Round 25: Bank Of America vs Toys R' Us

This is Round 25 in our Worst Company in America contest, Bank of America vs Toys R’ Us. Vote which sucks more, inside…


Here’s what readers said when they nominated the two companies:

Bank of America:
“aka Band of Assholes in our family”
“Bank of America cost me hundreds of dollars in bogus fees plus the hassle of trying to straighten out their mistakes and then my time to change my bank accounts to a different bank. After I left them, they still rip me off for $3 each time I need to use one of their ATMs.”
“Bank of America -what do you mean my ex can still charge my credit card?! You won’t permanently close my account either?! 16.99% is NOT the lowest you can go on a credit card!”
“Between now owning Countrywide and shafting its credit card users, it’s a no-brainer.”
“For sheer wickedness in how it views its customers (or should I say serfs)”
“Bank of America. I am sick of being @$$ raped by their non-boa ATM fees. Sometimes, I go to areas (in the US) that have NO boas and I still get punished. I am sick of all their hidden fees. (NEVER get a savings account there.) Also, arbitrary rate increases? Please.”

Toys R’ Us:
“Bad prices and terrible returns policy, oh and their super rundown stores.”

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america/

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING:
Toshiba vs Microsoft
US Airways vs Washington Mutual
American Airlines vs Blockbuster
Time Warner Cable vs Radioshack
Wellpoint vs Charter Cable
Dell vs Home Depot
Sears vs Citibank
Wal-Mart vs TJMaxx
Mattel vs ATT
Capital One vs Video Professor
eBay/Paypal vs COX
Apple vs SallieMae
Diebold Vs Pfizer
MTV vs TransUnion
CompUSA vs DirecTV
Target vs Best Buy
Allstate vs Verizon
DeBeers vs 1800 flowers
Starbucks vs United Airlines
Exxon vs Crocs
Google Vs Sony
Ticketmaster vs Wachovia
Facebook vs The American Arbitration Association
Comcast vs Menu Foods

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. PinkBox says:

    LOL… is this even a fair vote? ;)

  2. proptart says:

    @NameGoesHere:
    I know! Bank of America gets my vote any day. ;)

  3. prameta1 says:

    are you reading this? then sing along!

    “i don’t wanna grow up, i’m a Toys ‘R’ Us kid…”

  4. Echodork says:

    Voting links outside the jump please.

  5. SegamanXero says:

    @NameGoesHere: no, its not a fair vote for Toys R us… or rather it is since they will lose to BOA…

  6. mgy says:

    No contest in this one. Bank of America could win this whole thing.

  7. AstroPig7 says:

    8 votes for Toys Я Us? Were those even from regular readers of this site?

  8. Zaos says:

    This is such a mismatch, but it is a 16 seed vs a 1 seed, i don’t see bank of america being a very strong 1 seed though. i still see best buy as the worst 1 seed.

  9. elislider says:

    BoA vs best buy would be more fair

  10. Nighthawke says:

    SOMEone owes me a new monitor, the pic has some serious spew factorage going for it!

  11. hi says:

    Can u say overdraft? Lets take billions from the poor every year and feel good about it!

  12. Buran says:

    I haven’t had any problems with my BofA account and their reps have been nothing less than helpful and friendly (and they’re apparently US-based; I’m hard of hearing and Indian accents are VERY hard for me to understand).

    However, a bank has much more potential to cause actual harm to customers who DO have problems than a toy store does, so I voted for BofA.

  13. plustax says:

    I’ve been a Bank of America customer for about 3 years now and have not had any major issues with them at this point. But I know sooner or later they’ll find thier oppurtunity to screw me, I can’t wait. Is there any bank in this country (minus credit unions and that military bank everyone talks about) that isn’t full of crooks? You guys have blasted every bank I know on here.

  14. chuloallen says:

    @AstroPig7: maybe BOA sent out a memo about the vote, and they all came out in force – and only 8 voted the way BOA expected ;)

  15. beavis88 says:

    Toys R Us would be lucky to win the NIT of bad companies. Bank of America gets a bye straight to the NCAA Final Four by comparison.

  16. ferris209 says:

    Not to mention Bank of America had a special credit card for ILLEGALS who cannot provide a SS# AND do not have a credit history. Which IS against federal law. 1907 Title 8, U.S.C. § 1324(a)

    Bastards.

  17. katylostherart says:

    hmmm, looks to me the arguments were a bit biased there.

    good :D

  18. urban_ninjya says:

    Are we still on the first round of eliminations..?

    Could we put like multiple votes per each round until we get to like the final 4?

  19. Back to the no contest polls?

  20. ByeBye says:

    I voted for Toys R Us. Their stores are shittier than the ones Target has. BoA, while vile and crappy, will win regardless if I voted for Toys R Us or not. Think about it? If I knew Toys R Us was going to win, and by fate, it was meant to win (hypothetically) then a vote for it or BoA would not matter (at least my vote) because fate would not change. Reverse that around and you can understand what my point is. Yeah, so what is BoA is an evil evil EVILEEEEE company – who cares? They’re going to win this regardless. Well, not so much as regardless, cause of course if they weren’t so evil, then perhaps Geoffry the Giraffe would stand a chance…but no. And that is my rant for the day. For now. At 1:09 EDT…

  21. mgy says:

    @TheManator: …What?

  22. bsalamon says:

    i know i am in the extreme minority, but BofA hasn’t been terrible to me. They have actually worked to get me interest rates on CDs that were almost 4 times higher than what I had…all without me asking.

  23. Anitra says:

    Bank of America is bad… but I used to WORK for Toys ‘R Us, and they’re almost the top of my personal hierarchy of EVIL.

    Never worked anywhere else that used as much corporate doublespeak OR that treated their employees as badly.

  24. JustaConsumer says:

    Bank of America has be bad since they were founded. They invented the West Coast evil bank. They make Countrywide and WaMu look like amateurs. Not sure Toys R Us should be in here. There are some pretty weird brackets.

  25. johnva says:

    @plustax: Even a lot of credit unions are full of crooks and bad customer service. They are not a panacea.

    Personally, I think that BoA gets blasted so often simply because a) they are a bank, and b) they are one of the biggest, most widespread consumer banks. People tend to get very pissed at any disagreement with a bank, since these disputes can often be over quite a bit of money. Probably all banks have a significant percentage of dissatisfied customers, and when you multiply that by the number of customers BoA has, that adds up to a lot of people.

    So while I don’t doubt that a lot of people have had big problems with BoA, I don’t think they’re the worst company in America. To earn that title, in my mind, you really have to stand out in providing poor customer service (like Comcast or a lot of the airlines do).

  26. johnva says:

    @bsalamon: I don’t think you’re in the extreme minority. I agree with you. You just hear about the people who have problems more because they want to talk about it. If BoA was as bad as a lot of people here say they are to everyone, then they would be dead as a company. They don’t have built-in monopoly advantages like cable companies do, and almost everyone can switch to another bank without too much trouble. Thus, I can’t believe BoA would be as successful as they seem to be if they treated all their customers like dirt. I think you and me are in the majority.

  27. dotyoureyes says:

    BoA is not just “a” bank, they’re a bank with some of the least customer-friendly policies in America.

    Re-opening closed accounts then charging $35 for it? That’s not a courtesy, that’s fraud.

    The only thing that keeps B of A from winning this outright is that there are plenty of customer-friendly banking options out there, from USAA to credit unions, so B of A customers get exactly what they pay (and pay and pay and pay) for.

  28. Peeved Guy says:

    Geoffery has been hitting the gym.

  29. Buran says:

    @plustax: People here always have to complain about SOMETHING.

  30. Buran says:

    @dotyoureyes: I pay $0 for my BofA service.

  31. WhiteTrashLegend says:

    @ferris209:

    The illegals thing is exactly what I was going to chime in. Extending credit to them is unacceptable, and I will never do business with them because of it.

  32. elf6c says:

    BOA = Satan’s Bank.

    93% – 7% would disagree with you there Buran. But keeping posting, maybe by volume alone you can win people over.

  33. categorically says:

    Toy R’ Us is horrible, but alas BofA is worse. Seems like an unfair matchup because Toys R’ Us is “good enough” to make it into the next round.

  34. youbastid says:

    @dotyoureyes: People need to stop referring to USAA as an “option” for everyone. It’s not. Same with credit unions.

    Second, how is charging a $35 fee fraud? A ripoff, yes. Do you know what fraud means?

  35. Trai_Dep says:

    To say nothing of BofA buying MBNA, then stealthily sending their credit card customers 8 different letters, all inconspicuous, all 10pp affairs where, buried in the fine print, BofA tries to make the credit card deals even MORE screwed than they were to begin with.
    Things like, “If you wouldn’t like your APR to go from 9% to 32% next month, send a snailmail letter with the following 4 pieces of information to this special address within the next week.” Only buried on page 4 and written in 50 words of well-neigh incomprehensible legalese. And repeated for changing ave daily balance, binding arbitration, etc.

    Evil!

    On a different note, I have to crack up at the posters that say, “Since nothing personally happened to me, I’m going to ignore reams of factual data and vote for EvilCorp.”

    Since if nothing directly impacts them while they obliviously trudge thru their pale, sad life, it obviously doesn’t exist.

    Jeezus – develop you empathy muscles, guys: we’re humans, not cockroaches.

  36. johnva says:

    @dotyoureyes: I don’t pay them anything for anything. Do they have high fees for some things? Yes. The solution is to not use BoA if they are going to charge you a lot of fees to do what you want. You might also want to avoid them if you tend to overdraft your account, since I hear they are pretty brutal when that happens. I don’t do that, so I’m not too concerned about it. Just like I’m not too concerned about the fact that my credit cards might charge me 30% interest if I default on the account. I never pay credit card interest, so this isn’t really a relevant feature of them to me.

  37. Trai_Dep says:

    Hey, if I had a basket as big as Geoffrey’s, I’d be grinning like a giraffe too.

  38. mike says:

    Toys R Us may be miserable. But I swear to you that they always have Wii’s in stock. At least mine does.

    I think it’s because no one goes there anymore.

  39. startertan says:

    Dang. I have BoA for my mortgage b/c they got me the lowest interest rate and had the lowest fees. I still voted for them but hopefully karma won’t kill me…who still shops at TrU…oh yeah I did when they had their B1G150%off sale on Wii games.

  40. Angryrider says:

    TRU just plain sucks to me. Overpriced, and they don’t pull merchandise when they’re supposed to. Unlike Best Buy, they act like tightwads when selling clearance items.

    Bank of America seems alittle more suckier.

  41. Again, the #1 seed against the #16 seed. What’s up with that? Toys R Us is a toy store. There are many like it, and you usually don’t have to have an account there to buy a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action playset. BankOfAmerica, on the other hand, is one of the most useless McBanks out there. You pay fees out the wazoo for worse than nothing, and it usually costs you money without your having done a thing wrong, and they flat-out refuse to fix it without a court-order. BofA by a landslide.

  42. @elf6c: Ha ha! I love it, except you ought to spell it SatansBank (TM).

  43. chrylis says:

    @Echodork: This…

    Thanks, though, Consumerist, love the playoffs!

  44. Anks329 says:

    @WhiteTrashLegend, and @ferris209: Take a look at this: [consumerist.com]

    From the article, according to a spokesperson from Homeland security, the program is perfectly LEGAL. “the cards are perfectly legal and comply ‘fully with all banking and antiterrorism laws governing customer identification.’ “

  45. @beavis88: “Toys R Us would be lucky to win the NIT of bad companies. Bank of America gets a bye straight to the NCAA Final Four by comparison.”

    THIS.

  46. ByeBye says:

    @mgy: Exactly! Sometimes I write how I think – which apparently isn’t comprehensible with anyone with a NORMAL HUMAN (TASTY) BRAIN like you. People say I’m weird. Am I weird?>!

  47. sgodun says:

    Now I’m convinced that Consumerist is on crack with this one. A friggin’ TOY STORE versus a BANK?!?!?

  48. nikalseyn says:

    I find it hard to believe anyone still uses Bank of America for anything. I closed my accounts and tore up their visa card right after I heard they were giving mortgages to illegal aliens.

  49. trujunglist says:

    My vote went to BoA because of the like 5 bucks I pay to them for ATM transactions. I fucking hate that on top of the random ATM fee, I have to pay BoA because they didn’t have an ATM within like 20 miles. Fuck you BoA.
    The only gripe I have with Toys R’ Us is how it handled the Wii. I went there right after it was released and for some reason they had all the Wii boxes out. I’m well informed, so I didn’t even bother asking if they had any, but people kept running in, grabbing up the boxes, and running to the counter only to be disappointed. They also put most of their Wiis in bundle packs, which consumers hate and Nintendo has publicly denounced as evil.

  50. I’m a little biased on this one. I don’t drive by BofA branches and instantly flashback to fun childhood memories like with Toys Я Us.

  51. johnva says:

    @nikalseyn: Some of us aren’t all that concerned about that. Frankly, I don’t believe it’s a bank’s job to enforce the immigration laws. That is the government’s responsibility.

    @trujunglist: Most banks charge foreign ATM fees now. It’s not just BoA (though I agree that it sucks).

  52. BofA: Cash Deposits Post Immediately! After midnight. After we post debits. And bounce your checks. And take our fees.

  53. thwarted says:

    BoA for that stupid “we’re gonna make lots of money” video. f them.

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

    Not only are Toys R Us not in the same league as BoA, they aren’t even playing the same game.

  56. edosan says:

    @dotyoureyes: You really can’t call USAA an alternative to a bank because it’s not open to everyone. USAA is an exclusive organization that is only for military personnel.

  57. NotATool says:

    Most…lopsided…”victory”…ever…

  58. I used to return broken video game consoles at Toys R Us when I was 9. For that I give them credit.. BOA just rips people off for no reason.. at least Toys R Us lets you know what you’re getting into.

  59. BigElectricCat says:

    @Buran:

    “However, a bank has much more potential to cause actual harm to customers who DO have problems than a toy store does, so I voted for BofA.”

    Hard to argue with that.

  60. Trai_Dep says:

    Okay, the few yahoos with their lacy panties in a bunch over BofA letting people w/o documentation (but cash and no credit flaws) open accounts: where in your contradictory ideology do you fit limited tyrannical powers & free market & corporations being unfettered by Washington bureaucrats so they can simply conduct their business?

    And since BofA is international, why should a bank discriminate on national origin (again, when there aren’t any laws preventing it). Since when should private companies set public law?

    If O’Flannery opens an account in Cork then makes a deposit in Stockton, what entrails is a bank employee supposed to examine to figure if he’s a tourist, a visiting businessman or an Irish person overstaying his welcome.

    Whoops sorry: White skin. He gets a pass. But let’s say he’s REALLY tan. Or (gasp) Hispanic.

    Why don’t the number of internal contradictions whizzing around in your head cause you to spin around and levitate off the ground?

  61. gbgirl says:

    When my kids went into Toys R Us to use the gift cards they received for Christmas, one of the cards wouldn’t go through and the manager insisted that it must be because the card had already been used and my 8-year old was trying to perpetuate some sort of fraud, despite the fact that other customers in the store were having the same issue. We asked them to hold the toys he had carefully selected until we could call the corporate office, which they agreed to do. Called corporate to learn that the processing system was totally out of whack (but no apologies forthcoming), and returned later in the day to find the toys that were supposed to be held? All stuck back on the shelf. The manager saw us and comically scurried off in the opposite direction, in order to avoid having to apologize for making my kid cry. HATE.

  62. jefffromNY says:

    Ugh, BofA is a complete joke. I switched to HSBC a year ago and I am very happy with my decision. BofA charges you death, and their high yield interest rate is a joke.

    At least I can that the branch manager at my branch was awesome, and closing the account wasn’t a hassle, except they charged me a $2 fee.

  63. CyberSkull says:

    Actually, the worst toy store in America is this place.

  64. PSSST! BoA! nice try, but its gonna take more than a few employees clicking away at their computers to try and balance this poll out. A for effort though

  65. BlackFlag55 says:

    Band of Assholes is right. We briefly had a BOA credit card, but I quickly sized up this was a stupid move on my part and cancelled it. Got a relative in the business of cyber security at an international level and I asked her afterwards “what’s up with BOA?” Without hesitation she said, “Besides PayPal, the least amount of interest and budget spent on securing their platform. Get Away From Them.”

  66. Blinkman says:

    There’s a difference between running a company poorly (T’RS) and being a giant hulk pos company that will wreck you if anything doesn’t go 100% smoothly (BoA).

    Vote BoA! That’s a vote for America!

  67. Okaasan says:

    Say, Ben, just how long are the polls going to be open on these things anyway?

  68. ogman says:

    No contest. Bank of America is the very definition of evil.

  69. no.no.notorious says:

    i worked at toys r us for a year when i was 17. it was hell. they sell your information to telemarketers because they’re desperate.

    this one time, i found a toy on the ground that obviously belong to some kid who was in the store. it didn’t look dirty, but it didn’t have a tag or anything. i brought it up to the lost and found, and my manager literally said ‘if no one claims this by the end of the day ill just put a price on it and sell it’. ew. im NEVER entering that store again.

  70. Davan says:

    Someone at the consumerist has leet photochopping skills.

    BoA for the easy victory, its like a MLB team playing a college team.

  71. TonyTriple says:

    @Davan:
    It looks like this matchup needs to be added into the worlds most one sided fistfights category.

    Consumerist, will these matchups be placed into brackets soon?

  72. galactus5000 says:

    Thankfully never had to deal with BoA. However, TRU is the only place I can go and find product that has been on the shelves for 5 years, doesn’t look like it has moved from its initial peg, let alone touched at all, and never ever been discounted to try to shift.

  73. tape says:

    I’m shocked that Toys R’ Us has actually garnered 8% of the votes.

  74. BlackFlag55 says:

    BTW – as to Toys R Us, we had a little insight into Corporate-Think recently out here on the edge of Oil Shale Country …. Toys had a modestly sized store in Grand Junction, Colorado for about eight years. It was a big deal when they opened their store, because Grand Junction has never had much of an economy out here on the edge of Utah. Emblematic of boom and bust cycles. Despite a tough economy in that area, Toys R Us opened in Grand Junction and soldiered on for about a decade.

    January of 2006, Toys closed this store. Along about March of 2006, the Oil Bidness came to Western Colorado like the Huns storming Rome. Halliburton, Schlumberger, you name it, the oil and gas business went from sleepily poking along to an explosion of activity rivaling a pool of gasoline and a lit road flare. The town went from roughly 40,000 to something close to 160,000 in the Valley in a year and a half. Instead of $6 an hour, average blue collar folks were now earning $25 hour and up with the oil services industry. $$$ are flowing through Western Colorado like a dam burst somewhere.

    And Toys R Us closed up shop mere moments ahead of the bonanza. In a region now flooded with poor impulse control workers with their Carhartt pockets stuffed with oil business paychecks.

    Says something about corporate-level insight.

  75. radio1 says:

    BOA is right up there with Microsoft.

    My BOA troubles started in a little state called Rhode Island. Pre-1984, the largest bank in RI was called Industrial National. In 1984, they change to Fleet. Now anybody in Rhode Island would tell you never bank with Fleet. Awful fees, etc.. etc..

    Fleet in the early-mid 90′s then buys Bank of Boston become FleetBoston which then buys Shawmut and host of whole other banks. And then finally gets bought out a few years back by BOA. Geez, I thought Fleet was bad after they took over my Bank of Boston (or was it BayBank account).

    BOA made them (FleetBoston) seem like my local friendly credit union.

  76. ezacharyk says:

    I never shop at Toys R Us, but I do bank at BoA and I hate em. My wife is the only thing keeping me from closing our account.

  77. pal003 says:

    Take that Band of Assholes! Raising that rate to 20.99% from my nice MBNA 7% – we’ll see you in the Final Four of the Worst!!

  78. JDAC says:

    Late to this particular voting party, but of course it’s BofA.

    Every time I would desposit a check, they would clear it in the branch only to put it back on hold at midnight. I escaped them by moving to a city where they’re not around, but even then they held on to my relocation check for EIGHT business days!

    PNC Bank has non-local checks cleared in 2…