06 March 2012

Breaking Up With Bank of America

Day 70
via prendio2

Last week, I called Bank of America to close my account. It was one of the final steps in merging my finances with my new husband's, but it's also something I've been eager to do for a while. Two years ago when I was working on tips, my income was uncertain, and some months I'd have a windfall and some months, I'd basically be broke. Because of those days, I had to downgrade to their e-checking account. This means that I had to carry a balance over some threshold, I had to pay to transfer money out of my account, and the clincher: I had to pay $5 any time I spoke to a teller.

Personally, I am okay with online bank accounts, and I loved ING and HSBC. I could do anything online/over the phone, and do it more efficiently than in person. Besides, I got higher interest rates because less B&M stores meant less overhead. But Bank of America has B&M locations and they have a lot of them. I always thought it was a given that as a customer, I could enter one of those locations, but this a la carte method of banking was new. And annoying. This $5 fee was really the nail in the coffin, even though I have never spoken to, and now will never speak to a BofA teller in person.

I'd been dreading the phone call, because I am never in the mood to speak to a retention salesperson. I've only called a handful of times to see what a company can do for me, and gone through the rigmarole when I needed to, but most of the time I am simply done with that company, and answering all those questions is so painful and aggravating.

Maybe it was because I had less than $400 in my accounts. Maybe it was because I've never had more than I've needed to pay my bills in those accounts (I keep my savings elsewhere, with higher interest rates and no fees for transfers), but they were not sad to see me go—I got the feeling they couldn't have cared less. Throw a girl a bone BofA—you are worse than my high school boyfriend.

Marie walked me through the steps, gave me confirmation numbers, and told me that my check should be cut by March 7th, and that I should receive it within a reasonable timeframe after that date. Easy peasy. She was very nice, and didn't fight me too hard on closing the account, but then again, they're probably getting a lot of calls like this these days. Maybe I did good to call on a Friday. Maybe I will be updating you in two weeks about my second phone call to Bank of America to try to close my account again.

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