Bank of America

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When I moved down here to California three years ago, I opened an account with Bank of America. I chose them mostly because they were within walking distance of where I worked and my wife (girlfriend then) was using the car to apartment hunt.

After coming from Canada with our piddly 30 million people, and banks that are responsive, reasonable and polite, it was a bit of a surprise discovering how BofA works.

First, just getting in touch with somebody to ask questions to is difficult with BofA. They thankfully give you a 1-800 number but make you wait on hold for a fair while if you aren't satisfied with the automated phone system and want to to talk to an actual person. The Royal Bank of Canada also provides a 1-800 number, and make it a very obvious option to talk directly to a representative. In more than 10 years of calling that number, I've likely only needed to wait on a hold a handful of times before being able to talk to someone. Perhaps low populations? Who knows.

BofA also has delays on your payments you make through them. If I pay my phone bill through the BofA website, PacBell doesn't register it for up to 3 days. What a joke! The Royal Bank processes the payments at the end of the day and you're done! I think I asked once about this difference and the Royal Bank said that although the payee may not receive the money immediately, they do trust the banks to guarantee the money at time of paying so that the date the payee records receiving the payment is the same day you make it. Smart no? Takes the burden off the end-user and hides the messy details behind the scenes.

With both my Royal Bank account and my BofA account, I also have a VISA card through them as well. When I want to make a payment to my VISA with the royal bank, the transaction occurs immediately and updates the balances on both accounts. Same bank. Same system. Immediate Response. In fact they don't even consider it a payment, but instead a transfer. Not so with BofA where I often see a delay of 3 days before an online payment to my BofA VISA card shows up. How can it be so slow? It doesn't need to clear... they KNOW I have the money since their own system tells me so!

And as a thrilling conclusion to just how great BofA really is... they recently started spamming my email address with all sorts of BofA propaganda about great new services that cost an arm and a leg as well as marketing for products completely unrelated to banking. I hunt at the bottom of the email and find an unsubscribe link.. click it.. remove all the checkboxes (that I never clicked in the first place and don't even recall being asked about).. and then when I submit my choices I get presented with the following text:
Your e-mail profile is in the process of being updated. Per your request, you will stop receiving Bank of America marketing e-mails within eight weeks.
Hahaha... 8 weeks.... *sob*.

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This page contains a single entry by Dylan published on January 27, 2003 9:56 AM.

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