you didn’t do things you should have done. If you counted the money, and wanted them to double-check, you should have just asked them to double-check. You should have filled out a deposit slip, that’s what you’re supposed to do.

    Saying “Oh my god, you were rude. I’m never coming back here ever again because one single teller was rude to me and expected me to do things everyone does to make life easier!” is definitely a more insane reaction than going to the manager and notifying them that said teller was being rude, even though I believe you deserved that rudeness.

    Next time, don’t be lazy is all I have to say after that.

  21. Swchela says:

    Hi,

    In actuallity reporting her to the manager would have been the better way of responding. How would anyone expect anything to get better if it is left the way it is. She needed an attitude check. And on top of that, yes the employees are representatives of the bank but she was only one person out of many. You should not have let that one persons attitude cause you to close your account if you did not have an issue with the bank thus far. So now you are stuck finding another bank, getting anything you had being deposited in your account set up with your new one and everything else when you could have lit a fire under her behind by letting her boss know that she was being a poor representative of that Bank of America branch. And believe me this is coming from someone who has received over 350 dollars in just fees from them and still remains a customer.

  22. Dan says:

    I found this post by googling ‘what is the purpose of a deposit slip?’ out of annoyance at the new Bank of America ATMs that flatly reject any check they don’t like.

    I was forced to fill out a deposit slip for the first time in my life (I’ve had a bank account 7 years) today and I’m glad to see someone else sees the pointlessness of such an act. Fortunately, I only receive a physical check every 6 months or so. Most transactions are electronic (though believe it or not, apparently ACH actually causes a physical check to be generated in batch!)

    I am ambivalent on the rudeness part, they employees are just doing their mindless jobs. They are told to follows rules and they follow them.

    But, I look at the whole banking industry from an engineering perspective and it is just riddled with legacy and hastily tacked on technology. BoA is probably one of the most technologically advanced banks, but everything they do is engineered through sheer force, rather than elegance. Just look at their online banking website to see an example of this.

    So what is a deposit slip? It’s redundant information and a waste of a tree and time. I have to swipe my card and enter my pin. That provides verification (at an equal level to an atm transaction) and a computer-based log. I provide a check to the teller and the teller must enter it into the computer to provide a record of the transaction. Now, the transaction needs to be verified in case the check is bad, or entered wrong. In theory, the teller could write the wrong account number on the check, or misplace it. But, then, how will the deposit slip even help?

    Come to think of it, you could probably replace the teller with a machine, and completely eliminate any argument for the deposit slip… Oh wait, we already have that, and it’s a called an ATM. Except – BoA decided to replace the ATM with a new, fancier ATM, that just rejects transactions without recourse or explanation from time to time.

    I think most of the comments here are from people ingrained in the thinking of what a bank SHOULD be like. Banks have been around a long time and their processes made sense at the time. But if banks had been born in the digital era, would they look anything like the way they do today? I think not.

  23. Jen says:

    In some places a deposit slip is not required if you have your debit card, but in many states Bank of America still runs a deposit slip with their checks and cash deposited at the teller window. It is unfortunate that you were faced with such a rude teller, but these things happen, and you made it sound like this was the first time they’d been rude to you.
    I know it can be a pain to fill out the deposit slip when you go into the bank, but think about how that works out for the teller if they have to fill out a deposit slip for every customer who doesn’t have one. It is unfair to ask the teller to copy down your name and address when you probably know it off the top of your head. As a teller, I can tell you I have no problem filling in the date, your check amount, or looking up your account number for you (we are required to have the date and everything filled in, whether you do it or not), but people come off very rude when I ask them kindly to fill in their address and they get upset. Like I said, I’m sorry you had a rude teller, but to all those people who are annoyed at having to fill out a deposit slip, deal with it or get the pre-printed ones – they’re free for personal accounts.
    Oh, and as someone else mentioned, why not tell the woman the total you’d gotten but ask her to double-check you? And sorry for rehashing the deposit slip thing.

  24. Abron says:

    I Just found out that Bank of America wants to charge me over 12 dollars for a book of Deposit Slips!!

    Is that lame as hell or what??!
    They want to charge me to be able to deposit money into my own bank. See, (I cant use the regular deposit slips they have at the bank because I live in another state currently. Instead I have to do the annoying “out of state” deposit slips because that’s where my bank was opened. My address is current and all is remedied with a simple deposit slip from my checkbooks, which have run out! So I tell them I have plenty of checks but dont have any deposit slips could you please send me more.

    “You have to Order from the website. It’s $9 plus shopping and handling..”

    Whhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat??! Insane.
    Already thinking of changing banks (after 8 years) is this common with all banks? I seem to remeber being given deposit slips whenever I needed them.

    • Dan says:

      I have never had to order a deposit slip, but I can confirm there ARE out-of-state deposit slips available for free inside the bank. Have you tried going to the bank and picking up a stack of them?

      I have a similar problem because I opened my account online before the Fleet merger was completed. The Fleet student checking account was crap so I opted for BoA, and they opened my account in Virginia. For the most part I have had no problems, but every once in a while when I visit a physical teller (once or twice a year) they may notice I have an out-of-state account and make me use a different form after telling me how I can save money with Save the Change(tm). One told me I should close and reopen my account.

      I imagine it causes all sorts of chaos behind the scenes if the wrong form is used, but I don’t really care. The form is pointless — my account information is embedded in my account number and if they can’t sort that out, that’s just because their system is stupid. FWIW, I do everything online so I very rarely even deposit a check, and never write checks…

  25. tommy says:

    strange my branch here in houston does not even have deposit slips


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