GASP! WHAT? IMPOSSIBLE!
Of course I’m not divorcing that darling husband of 34 years. In fact, I’m sitting next to him on our couch watching the umpteenth night of Olympics solo ice dancing. If our marriage can survive that, then we’re home free.
No, I’m talking about our divorce from our bank of 35 years -since we moved out to Los Angeles, in fact. They shall remain nameless, but their ever-loving-initials are B of A.
The trouble began in November, after paying my 2018 gym fees in the end of October. All of the gym members were notified by email that the gym was closing abruptly before Thanksgiving, taking with them (in my case) almost two grand without looking back. The more rational among you are thinking, “Why didn’t she divorce the gym rather than the bank?”
Starting in December, through painstaking documentation of the theft of this money, I thought the Bank would come to my aid and at the very least, front the money so that I could afford my new gym membership. I would call every two weeks or so to inquire as to the status of my claim, speaking with Juanita, then lovely Rebecca (names changed to protect the innocent). Each person I spoke with was ostensibly “horrified” at the amount of time this claim was taking, their small exhortations of breath audible over the phone, with assurances that they would accelerate my claim, sending it up to the next level. Every time I hung up, I felt better. Finally someone would help me take care of this.
The online claim system is horrible. You can’t upload any documents, and you can’t send emails to find out the status. You have to phone in and sit on hold. I’m not saying I’m the busiest person in the world, but it’s really annoying to have to carve out precious time to sit on hold while the purportedly shocked employee mutes their line, and buffs their nails for 10 minutes before coming back to express more despondency about why this claim hasn’t been settled yet.
On a Friday a week ago, I was told by “Sheila” that I would absolutely hear by Monday evening, or Tuesday morning at the latest. That was a week ago.
It takes a lot to make me lose my cool, but when last Tuesday came and went, I was pretty steamed. I immediately drafted a letter to the B of A Claims P.O. Box, in which I cced the president of B of A, photo below.
Found this little tidbit online.
Brian Thomas Moynihan’s 2017 equity incentive award has been raised to $21.5 million from $18.5 million in 2016.
I can see that ignoring my claim is incentivized by the award listed above. Alongside the information and mailing address was a many-pages long list of irate comments from angry customers like me, who have been ignored and whose claims have gone unanswered. Other websites encouraged me and others to “kick the claim up the poop hill” to CEO Moynihan.
I’m not going to take it any more!
My letter included my stated intention to begin removing myself and my business from his bank if I didn’t receive any response by last Friday. So I started the process earlier, on Wednesday. It’s difficult to disentangle yourself from a banking institution after thirty plus years. Complex, but satisfying. Every keystroke changing online bill pay and direct deposits to my new Credit Union account felt great.
Except every item I moved I relived the humiliation of being taken by the gym, then being taken by the bank.
Ironically, as I typed this blog last night, interspersed with attempting to change various accounts, I received this message from B of A:
We’re letting you know that you have a new message about your claim in your Online Banking mailbox.
This alert is in reference to an open claim you have on file with us. The account listed in this alert is for verification purposes only.
When I went to check the message, it indicated that my credit was permanent.
Message date: 02/20/2018Subject: Credit is now permanent.
We’ve completed our review of your claim.
What you need to know
We’re pleased to let you know that the previously issued temporary credit for $1,750.00 is now permanent and we consider this claim resolved.
We’re here to help
If you have any questions, please visit bankofamerica.com/help. We appreciate the opportunity to serve your financial needs.
A hasty search of the entire account revealed no previously issued temporary credit. I think I’d have noticed that, don’t you?
Ironically, while making lunch today, I received a call from another B of A employee in the Executive Claims Department, letting me know that they had received my letter and that I would have the money by midnight tonight. I let her know that I was, of course, pleased with the outcome of the claim’s conclusion, but that I would still be leaving the bank. And tonight, I see the money sitting ready to come back into my account.
It felt really good to have someone to give my feedback to about the process. This B of A employee wasn’t buffing her nails while we talked. She was listening. Of course, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking….power of the blog!….keystroke monitoring?…..paying it forward? New Gym! New Bank! What a great way to start the new year!
The divorce, while amicable, will be finalized in the next few weeks.