Jesse tried to scam Bank of America. No, wait. He tried to open two accounts at once! No, that’s not right either. He did something wrong, that’s obvious. Isn’t it? Hello? Please tell us what Jesse did wrong, Bank of America. Your lifetime banning confuses us.
Update: Be sure to check out Jesse’s follow up post where he clarifies his credit history, and these stories from other short-lived Bank of America customers who had accounts closed for no clear reason, or worse.
I recently moved from Massachusetts to Connecticut. Upon my arrival I made the choice to leave my local bank account behind. I signed up for a Bank of America account through their website, thinking it would be simple to have ATMs that were available in both states.
After a month or two of frustratingly waiting, I received not one, but TWO debit cards in the mail. I looked through the paper work and found that they had in fact signed me up for two separate checking accounts.
I figured a quick call to customer service would clear the issue up, but the story only gets worse. The customer service rep I talked to told me that my account had a “flag” on it. I proceeded to ask if this was because THEY gave me two accounts and was told that the issue was not that. They said it “may have something to do with an unpaid account.” The only problem is that I am young, have good credit, and had never had any account with Bank Of America. Their claim was impossible.
Finally I asked if I could just close the accounts and open a new one. They told me that I could no longer open an account with Bank Of America. I asked if I could open an account in the future and they told me that I could NEVER open an account with them again. As in NEVER.
Basically, Bank Of America banned me for signing up for an account after they made the mistake of sending me two accounts.
I called them a second time to see if I could get another answer and the customer service rep said “We suggest you find another bank.”
I switched to TD BankNorth and currently have no major problems, besides any bank is better than one that gives you two accounts and bans you for life before you can use either.
In a way, BoA may have done you a favor, Jesse! Now if only Chase would start banning its customers for life, we’d be getting somewhere.
Update: Matthew says the same thing happened to him, and the only explanation BoA offered was that the fine print gives them the right to close an account at any time for any reason:
I too was banned from BoA. I recently got a new job and was looking to switch banks. I loved BoA’s program in which they round up purchases, and send the difference to a savings account. I signed up online and was approved and received everything I needed in the mail; Cards, Pin Numbers, etc… I sat on the cards for about a week, waiting for all my purchases to clear from my former bank account to transfer everything over. I called to activate my card, and my account had been closed. “What the heck?” I thought. I’ll call tomorrow and get this straightened out. I received a letter in the mail that day stating again, that my account had been closed. An account I never used.
I searched on your website and found the numbers for the higher ups and decided to give them a call. They did confirm that my account had been closed, but could not notify me why because they had some fine print (which was there) that stated either party can close the account at any given moment. The rep then stressed to me that I would NEVER be allowed to open another BoA account again.
I wasn’t mad or anything, I’m was just more worried about WHY they closed it, more-so than the fact that they did.