Reader Alex was at his wits end with Bank of America and their ever-present rate changing. After using every other resource, he turned to BofA’s Twitter, and actually got some resolution. Full letter inside.
I’ve been reading the consumerist for awhile and have never had a reason to contact you guys. I love your work and it actually has helped me spend less and pay off more on my credit debt. (I think the best thing I learned on your site was about the girl who paid off her credit debt in 12 months or so. Like her, my credit card is also frozen in the freezer). Well I’ve finally had an experience that was so unexpected that I had to tell you guys about it.
Here is my experience:
I lost my job last march and have struggled to keep my life afloat financially. Because of the loss of job, my credit card (Bank of America) balance has been up near the limit. I have just been paying the min. payments on the bills and haven’t been getting anywhere on the principle. This was alright for the time being, as I planned to start paying more than the min. once I got a job.
In December I finally got a job again. By this time my credit card was maxed out, and had been over the limit a few times due to the monthly fee’s that were imposed on the account. In December, I had my first late payment. This payment wasn’t “late”, it was done on the due date, but apparently Bank of America considers a payment made on the due date as a late payment. This caused my interest rate to go up from 13% to 29.99% (default rate) and the min. payments to go up from $100 or so to $214/month
I’m a college student who gets paid minimum wage + tips. I hardly had the money to pay the payments as it is, let alone with this new rate. This new rate would have led to a snowballing effect of me not having the money to pay the payments and incurring more fee’s. I was dreading what was to come. I called Bank of America customer service and tried to get the credit rate reduced. However they said they were unable to do anything do to the times the account had gone over the limit or a late payment.
I read your article about Bank of America’s twitter account (http://consumerist.com/5133139/reach-boa-customer-service-on-twitter) and figured that this would probably be my last chance of getting something changed. I signed up to twitter for the sole reason of getting in contact with BofA_help. I got a hold of him and he emailed me asking for some info and to tell him what happened. He said he would see what he could do. Three days later, I got a phone call from Bank of America saying that they were able to reduce my rate from 29.99% back to 13%.
This has completely made my day. I feel like a huge wait has been taken off my shoulders, and I am now putting all available funds towards paying this card off. I told myself that if David Knapp (real name of BofA_help) could help me out with this, that I would make sure that someone would hear about it. This is why I’m letting you guys know that their twitter account is real and can actually help get better results than talking to customer service alone. Thanks for your time guys and keep up the great work at The Consumerist!
(consumerist user name: alex_fett)