Email To BoA Exec Reduces APR In Face Of Rude CSRs

Donald writes:

First and foremost i would like to thank you for the wonderful site. The information found here has been extremely useful. With that said i just want to share with you a success story i had with getting Bank Of America to lower the interest rate on my Apple GoldReserve Line of Credit. This story does not start out so nicely though.

When my Apple loan was bought from MBNA by Bank Of America i was at the time a little less financially responsible and was not making payments like i should have been which jacked my interest rate up to 26.99%. The amount owed on the loan was like $1800. I finally got my other finances in order and decided to attack this loan and get it paid off. So around July i set up auto payments to take out $100 every two weeks (payday to be exact that way it came out before i had the chance to spend it). In December i called in to see if i could get my interest rate lowered and the very nice CSR told me that they see i have been making payments and thanked me for doing so but there is nothing they can do until this trend lasts for 6 months. She told me to call back at the end of January and someone would be able to help me out with that. I was quite happy to hear this and waited until the end of January.

This is where the story gets frustrating.

On Monday I called in again trying to get my interest rate lowered only to find that no one wanted to help me. I was passed around to 4 different CSR’s who didn’t seem to want to do any work that day since their title when the answered the phone were all the same. The first two people told me that they don’t change an interest rate unless 12 months had gone by. When i told them that i was told by a CSR in December to call at the end of January because it would only take 6 months they passed me on. The third guy immediately passed me on as soon as i said lower my interest rate. Didn’t even ask for any of my information. The last person i ended up with was rather rude to me. Here is how the conversation went.

CSR: How are you today
ME: Good if you dont pass me off to someone else.
CSR: What can i help you with?
ME: I would like to see if i can get my interest rate lowered.
CSR: *asked questions about my account info*
ME: As you can see i have been making my payments on time for the last 6 months and way above the minimum payment is there anything you can do?
CSR: Let me check…. No this account is locked. We can not change it.
ME: Locked? If you can not lower it how come you can raise it? That doesnt make sense

note: i know why it was raised it was the year of on again off again payments leading up to these 6 months

CSR: That is our policy. (or something to that effect i dont remember exactly)
ME: So there is nothing you can do?
CSR: No. This account is locked and i can not lower the rate. No one can lower the rate on this account because it is locked.
ME: No one? I find that hard to believe.
CSR: thats right. Nobody can change this interest rate. Is there anything else i can help you with?
ME: No thank you.

and i hung up the phone.

I immediately came here and did a search for Bank Of America email addresses and sent an e-mail off to Maryellen Baker, the Service & Fulfillment Operations Executive. It turned out that she was not the one i wanted to send my email to. But she responded by saying that she was passing it on to someone who can help me with that. That was on wed. Yesterday i received a call from a lady whose name i can not remember. She apologized for the rudeness and said that she looked into the matter and that with my recent payments and over all credit history she would be able to lower my interest rate down to a flat 15%.

Thank you again for this site. Without it a lot of people would keep taking it in the rear from corp america and have no where to share their stories.

Donald

So Donald had a 26.99% APR, tried to get it reduced through five different reps who all told him different stories, but then he got it lowered after sending an email to someone in a position of power. We love that part, “it’s locked, nobody can change the account. Nobody? Nobody.” As if! I’ve never heard of an account being locked in this way, must be a new feature, or a new lie they’re telling, really hard to tell which. If the first tier people can’t or won’t help you, be like Don and escalate.

(Photo: Spidra Webster)

Comments

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  1. Buran says:

    I have one of these left over from a years-ago iBook purchase that I’m keeping open for the credit score boost. I don’t know if I can even still use it anymore in the event I did want to buy something with it (I don’t plan to). But out of curiosity, anyone know?

    Good for Donald. I’ve never heard of an account being “locked”. Seems like a BS excuse for “I don’t want to do work”.

  2. laserjobs says:

    Sweet story, glad you got your rate reduced. Next time try prosper.com for the loan if your credit is half decent.

    Moral of the story just skip the customer level support and hit up the execs.

  3. NoWin says:

    @laserjobs: …ust skip the customer level support and hit up the execs.

    Have to disagree. As painful and frustrating as it may be, call the front-line CSRs first, document you actions, then escalate if needed.

    In banking, there can be “no favoritism” shown (those pesky federal and state auditors) off the bat FROM executives, so following the chain of command will often get the resolution you are looking for (if within reason). The execs MUST have a reason to help you; not getting a degee of satisfaction from the CSR’s IS that reason.

  4. YoHenYo says:

    Doesnt someone who owes “like $1800″ and was delinquent in payments have to face a higher interest rate?

  5. QWGHLM says:

    I don’t think the last CSR he typed out his conversation with was that rude. In fact, I think the CSR did quite well keeping his/her cool considering the OP answered the “How are you” question with “Good if you dont pass me off to someone else.”

    If treat someone with respect, chances are you’ll get the same…

  6. humphrmi says:

    @QWGHLM: I agree with you, that wasn’t the best way to open the conversation. That said, I don’t think there’s any excuse to lie to a customer. Say you’re not going to lower the interest rate, fine. CSRs can make a judgment call and decide “this dude’s attitude ain’t worth it.” But “your account has been locked”? What BS, and clearly a lie since he got the rate lowered by going to Exec CS.

  7. jlayman920 says:

    BOA dicked us around as well. Despite having high credit scores and all of our other cards being at average to low interest rates, our card was put at the default rate of 29.9%. I called after noticing our monthly payment required almost doubled and the rate had gone up. I was told by BOA CS that something on my credit report or my wife’s credit report was causing the account to be assigned a default rate by their system. I pulled both of our reports from all three bureaus and nothing bad was on them. When I called BOA to report that our credit reports showed nothing derogatory on them and asked to have the interest rate lowered back to where it was, they refused. I said that was fine but please tell me exactly what it is that is causing the default rate with their card that is not affecting any other aspect of our credit and the CS rep said they could not tell exactly what it was because “the system” was assigning the default rate to our account. So bottom line, they can put your account at a default rate but they can’t tell you why they put your account at a default rate. Brilliant. Luckily, our tax return plus W’s rebate will allow us to pay the card off in full and when I call to cancel and their retention specialist asks me why I am closing the account, I will tell them that I don’t really know why, my system is just telling me to.

  8. Happy13178 says:

    @YoHenYo: I agree, if the guy was delinquent and got his interest rate jacked up, he’d normally have to suck it up. However, that seems to be only part of the story here. If the rep said right off the bat the first time he called that she couldn’t do anything about it due to past delinquency, that would be one thing. But she said that they could, after 6 months. That changes things. I know if my credit sucked, I’d still try to negotiate a lower interest rate if I could.

  9. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    Ha ha…Funny, I just recently paid off my emac (nickname: “The Backbreaker”) from 2004 and remember when MBNA was bought out by BOA. Thank god I only had to call the new guard once or twice because both times I think I called the same rep the OP had to deal with. Now I’ve washed my hands of them.

  10. kaosfive2005 says:

    I have a discover card through HSBC, I try calling sparadically to have my credit line extended and they always refuse stating “hsbc is not currently taking applications to extend the limits”..pfftt anyone else dealing with this situation?

  11. cloudedice says:

    @YoHenYo: Everyone is entitled to a second chance. The fact that he was making regular payments for six months shows that he’s making a good faith effort to own up to his debt. BoA should reward him by lowering his interest rate to something reasonable if asked. He did, and they complied.

  12. cloudedice says:

    @Ben: I wouldn’t call this an EECB, since he only sent an e-mail to one individual. It sounds more like a properly escalated issue. You shouldn’t dilute the EECB power by throwing it’s name around so carelessly.

  13. boreddusty says:

    @cloudedice: Agreed. This was just proper escalation when the low-level CSRs couldn’t (or wouldn’t, as seems to be the case) do anything to help the customer.

  14. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @jlayman920:

    That is absolutely brilliant. :D

  15. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @kaosfive2005:

    Probably due to all the fraud they are experiencing.

  16. BearTack says:

    BOA is probably going to go out of its way to be nice for a while. BOA is reputed to want the creation of a public corporation called the “Federal Homeowner Preservation Corporation” which is to use taxpayer money to purchase some $739 billion of moderate to high risk mortgages. This will get all the major banks and finance houses off the financial hook from the mess they made.

    The cost comes out to about $2500 per capita, or $7000 per tax payer.

  17. DoubleEcho says:

    Just yesterday I called BOA to lower the 23.49% APR on my Visa Gold card – I made one late payment about 2-3 years ago and the rate had never gone down since. I paid it off in full (A $1000 balance on $4000 limit) about 2 weeks ago with my refund, and I figured I’d have to fight tooth and nail to get it reduced even by 5% APR.

    I called, got transferred to some lady and was very polite to her. She asked what my profession was, and I told her I was a computer tech and she pretty much told me people like me were her heroes, since she always was screwing her computer up. She beat my Chase card by 1% APR (It will go to 12.9% in August after a 0% introductory) and gave me another $1000 credit limit. Not that I’ll use that much, but hey, it’s good to have that line of credit on your credit report.

    One thing they couldn’t do though was beat my mortgage – 30 year fixed at 5.75%. Getting your loan through the state housing agency rocks :)

  18. wildwhuck says:

    I have 3 credit cards (2 of the 3 were bought by BOA); all with great payment history. Well i noticed that one cards interest rate jumped from 12% to 26.9%. last month i was credited for a late fee (didn’t make it to the bank in time to credit that day, damn them for a 2pm cutt-off). so i called to get the rate reduced. i only was transfered once, then spoke with a very kind rep in the interest rate department. i was only asking for my rate to return to the original 12% but she gave me an 9% fixed. Needless to say I ended the call happy, now i just have to wait to see if it appears on my bill.