Bank of America Online Banking - clue-dot-not!

Posted on Thursday, March 2nd, 2006 at 12:00am CST by a66de67a

Company: Bank of America Online Banking - clue-dot-not!

Category: Other

Bank of America Online Banking - clue-dot-not!

March 1, 2006

Hello -

I wanted to share my ordeal with Bank of America, and how their attempts at making my life "easier" with online banking helped me end my banking relationship of 10 years with them in a matter of minutes.

I have recently purchased a new home. In doing due diligence by providing my new address to my bank and other companies with whom I engage in business transactions, I selected Bank of America's "Change your address" link under account services, and changed my address to my Post Office Box. To note, this is something which my roommate uses as his address with Bank of America. Additionally, it would be some time in between the transition from the old house to the new one, and I have no plans of letting the lease of the post office box lapse anytime in the near future. Therefore, this is an address that I assumed would be valid for use.

My response from BoA was as follows:

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Thank you for your inquiry dated 2/20/06 regarding the change of address and phone numbers. Some of our correspondence is delivered to you by a carrier such as UPS or Federal Express who cannot deliver to a Post Office box; we refer to this address as your correspondence address. We will need an updated physical or street address on file for your correspondence address in order to change your main profile with us. We are unable to change the address you submitted for your correspondence address because your new address is for a Post Office box. Please respond to this message with your current physical address

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Now, mind you, my roommate's address, checks, statement, and online profile with BoA all list the PO Box. Additionally, I've never received any UPS or FedEx packages from BoA - why would I when they mail everything to me?

So, resolved that this was a bureaucratic mess by a big corporation, I replied with my new physical address. Much to my surprise, here was my response.

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Our records show that your account address has been changed within the last 64-days; therefore, we are unable to make changes to your address for the account through e-mail. To protect the security of your account, please use one of the following two alternatives to change your address. - Visit a nearby Bank of America banking center and ask for assistance with changing your address. To find the banking center nearest you, please use the ATM Banking Center locator on the Bank of America Web page at www.bankofamerica.com - Mail a written request, including your signature, to: Bank of America

PO Box 25118

Tampa, FL 33622-5118

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This is asinine on so many levels. First of all, I responded to them as requested to change my address, since the initial request was not apparently accepted. Secondly, BoA seems to be really obsessive about me not having a PO Box, but if I want to change my address, I have to mail it to their PO Box? Well, by golly, what if I wanted to mail them something via FedEx or UPS? So much for being a banking partner, because obviously, the rules are set for them, and not for the lowly customer.

My first telephone call with BoA resulted in the representative spouting off about how I "probably filled out the form wrong" and professing her love for the BoA Online system. When I asked to be forwarded to the escalation department (or her supervisor), she pointedly told me that she didn't feel I needed that level of service, and hung up on me.

My second call was routed to a horrible VOIP connection to an associate in India, who would not forward me to anyone unless I first provided a social security number to him. Like that will happen. So, I initiated the disconnect, and attempted my third call to BoA.

My third call, the representative was much more helpful, and surprisingly, was able to change my address. Success at last - though not enough to completely turn me off to Bank of America and their lack of service or understanding of their customer's needs.

BoA - your online banking is seriously clue-dot-NOT. Why put a customer of over 10 years through that hell, just to change an address? I know you're a large corporation that wants to have a better online presence, but you're going about it the wrong way when you have to make me deal with going into a banking office or worse yet, mailing something with my account and signature on it via the US Postal Service.

I feel that BoA does not clearly indicate what they expect from the user, and this needs to change. If the address was not meant to be a PO Box - CLEARLY indicate this on the "change of address" form in the account services page. I'd be happy to provide the new address to you. In addition, hire more competent people who can actually READ messages in english rather than using the pre-canned messages that make no sense. Additionally, with the big push to not utilize "face-to-face" transactions, one would assume that you would ensure a better customer service level both on the phone and via online/email responses. This is sorely lacking, and in a desperate need of improvement on BoA's part.


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