I’ve finally rid myself of BofA (Bank of America) this week. What started as a loving relationship almost 20 years ago has blossomed into a gaping hell of constant annoyances, hidden fees, and gross incompetence. I’ve been threatening to leave for years but the hassle of changing everything to a new bank was a significant hindrance. One major annoyance with BofA, besides the overly-high ATM fees, has been not getting my monthly statements. Somehow they kept trying to email an old old OLD email account from way back when I lived in Texas and had a different account number. No matter how many times I changed it online, called had them change it, they kept trying to email the old invalid email address. I somehow got all my bill-pay reminders by email but getting a monthly statement was beyond them. Well that is up until recently. Suddenly, I’m not even getting my reminders on-time. Some would come thru and others wouldn’t. Every time I logged in online I’d get a big glaring message about problems with my account. After incurring several late fees from various outside accounts, the Occupy protests, and the sudden move to charge customers a monthly fee to actually use our money, I’d had enough. They’ve retracted the plan to charge customers but I fully expect it to pop up somewhere else.
I know with recent changes in the law, courtesy of Prez Obama, they are loosing a very lucrative service aka exorbitant fees. That being said, they’ve always known this was an unregulated area and its their own fault for getting greedy and ruining it. They had plenty of time to self-regulate and failed to do so. Anyway, I guess they counted on the usual customer indifference to fee hikes and passed on a new fee structure to the customer. They got a massive wake up call and have helped ignite a very vocal and visible contingent of the American people. I personally think the occupy protests aren’t helping but I support their right to do so. Instead of camping out in a homemade slum for days/weeks at a time, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and move my money to a local credit union. I’ve had an account with them for years and they’ve also had both my motorcycle loans. On top of that, the credit union reimburses me for ATM fees instead of charging me for access to my money. I know, what a novel idea, right? lol
I should have made the switch years ago but, as mentioned, the hassle was daunting. Its amazing how much crap gets linked to your bank account over time. Zipcar, Fastrak, Muni, insurance, Paypal, etc are just a few. It took me almost 2 months to track everything down and get it all switched over to my CU account. I was smart and kept a list of everything this time so I have it, just in case. lol
So now, I am officially Bofa-free. And to my delight, my credit union online service is almost as robust and fast as BofA. There are a few minor differences but nothing overtly problematic. The only real hassle is making a cash deposits. While I can use a variety of ATMs around town for depositing checks, (including one 2 blocks from my apt) depositing cash has to be done at an affiliated CU ATM. I don’t deposit cash often as I use direct deposit so again its not the end of the world. I’m already enjoying my new credit union account and am loving the ATM-fee reimbursements as well. I’d encourage anyone reading this to bite the bullet and make the switch. Tell the greedy giant corps they can’t abuse you as a customer anymore.