Update: BoA ATM Card Dispatched To Stranded Traveler After Return To U.S.

After stranding reader Shannon in Siberia with no functioning ATM card, Bank of America has reached out to her and made up for the situation. Sort of. A new card was immediately dispatched, but the corresponding PIN didn’t show up until five days later. She did, however, receive a $100 Amazon gift card for her inconvenience.

I am writing to tell you the results of my complaint to Bank of America about having my ATM card shut down in Irkutsk, Russia, despite informing the bank of my travel plans. Bank of America has sent me an apology letter and a $100 Amazon gift card. I consider myself pacified as far as my U.S. bank transactions go. However, I will probably open an account at a more globally-oriented bank like Citibank or HSBC the next time I travel abroad.

I would rate the customer service I received about a 5.5 on a scale of 1-10. I was contacted the same day I e-mailed my complaint, but the representative who initially contacted me was unsympathetic and unpleasant to deal with. She may have sounded unsympathetic, though, because she was clearly being coached through my complaint call by a third party on the line whose comments I could not hear.

My experience with Darrell Esch, the Senior VP who contacted me after I complained about my initial conversation, was more productive. Mr. Esch took time to listen, or convincingly pretended to listen, to my complaints well after the close of the business day. Mr. Esch was attentive, apologetic and professional, which I appreciated.

Also, BofA rushed me a new ATM card, but neglected to also rush the accompanying pin number, which arrived five days after the card did. As a result I was unable to activate my card in a BofA ATM, as a sticker on the new card instructed me to. I ended up having to speak with a rep at a local BofA branch, but between the fact that she spoke English combined with my somewhat diminished expectations of BofA, I was able to handle it without further issue. The $100 doesn’t hurt either.

So an international incident was avoided, and Shannon received an apology and was compensated for her inconvenience. What do you think?


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