Bank Of America Won't Let You Access Your Money

Silly Bill. He thought Bank of America would let him spend $5,800 on a home theater system just because he had over $10,000 in the bank. He tried to charge the system to his Bank of America Visa Platinum Check Card but was declined. Confused, Bill called Bank of America customer support for an explanation and had the sort of conversation that makes you want to drive a fork through your ear.

So tonight I went to my local Best Buy, planning on surprising the wife with a new bigscreen TV.

We get there and, believe it or not, the Best Buy people are helpful, friendly, informative and DON’T try to push Monster cables on me. (I know – I nearly fainted too).

Having done my homework, I picked out a receiver, speaker system, wall mount, some blue ray movies , and a 58″ plasma TV. Total cost : $5870.69

So I head to the register to pay for my newly acquired goodies and my card – despite having a few grand more than the total in my “available funds” is declined.

Puzzled – I call Bank of America , wait on hold about ten minutes, go through countless adverts for bank services, double authorizations etc and FINALLY I get to a human. Of course in spite of all of this the woman wants my information all over again even though I just typed it in. She wont even help me til I provide it and so I do.

I explain that I am in the store, at the register, and that I know I have available funds.

She puts me on hold about 5 minutes , then comes back and says “Im sorry – that’s over your daily limit. There’s nothing I can do. Was there anything else I can help you with?”

Remembering to keep a cool head, I ask about a supervisor giving me an override on the limit. She says “let me transfer you to the ATM department.” And before I can explain that this isn’t an ATM problem, she disconnects me.

Frustrated – I dial again, more menus, get a human, get transferred, get another human, get transferred, (every time re-verifying my ID)finally I get to the FOURTH person who apologizes 10 times and says “don’t worry sir – I can help you!”

I think I’m getting somewhere but then a supervisor comes on and explains to me that “Everyone in the United States that uses Bank of America has a daily spending limit of 5000.00 no matter what.”

Stunned, I ask for an exception and in a parent-giving-me-a-cookie tone he says “well, I suppose we can up that to 6000.00 just this once.”

At this point I am over an hour on the phone but we try the transaction again. Declined.

More hold time. He comes back and says that he is sorry but 6000. is the limit and buying gasoline and dinner earlier in the day is going to put me at more than 6 grand for the day and so I can come back tomorrow and buy the TV or I can go to my branch and get a money order.

Fuming, and doing my best to remain calm, the conversation goes like this:

“Let me get this straight – I have an “available” balance of nearly 10 grand in my account?”

“yes sir”

“And its not pending or a deposit waiting to clear, that’s my money, confirmed and in your bank?”

“yes sir”

“And you have kept me on the phone for over an hour, asked me multiple times to verify my identity and are satisfied that I am who I say I am?”

“yes sir”

“And you are going to deny me access to MY money?!?!”

“No sir – we are not denying you your money, your’re just over your daily limit.”

“My daily limit? This isn’t a credit card. It’s a PLATINUM Visa checkcard. I understand that you have to put limits in for my protection but I need to make this purchase”

“Im sorry theres nothing I can do”

At this point, after nearly an hour an twenty minutes on the phone, I lose my cool. I am embarrassed, have essentially shut down a register lane on a Friday night at Best Buy and am obviously the talk of the store both from employees and customers.

I ask to speak to a supervisor and am told that I am speaking to one. I ask to speak to HIS supervisor and am told that’s not possible.

Out of desperation I ask again and he says “wait just a moment”

More hold. Ten more minutes. I am fuming. He comes back and excitedly tells me “try it now.”

So for the umpteenth time I swipe my card. This time it comes up “authorization code needed”

I relay this to the BoA guy and he says “well, we are making progress”

A few more minutes of hold time later and he comes back with the code and makes my purchase go through.

I have NEVER experienced such shoddy customer service ever. Im sure Im preaching to the choir when I say this, but Monday morning I am cancelling my BoA account, and fellow consumerists – Stay the heck away from Bank of America!

As a side note, after the transaction was completed I said to the supervisor, “So, what if I was say, Donald Trump and wanted to spend 30 grand on something?”

His response, ” Well , for Mr Trump we would have made an accommodation ahead of time.”

I said “And if I’d decided tonight to buy the $14,999.99 71″ plasma TV in here this evening?”

“You wouldn’t not have been allowed to do that.”

At that point I hung up.


Bank of America, though still thoroughly decrepit and evil, may have been sending a helpful signal. Large purchases like home theater systems should be charged to a credit card, ideally one that offers rewards and extended warranty protection. As Bank of America would say, it’s for your own good.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Vastarien202 says:

    This is absolutely the most hair-rippingly evil thing I have seen in a while.
    It’s also why I don’t use banks.

  2. TKWarrior says:

    That $5000 daily limit is the same with most bank’s check cards. But I know my bank can waive it for a day or two if you ask. It wasn’t a big deal for them to do it either.

    While I agree that major purchases like that would be better on a CC for the reasons stated in the article, this story just adds to the pile of reasons why I will NEVER deal with BOA if I can avoid it.

  3. SchecterShredder says:

    Wanting to make a purchase @ Best Buy, and he Banks with Bank of America?? That’s like admitting you are a stupid consumer.

  4. DarrenO says:

    Why not just write a check? Same money, same account, no such limits. Seems like the guy just liked the hassle. I also don’t believe Best Buy let him keep a lane closed all to himself for over an hour.

    Here’s a bit of advice, next time know the TOS of the card you’re trying to use!

  5. Zamboni MacN'Cheese says:


    If this is the “most hair-rippingly evil thing” you’ve seen, you definitely need to get out more often and read a paper from time to time. Why, just the other day, Iraqi insurgents used retarded women as bombers.

    Now, THAT’s evil.

    A bank acting like a weenis is annoying.

  6. NYBanker says:

    I hate phone trees! Where I work, (Commerce Bank) you get a live person in NJ call center every time, the first time you call, without typing in anything (social security number, account number, etc) speaking to a computerized voice, or having your call routed all around the world.
    Agree with Consumerist that a Credit Card is better for large purchases. Any possible disputes or errors will only tie up your available spending limit on your Credit Card, rather than tying up your checking account available balance!

    • Tara Haskamp says:

      I work at Commerce too!! Honestly I’m not biased at all and it is by far the best bank I have ever dealt with.
      I was a customer before I worked there, so I have been on both sides.
      If only they had banks all over the US.

  7. forgottenpassword says:

    I know this is besides the point, but why not use a credit card with some type of rewards program when spending $5,000+ dollars? (that is…. IF the credit card doesnt have some sort of daily spending limit as well). That’s what I would have done. IMO check/debit cards are more of a liability than a convenience.

    I wonder if my banks/credit cards have any limits on how much I can spend/transfer/withdraw in a day? I will have to check on this.

  8. sven.kirk says:

    “Everyone in the United States that uses Bank of America has a daily spending limit of 5000.00. No matter what”.
    This is pretty much true for most banks. As this is a rule from VISA. Not from the banks. As the last bullet says,

    “Many Visa check cards have daily cash withdrawal limits of up to $1,000, and daily spending limits may be even higher. These spending limits are meant to protect you in case your card is stolen. Your card may be declined if you make daily purchases that exceed your daily withdrawal limit, even if you know you have plenty of funds within your checking account. You can always ask the bank to lower or raise your purchase or withdrawal limits to suit your spending habits.”

  9. chrisroberts says:


    I’ve been a BoA customer for a few years, and the daily limit has never been an issue for me. Shoddy customer service, yes. This, no.

    My experience has been this: they won’t EVER give you a limit override, but you need to call — when you’re not at the checkout — and request to raise your limit; make it clear that you’re not making a purchase ATM. This is part of their “fraud prevention” mechanism.

    You should have success this way. My limit’s been $10,000 since a couple months after I’ve opened my account, and I’ve only a couple of times ever had that much in the account. (For the record, I had a low balance when the limit was upped.)

  10. TKWarrior says:

    @NYBanker: I didn’t want to plug them and come off as a shill, but they are my bank, too. The best I dealt with, and I’m not saying that because I’m in their IT department, lol.

  11. alice_bunnie says:

    I agree! You know you’d never be able to go to an ATM and just withdraw $10K. Would you call BofA on the phone and demand to withdraw that money from an ATM? You have it available. They have spending limits, all debit cards have them regardless of how much money you have in the bank.

  12. forgottenpassword says:


    Last ttime I attempted to spend over $500+ at best buy with a check… I was told it couldnt be done & to come back during the week to try again. It was a sunday & they couldnt confirm that I had tht much money in my bank account. This was years & years ago when I was young & niave about how evil/and a ripoff best buy was.

    @NYBanker: with my bank (the midwest commerce chain) I prefer the phone tree. It allows me to quickly check my balance/transfers/debits at 3 am.

  13. Fusioned says:

    I hate BoA and highly recommend canceling your account with them.

    I understand what they were trying to do and you usually do have to clear large purchases with bank cards. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle then, get an Amex Gold or Amex Platinum and enjoy some of the benefits of owning an Amex.

  14. ogman says:

    “Stay the heck away from Bank of America!”

    Best advice I’ve seen on The Consumerist.

    “Large purchases like home theater systems should be charged to a credit card, ideally one that offers rewards and extended warranty protection.”

    By far the WORST advice I’ve seen on The Consumerist. Yeah, I should pay some exorbitant amount of interest for some reward point! Somebody’s been attending too many credit card company lunches.

  15. Shadowfire says:

    @DarrenO: The check would decline. I’m reasonably certain that Best Buy uses Certegy, and I don’t think Certegy would ever accept a check that high.

  16. DMDDallas says:

    @ogman: If you can afford to put it on the debit card, you can just as well put it on the credit card and immeidately pay down the balance without incurring interest. This is credit cards 101 stuff here LOL.

  17. ClayS says:

    Sorry, that’s also good advice from the Consumerist. If you are carrying a balance on a credit card, you aren’t following Consumerist’s advice. News flash…20% interest is a bad deal. May I respectfully suggest you should hold off on large discretionary purchases if you can’t afford them.

  18. NYBanker says:

    Commerce Bank NA also has an automated phone system, if you prefer that. You have a choice which to use.
    There’s no interest if you pay your credit card off in full each month. So you can get rewards points, cash back, etc. for free if you’re disciplined. And the original poster already had the money in his checking account, so that’s no problem for him.

  19. Shadowfire says:

    @ogman: If you have enough in your account to pay the balance immediately, you shouldn’t get hit with interest. /rolleyes

  20. satoru says:

    Personally why the heck is he using a check card in the first place? Why not use a credit card? I mean doesn’t he have one with a limit over $5000? After all he’s got that ‘Platinum’ check card!!! Which is basically worthless. That part got me laughing. You can’t tout having a platinum ‘check card’! That’s like bribing a bouncer with a Washington :P

    The only cards that have ANY merit to their gradings, are the Amex charge cards (not their new credit cards which they dole out to pretty much everyone). When you whip out a Centurion Amex, THEN you have bragging rights.

  21. missdona says:

    While it’s inexcusable what BofA did, I never use my debit card to make purchases that big. I always use a credit card, for extended purchase protection if no other reason. You can always go home and transfer the funds to cover the purchase.

  22. satoru says:

    @ogman: In this case really a credit card was the way to go. I mean it sounds like the individual had the money available, so it wasn’t like he was going to pay it off over time. Thus a credit card is a very valid way to pay for such an item, where at the very least, the extended warranty is a good thing on such a high ticket item.

    To me the debit/check cards seem to be more hassle than their worth.

  23. I bet he wouldn’t have experienced any difficulties had he just went ahead and gotten the monster cables

  24. stavs says:

    “So tonight I went to my local Best Buy, planning on surprising the wife with a new bigscreen TV.”

    Right..its for the wife. I read that line to my wife and she laughed her ass off.

  25. DAK says:

    No doubt BofA is the Antichrist of banking, but this is a pretty normal occurrence. Frankly, a lot of banks probably wouldn’t even let you get to $5K. The service was awful, but most reasonable people would have used another card or at least cancelled the transaction until they got their banking problems ironed out.

    “It’s a PLATINUM Visa checkcard. I understand that you have to put limits in for my protection but I need to make this purchase””

    I have the same card. It’s really nothing special. And you NEED to make the purchase? Seriously?

    Even money says someone did their taxes early, got a fat rebate, and is blowing it on electronics. I seriously doubt they even have a credit card, much less one with a $5K+ limit.

  26. walterny says:

    “So tonight I went to my local Best Buy, planning on surprising the wife with a new bigscreen TV.”

    Yea, just what every woman wants. Just admit it was for you. If it wasn’t you wouldn’t have gone through all the trouble. Well, at least it was your money and not on credit.

  27. JustAGuy2 says:


    How is that bad advice?

    1. Buy $6k TV with credit card (assuming you want a $6k TV, but hey, it’s your money)
    2. One month later, get credit card bill.
    3. Pay bill on time.
    5. Get 1.5% cash back ($90, in this case)

    So, by paying with the credit card, you get (a) better fraud protection, (b) a discount, and (c) a free loan for as much as two months (during which time that $6k could earn as much as an extra $30 sitting in my account rather than Best Buy’s).

  28. carterbeauford says:

    agreed, not to defend BOA in any way shape or form but this doesn’t sound like the smartest consumer. I would hesitate to spend $50 at BB without using a credit card, let alone $5,000+

    kinda feel his pain though, I can’t even get more than $75 at the gas pumps at one time with my debit card, have to swipe it twice to fill my tank. arbitrary limits are just that.

  29. gingerCE says:

    I didn’t know there was a 5K limit on debit card purchases for 1 day. I do think though after he called, he should not have been transferred etc . . . and BOA should’ve gotten his purchase approved much easier than it was. I will say that Best Buy employees should’ve known this.

    Why didn’t he use a credit card after his card was declined? I’m not sure considering the bonus points he could’ve gotten on this one purchase–but some people dislike credit cards or have had problems with them in the past and have stopped using them. I know people who write checks for major purchases so that’s essentially like using a debit card.

    As for Trump, I was surprised by how many bigwigs have BOA accounts–turns out BOA caters to the wealthy–once you’re rich enough according to BOA, then you have your own customer service number, rules, and guidelines–different from us regular folks. Wells does this too. But some banks treat even the bigwigs like the rest of us peasants (Wamu).

  30. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    Buying expensive stuff in Best Buy using a Bank of America check card is like wearing a Darwin shirt to Jesus Camp.

    The only way this story could have been better is if he had had some problem with his Sprint phone while making the call to BB customer service. A perfect storm of consumerist proportions.

  31. SchecterShredder says:

    @TinyBug – exactly. That was hilarious…

  32. PinkBox says:

    I’ve had less than 5k declined before – I was told it was a $1500 spending limit.

    I’ve had to call the bank over a $1450 car repair bill, and for a laptop around the same price. Both were declined until a call was made to have the so-called limit upped.

  33. bravo369 says:

    I never undestood the calling trees either. What’s the point of inputting information into an automated system only to get asked the same questions for 5 minutes by the live person? I’ve run across the same thing when calling cell phone companies.

  34. Every bank on earth does this.

    Hey consumers – if you’re going to ask banks to accept responsibility for theft of large amounts of money, don’t complain. Banks have a responsibility to limit their liability in the event that you’re not who you say you are. Given that checkout clerks exhibit 0 fraud prevention skills, you can see why this is a logical extension of this policy.

    If you had the choice, would you accept a $5000 limit on your spending OR total liability in the event that the TV isn’t being purchased by you?

    If you’re a shareholder, wouldn’t you expect rational limits on one-day spending both to maintain the liquidity of the bank and to restrict downside fraud risk at PoS?

    I understand that customer service is frustrating, and that daily limits can seem hard to accept when they’ve inconvenienced you. But I ask – where you are you going to bank? Name a place that doesn’t require you to open a special account and doesn’t place limits on your spending in the disclosure agreement you sign when you open an account and I’ll buy you a Ferrari. With cash.

  35. @TinyBug: kudos to that statement

    the trifecta of ultimate magnitude.

  36. Scuba Steve says:

    Well if it helps any, lots of readers will now be more prepared before making purchases greater than 5000 dollars.

  37. cosby says:

    As a lot of people have said pretty much every bank does this. Most of the time you can go into a bank before hand and have them put an override in.

  38. mac-phisto says:

    ok, it sucks that he had to go thru this, but this is what irks me:

    I am embarrassed, have essentially shut down a register lane on a Friday night at Best Buy…

    folks, please, please, PLEASE…if you are having issues with your payment, have the cashier pend the purchase or void it & step to the side (or preferably outside). there’s nothing more irritating than inconveniencing everyone b/c you’re having an issue.

    my condolences for having to deal with every department boa has to offer, though.

  39. 3drage says:

    Bank of America is possibly the worst bank I’ve ever witnessed a person deal with. They have “America” in their name, yet if an out of state person goes into one of their banks, they hassle them over being out of state. They actually put holds on checks of their own customers for the simple reason that they are out of state.

    They are going to quickly end up like Sprint.

  40. chiieddy says:

    After it didn’t work the first time, why didn’t he pull out the credit card, pay, go home, log onto Bank of America’s online banking and send out an immediate bill payment for the full amount to his credit card? He wouldn’t have held up the line and he could have found out why things weren’t working as he thought later.

    Plus, it’s a really BAD idea (as stated above) to use a debit card for such a large purchase. You don’t have the protection of a credit card.

    There was no reason to make this a long, drawn out embarrassing mess, however. Actually, if you’d taken out a Best Buy card, you’d get at least 3 months of 0% financing from them.

  41. SadSam says:

    I love the consumerist, but I hate that the solution to every banking problem is to use credit card. The $5000 a day limit serves a purpose but BOA and/or any other bank should be able to quickly waive the limit for a large purchase.

  42. DeltaPurser says:

    Simple solution: split your purchase up and pay for your receiver, movies and other crap with a different card. End of story… Move on.

  43. zkmusa says:

    What an awful story. I’m sorry you had to go through that.

    I just thought I’d give my view of Bank of America. I have always had nothing but good service with them. Their associates are friendly at the bank, and everyone I’ve spoken with over the phone seem very knowledgable and friendly. Although I don’t have much money to spend (poor medical student) nor do I ever use my check card for big purchases, the service I have received from BoA has always been excellent.

  44. macinjosh says:

    @stavs and someone else : He didn’t say it was for his wife. He just said it would be a surprise to her. Maybe he said “OK honey, I won’t buy a TV.” :)

  45. alexiso says:

    Not having access to your own money is ridiculous, who are they to give anyone a “daily limit”? I think I would’ve done the above ^ by splitting the purchases but right after getting home I would’ve cancelled my account.
    You can’t give someone a daily limit when the price of everything is so inflated. They are probably going to be getting a lot of calls about this and hopefully a lot of cancelled accounts.

  46. jnorris441 says:

    If you only have $10,000 in savings, why would you blow over half of it on something you don’t need?? Take that $5,000 and invest it or something.

  47. satoru says:

    @gingerCE: But I doubt Trump has a BoA checking account :P He’s the kind of guy that’s definitely whipping out the Centurion Amex card at the very least. Then again he’s probably paid some ‘personal shopper’ type at to go out and buy stuff for him instead. When you get that rich, time actually becomes a commodity you can’t afford.

  48. ThatJoshGuy says:

    I had a similar problem a year or so ago on a business check card with Wachovia, except that they waived it quickly on the phone (after verifying my identity), and then asked me to come into a branch in the next week to ‘apply’ for an extended limit, or else it would return to $5000. When I went in, they were helpful, and I sat with my bank rep on speakerphone with some risk group. We basically haggled for a few minutes. I explained why I needed to make big purchases occasionally, and they set a totally reasonable number of $10000 without a call, or $25000 with a three party call where they verify my identity and provide the merchant with an approval code (which is what sounds like BoA did for this guy).

    Yes, a credit card would make sense in this case, but my business account has a much bigger bank balance than credit line, and I sometimes don’t feel like lending it money by using my personal cards.

  49. mikeluisortega says:

    Yet if the story was different and Bill lost his wallet with the “Platinum Debit Card!” and Jose Thiefe went to best buy and bought the same thing Bill would have a huge fit because Bank of America let such a big transaction go through and BestBuy didn’t ask to see a ID. Flip flop…..

  50. Consumer007 says:

    Same damn thing happened to me with Smell Fart & Go (Wells Fargo). I put $1400 CASH in my account 3 days ahead of time (not check, cash) to go buy furniture, used the check card, and Bingo denied. Same scenario same long phone call, same humiliation, same smarmy smart ass peons who REFUSED to raise the credit line, even just for that sale for one hour, because, and get this – according to the third Tier Manager at the phone bank I escalated to “I’m sorry sir, but that kind of situation doesn’t meet our guidelines. You don’t DESERVE a waiver.”

    Now I at least was courteuos enough to have the cashier hold my stuff, move aside, use my cell phone for this call, but like this poster, I was completely humiliated. People were snickering while I turned red and started shaking with rage.

    Well, believe you me, the tellers at my local branch were VERY sorry a day later when I screamed at them “WHOSE MONEY IS IT?!” over and over and over before closing my account with as much nastiness and volume as I could. Yes, some would say not fair, not their fault and it’s bank policy, but I figure hey, if people start having thermonuclear meltdowns in lobbies over a certain policy, meaybe that will get back to the fatcats on the golf courses and their busybody nazi number crunchers and change will happen…

    Looking back, I think reading this story and reliving my drama that we need legislation to simply make this kind of thing Theft / Larceny and have bank people arrested, policy or not, if they insist on not raising limits when ID has been verbally verified. There is NO valid security reason for denying a transaction with available funds when somebody has passed identification security procedures successfully. NONE.

    In the meantime, maybe the poster can do the same thing that lady is doing to Best Buy and go ahead with the $54 million lawsuit! :)

  51. Consumer007 says:

    @mikeluisortega: Whatever – your post asserts a false choice. This person PASSED the ID check, or didn’t you read that? Therefore if imposter hadn’t passed, he would have been protected. Poster isn’t necessarily objecting to the protection. He is objecting to the ridiculous incompetence level and criminal arrogance of the bank refusing him access to HIS OWN MONEY once he jumped through their security hoops (successfully). What part of that don’t you understand, Mike?

  52. Consumer007 says:

    @DeltaPurser: Delta – It’s not your place to tell other poster to move on. He had every RIGHT to pay the way he wanted and the bank violated that right. People’s money is a BIG deal especially when they get violated in public. Where is your common sense and decency? You would have been just as mad if it happened to you. I am so sick of consumers like you who think there’s no problem anywhere until something happens to you personally, and that if problems happen to others its their fault because they are not as slick or whatever as you are. Please. Stop living in a void.

  53. Consumer007 says:

    @alexiso: I couldn’t agree more. Banks just have this arrogance thinking they can set any terms they want, and they are ALWAYS in charge. No they’re not. By the way I wonder if poster has contacted the Controller of the Currency to look into this for him? That will make them rethink their little “policy”.

  54. Alexander says:

    Our Wells Fargo’s Visa/ATM has a $1000 a day limit. Since it’s joint account I think it means $1000 a day per card. When we bought our TV it was $1400 and we had them put $1000 on my card and $400 on my wife’s. Got a call about a minute after the card was swiped from Wells Fargo and they asked me if we had just charged $1400 to both our cards.

  55. eyebleave says:

    @Consumer007: Perhaps they were snickering because you were turning red and shaking with rage. Said in all gentleness, allowing a bank to control your money is one thing, but allowing them to control your emoutions is another thing altogether.

  56. Consumer007 says:

    @ADismalScience: Get a clue, as I told mike, your post DOES NOT address the FACT that he PASSED their security procedures. He has every right to complain about them not removing the limit. Are you saying you don’t deserve to spend your own money once you are identified according to their policies and TOO Bad SECURITY SECURITY SECURITY? Why on earth would you bank somewhere that economically molests you, or be okay with the poster being violated?

  57. Consumer007 says:

    @eyebleave: whatever eye, they would have snickered at you too, and your reaction would be similar to and similarly justified as mine, unless you are a robot

  58. Consumer007 says:

    @TinyBug: What credentials do you have to be so condescending about this scenario? Let me get this right – you are saying that he deserved what happened to him because he DARED to try to use his check card to pay for something? So that makes him deserving of your contempt? Don’t you have anything better to do with your time than attacking consumers on a pro-consumer website?

  59. Miss.UnderstoodRedhead says:

    @Consumer007: I came in here to say the same thing. I think the OP has a right to be mad. It’s HIS money. Does anyone remember 20 years ago before they had debit cards? And credit cards weren’t approved with the speed/ease they are now? What did you do then, when you needed to make a $5K purchase? That’s right, you wrote a check or brought cash. YOUR money, not the bank’s.

  60. whiterose says:

    This happened to me when I bought my computer about 2 years ago, but the limit was 2000$. So I swiped my card for the 2K and wrote a check for the rest of it, about 350.

  61. naptownk says:

    Sprint and BoA are both evil companies with horrible customer service. If that was part of the service agreement with BoA though, then the customer service person should have reminded the guy of that, and told him that’s what he signed up for in having a BoA account. There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get a person on the phone though, sprint is good at that too.

  62. Consumer007 says:

    @DarrenO: Whatever Darren, like you’ve read all 57 5-point font pages of every single bank card and account you have. And who carries checks? Why do people like you try everything you can to make it the consumer’s fault instead of the bank’s? Duh.

  63. pinkyracer says:

    This happened to me with Citibank after I sold my condo and went on a little shopping trip to the jewelry department at Bergdorf’s.

    All I had to do was upgrade my account to playa level, in accordance with the higher balance, and I could use a lot more of my money daily.

    Bummer that BofA doesn’t offer that. I guess checks are still good for something.

  64. eyebleave says:

    @Consumer007: Simply not reacting the way you chose to react does not make someone a robot. There are a whole range of options there, someone could have gotten angry and yelled, broke down and started crying, became apathetic and simply left the store, paid using another method, spoken calmly with the CSR, got out a gun and shot the place up. We all make decisions about how we choose to respond, some decisions are arguably better than others. Others might sniker, that’s their choice, but I am not a robot and can choose how I wish to respond.

  65. mikeluisortega says:

    @Consumer007: I’m saying the daily limit is the limit for a reason, as much as some people would like to think that everything that a company will do is to mess with you for enjoyment it’s not. Everyone should know that your not easily going to make a big purchase with a debit card, just as BestBuy or any check verification system would have taken a $5000 check without any hassle. Same difference right? I have $50000 in the bank and bestbuy wont not have taken a $5000 check is it the banks fault? I totally understand it’s Bills money but he put it in the BOA and has to follow their rules and if he doesnt like them he can go to a credit union or another bank, BUT either way USbank,TCF,TriCity,Union Bank, what ever bank would have said the same thing. A Debit card is NOT a credit card as in it’s not setup for big purchases. I can go buy a Car with a credit card, I cannot with a debit card, You cant even rent a car with a debit card, that’s just the way they are setup.

    It would have been simple if he had momentarilly used a credit card. Example I bought a Imac and extras from the Apple store, I had more then enough in my bank account but I know that I setup a $1000 daily limit on my debit card. I use a credit card to make the purchase at the store and then when I get home paid the balance off Immediately from my bank account. This saved me the hassle of having to call or speak with anyone and didn’t cost me any interest. No hassle and embarrassment at the store when the retail clerk tells me my card was declined.

  66. johnva says:

    @zkmusa: This has been my experience with them also. They’ve generally been nothing but pleasant to me. I don’t doubt that lots of people have problems but I haven’t ever had any serious trouble with them.

  67. timsgm1418 says:

    that was the best idea given…@DeltaPurser:

  68. MsClear says:

    I think it is a big deal that he was denied access to his own money. It’s not Bank of America’s money, it’s his money.

    I’ve definitely written checks, for tuition, of over $5K and I’ve never had any problems. I guess that “limit” doesn’t apply to checks?

  69. Rusted says:

    The OP should have not wasted his time like that. Bad service at one bank can be punished by finding another bank. The idiot tube could have waited.

    @walterny:Yeah, I was thinking that too. A truly committed couch potato.

  70. bugsnbre says:

    I am not a Bank of America fan, but Bank of America was right. When he signed up for the debit card, he agreed to their terms and conditions. It clearly states the daily limits in there. I’m quite surprised their daily limit is so high. With my bank, it’s only about $300. Also, why would any person with an make a $5000 purchase on a debit card and lose the credit card protection in case you get the item home and it doesn’t work. Debit cards should ONLY be used for cash and carry items. However, you also could have written a check. We recently got re-carpeted the whole house. I insisted that we use our credit card although we had the cash in the bank. After the carpet was installed and I was satisfied, we sent a payment for the credit card company for the cost of the carpet. The carpet installers wanted their money up front. If I had used a debit card or cash, I would have been worried after they didn’t finish the job after the first day. I would have been wondering if they were coming back. I always use a credit card for large purchasers. This is where I disagree with Dave Ramsey because debit cards DO NOT offer the same protection as credit cards. At least not by law.

  71. bohemian says:

    Our bank has me properly trained. After a few aggrivating times of not being able to access small amounts of funds through ATM or card swipes we now know all the basic ins and outs of our cards and the various daily limits.

    We had our limits for both raised. We pointed out to the branch manager that we buy differently. We won’t buy anything for days or weeks and then buy a ton of stuff in one or two days. So they saw the logic and raised our daily limits. But it is also a small local bank. The only real problem we have had was when we went on vacation early without any notice. I pegged the daily limit on card swipes and didn’t know it. I called the bank long distance told them what was up and they put a note on our account and raised our limits for the next week.

    But if your making a major purchase you really should plan ahead a bit. Anything over 5 grand sets off a flag at a bank. There is some 5 grand federal limit that they have to report the transaction at least according to our bank. So when we tried to withdraw 6 grand to go buy a car the bank was not happy. This might have something to do with why BOA was being even more of a pain than normal.

  72. CMU_Bueller says:

    @Fusioned: What benefits, a card that isn’t accepted nearly as much as a Visa or Mastercard because of Amex’s absurdly high fees?

  73. ? graffiksguru says:

    its a platinum CHECK card. i think they have daily withdrawal limits so if your jacked at gunpoint you can’t be driven around to 50 atms to take all your money. why don’t you use a platinum CREDIT card, or something that will give you miles, 15000 miles, thats more than half a plane trip somewhere.

  74. yesteryear says:

    what a nightmare… you can’t use a debit card, you can’t use a check, and according to earlier posts here, you cant even use cash to make larger purchases like this. everyone keeps saying “use a credit card”… but what if you don’t want to? yes, if you pay the balance that month it’s an interest free loan, but what if you’re like this guy and you have the money and you simply don’t want to pay the bill later, you just want to pay for your merchandise and go home? i’m one of those lunatics who doesn’t have a credit card because i’m morally opposed to the concept of usury, and i think it’s ridiculous that someone who has the money – right now- can’t access it. also, everyone who is commenting on the TV purchase, etc… again, it’s his money, and he can spend it on whatever it is he wants.

    this whole thing is one big scam. no one is pointing out the real problem here: they make the consumer protections higher on a credit card so you’ll be more likely to use your credit card and who knows, maybe when the bill comes you’ll decide to pay it off next month, allowing them to charge the interest. seems pretty transparent to me. everyone should be screaming about the LACK of protection on ATM/DEBIT cards rather than happily agreeing to always use a credit card.

    my suggestion for the crappy customer service: drop BofA.
    bank with a credit union if you can. they are often local, are smaller-scale, the tellers/people who answer the phone will actually know you and will make exceptions in circumstances like this (they’ve lifted holds, transferred funds, and even talked to cashiers for me when i’ve run into issues – because they know me), and the best part is you can rest easy knowing no one but you is making money on your money (credit unions are non profit).

  75. sis says:

    I sense a little bit of exaggeration here. You’re telling me this guy sat on his cell phone for “over an hour” in line at Best Buy while customers waited behind him?

    I’m thinking he spent 10 minutes tops on the phone.

  76. yesteryear, ordinarily I don’t like people that put down my bank and Bank Of America is one of the best bank’s there is out there. I suggest you made the mistake not the bank.

    Learn how to do your own books and maybe you could grow up a little?

  77. azntg says:

    I think the Consumerist should have a new tag for cases like these: “Learn from Mistakes”

    1) Best Buy? Although he says that BB was helpful, friendly and whatnot, chances are still pretty good that he’s been ripped off in some way buying that HDTV there. (although there is that one or two exception where Best Buy is cheaper, but those are rare)

    2) Bank of America? I’m sorry, but you’re looking at a bank that pioneered some of the many of the customer-unfriendly, shady or barely legal banking practices. There are better alternatives out there than BoA.

    Just a little personal beef: The United States is definitely not the same country it was in prestige, freedoms and whatnot compared to twenty years ago, but I don’t take kindly to a company that likes to make a mockery of our country and has a marketing logo of a mutilated American flag.

    3) Visa Check Card? For a MAJOR purchase? A big no-no!
    This is a great time to whip our your credit card, not the check card.

  78. Pylon83 says:

    All the crazy “credit cards are evil” aside, I agree. Some people simply don’t want to use a CC, and they shouldn’t have to. I think Carey’s statement that one should “Always use a CC” in these situations as a defense for BoA is absurd. In this day and age, many people use Debit cards nearly exclusively. Bank of America needs to recognize this and put a system in place to easily resolve these situations. It seems to me that once you’ve clearly identified yourself to the bank, they should be at your mercy, not the other way around. I would have a little more understanding for the bank if he were trying to withdraw it from an ATM, but he wasn’t. He was trying to make a purchase using a POS. There is no reason it should have been that difficult.

  79. EricaJoy says:

    I had a similar experience when I was buying furniture once. A call to have my limit raised by their fraud prevention team took about 15 minutes.

    BoA may suck in many ways but IMO, this isn’t one of them. The purchase limit is set so when people steal your identity, they can’t spend every dime in your account.

  80. sis says:

    @Consumer007: Wow, you sound like a mature fellow. You make a large deposit 3 days before using the card, then scream at Wells Fargo workers in their lobby when you can’t use a feature of your bank account? I think you’re lucky you weren’t arrested for disorderly conduct.

    How did you survive before check cards, by the way? Walk around screaming at random people “WHOSE MONEY IS IT?”

    People who say “It’s mahhh money!” are missing the point; you elected the bank to hold on to your money for you, in exchange for certain benefits. Don’t get your panties in a bunch whenever you have to abide by their rules.

    And as a disclaimer: this happened to me with Wells Fargo. It was annoying and I ended up just using a credit card, since they refused to up the daily limit (Wells Fargo has a super low default daily limit, if I recall, of like $500).

  81. EricaJoy says:

    @EricaJoy: Forgot to add, this CSA was just crappy. He should have known to get the guy to the Fraud Prevention team instead of fooling around with access codes and the like.

  82. hubris says:

    I’ve run into this problem before with BoA and it took me one call and maybe five minutes to get it straightened out. Either this dude left some shit out, or he’s just a huge douche and made things needlessly complicated by being a jerk.

  83. sis says:

    @yesteryear: I like BofAs online banking though. They even have a nice mobile version, for web access on a mobile phone. I haven’t seen any other bank that compares to BofA’s in this regard. And I like their “Keep the Change” program…

  84. sleze69 says:

    @Fusioned: Yeah. If you have $10k in your checking account, you clearly would benefit from using an Amex.

  85. TexasBelle says:

    That was a horrible experience, no doubt. And there really was no valid excuse for BoA’s actions. But anyone who would attempt to spend that much all at once on a debit card is, with all due respect, being naive. There is no bank that would allow that, and any bank probably would have treated him just the same as BoA did. Changing banks might make him feel better emotionally, but it won’t do anything practical.

    Any way you look at it, credit cards just make more sense.

  86. TechnoDestructo says:

    If the card had really been platinum, the value of the card would have been enough that he could have paid for part of the TV with that, and not his his 5000 dollar limit for the remainder. But no, the card is just made out of plastic and marketing bullshit.

    I had a “platinum” card when I was a 19 year-old college student.

  87. Tallanvor says:

    @bohemian: Unless they changed it in the last couple of years, cash deposits or withdrawals of over $10,000 require some additional ID checks due to money laundering laws. I used to have to go through it when I was the treasurer for a non-profit and would make a large withdrawal prior to the convention, and several larger deposits during the convention.

    For people who keep harping on BofA and how big banks are horrible, they certainly have their moments, but it’s usually much easier to stay with them when you move across the country – or even overseas!

  88. bgweiss says:

    Several years ago I was purchasing a computer through HPs website, and it totalled at ~$2,100. Spent about an hour selecting the features, and went to the pay screen to use the check card — could not use the checkbook directly over the web.. The website required me to call a 1800 number to complete the transaction, and I spoke with several folks about why the transaction would not go through. I had to appear in person at my bank, Wells Fargo, and go through huge endless BS — the only person available that day wanted to talk to me about loans and getting a new Wells credit card. Just to up the daily limit — I got fed-up and left. Ended up buying parts over several days at Fry’s and building one.

  89. BrianH says:

    I treat my toilet bowl better than BoA treats its customers.

  90. yesteryear says:

    @Pirate With Parrot: huh? bank of america is one of the best banks out there? i think you might be reading the wrong blog. bank of america is the mcdonald’s of banking. ack, now you’re mad at me for insulting your favorite restaurant.

    and i didn’t mention any specific mistakes bank of america made – why bother? everyone knows it’s an awful company. instead i suggested that everyone do what i did and walk away from the gigantic corporate banks and get back to doing business locally – with a community credit union.

  91. dugn says:

    The check card is the problem – and a check is no better. Use a credit card – or use the check card with the credit card feature (if that’s what it is, some aren’t. Just sign your name vs. typing a PIN to make it a credit card purchase.

    I made a similar purchase at Circuit City and opted for their credit card to get the reward points. I read all the forms beforehand to be sure, but it sounded like I could get about $400 worth of extra stuff at Circuit City even if I paid off the balance the next day.

    Sure enough – a few weeks after my sizeable purchase, I bought 2 nice $199 LCD photo frames for $0 then canceled my Circuit City card.

    $5000+ purchase at a great price. $400 of free stuff I actually used. Canceled card without ever paying interest. Just another addition to my credit report for a fully-paid, on-time credit line that was closed in good standing.

  92. synergy says:

    I’m sure if the guy had shown up with CASH to pay for his stuff the store people would’ve freaked out and would’ve refused to take his money. God forbid people carry cash anymore it’s TEH DANGEROUS.

  93. hhole says:

    @azntg: Love the idea.

    Sadly, I think we have to excommunicate Bill from the Consumerist’s membership list for his 3 transgressions.

    BOA + BB + Debit Card for Big Purchase = The Consumerist’s Shame

  94. I had an even more fucked-up experience with a Wells Fargo debit card about 7 years ago. (I think I’ve told this story before in another post.) A relative in another state died, so I had to buy an airline ticket on short notice in order to get to the funeral. I bought it over the phone using my debit card which (unknown to me at the time) had the $500 daily limit other people here have mentioned. The ticket was over $500, but the purchase apparently went through and the customer service rep gave me my confirmation number.

    Two days after that, it’s the morning of my trip, and I call the airline’s automated hotline to confirm my flight, but it tells me that my confirmation number is invalid. I call customer service again, and find out that Wells Fargo cancelled my purchase for being over the $500 limit, and that neither the bank nor the airline saw fit to tell me about it. A couple of calls back and forth with the bank and the airline led to Wells Fargo saying they couldn’t raise my limit (even temporarily) on short notice, but I was welcome to come to the bank and withdraw the cash. Except it was Saturday, and the bank was closed.

    My roommate saved my ass by putting a new ticket on her credit card (unlike the airline, my roommate accepted checks), otherwise, I would have missed my uncle’s funeral.

    Banks suck.

  95. HooFoot says:

    Not a fan of BoA, but I’m siding with them on this. Most banks have daily spending limits for a reason–to prevent theft. Bill would probably be singing a much different tune if a thief made a $5000 purchase on his check card, and BoA made him liable for the fraudlent charge.

  96. Pfluffy says:

    The article and all the comments has inspired me so much, I feel like going out and surprising my spouse with a brand new house that I will try to put on my Bank of America card. Consumer protection… who needs it?

  97. lukobe says:

    I know it’s already been said, but why on earth would you want to charge such a purchase on a debit card? I have a BoA card that’ll give me back $50 on a $5000 purchase and wouldn’t dream of using anything else.

  98. comopuedeser says:

    @ogman: Having a Credit Card with rewards is a good way to get the most out of your purchases. If this guy has the money in his bank account then he won’t be paying any interest on a Credit Card. So it seems like your argument about having to pay interest is not even relevant here. Why wouldn’t you have a credit card that you pay off every month aside from not being able to control yourself from purchasing too much? I get free flights all the time from spending money. To me it is idiotic not to have a rewards card.

    Fraud is one of the greatest expenses to banks. We should be thankful that they are taking steps to lower costs finally and hopefully one day will pass that on to consumers and shareholders.

  99. comopuedeser says:

    @lukobe: you are absolutely right. Using a debit card for any purchase in my opinion is like throwing money away.

  100. nacio says:

    another flaw of debit cards? Why would you pay with a debit card? a credit card doubles the warranty of the product and gives you 90 day return period… plus points/cash back… no annual fee. all that research to maximize his dollar but he doesn’t know how to protect his investments…

  101. icedcornholio says:

    Sorry guys….VISA and MasterCard and their card processors like STAR in the Northeast and NYCE put maximum card transaction limits by dollars and number of times the card is used in a 24 hour period.

    When you open an account, you are given a huge pile of disclosures. The per day limits are described right in there.

    While I completely understand why you’d be upset when you think you have X in the bank and the card won’t work, it’s done for security reasons. If someone had your card and had unlimited access to the funds, yes, you’d eventually get your money back if you report it stolen. But the bank would be out that money and it mitigates their potential loss as well as yours.

    Bottom line:
    * Most banks have a card limit that they cannot override, it’s up to the ATM/VISA/MasterCard service provider. Although our daily limit is $500, we can go up to $3,000 with an override. However, the $3,000 is a system limit, if I put in $4,000 , it will not let me.

    * Whenever you are going to make a substantial purchase like this, CALL YOUR FINANCIAL INSTITUTION first. You see, we have these things called “neural networks” that analyze your spending patterns. A guy that only buys gas and groceries for 3 years and then tried to spend $3,000 at Best Buy is unusual. It may get denied for possible fraud unless we can contact you first.

    * This holds true ESPECIALLY if you are going out of the US. Some FI’s actually block your card from being used outside of the US. This is to prevent random charges from Kazhakstan showing up.

    Hey, I hate BoA just as much as the next guy, however it’s up to the consumer to read the disclosures. Don’t sign the line that says “I have read the disclosures” unless you’ve actually read it!!!

  102. icedcornholio says:

    PS. For major purchases, I would strongly recommend using a credit card. That way in addition to giving you 15-25 days to pay, you also have ‘chargeback rights’ which allow you to dispute the charge if you are unsatisfied with your purchase.

    (You also have these rights on a debit card when you sign (not when you use a PIN number, different rules apply), but the money is already out of your account. Yes you’ll get it back, but eventually is the key word here. If it’s on a credit card, you won’t have to pay it back until the dispute is resolved.

  103. Consumer007 says:

    @mikeluisortega: Yes but there is NO good reason, no matter what card format to deny someone use of THEIR money when they pass security policy and protocol. It’s simply indefensible, especially as we have heard on here thet other banks don’t put one through hell AFTER customer passes idenitifcation check, and further irresponsible and mean to blame the consumer in this scenario for not “knowing better”.

  104. DAK says:

    @yesteryear: Of course, this all assumes that the credit union would have had someone answering the phones after normal business hours on a Friday night. I wouldn’t bet my wife’s new HDTV on that proposition.

    @TechnoDestructo: Exactly.

    When I was in school and worked for a bank, if someone started getting belligerent about “my money!” and refused/was unable to understand simple concepts like withdrawal limits, you could be fairly certain they were typically broke and had never had a reason to worry about withdrawal limits that didn’t involve the balance going below $0.00.

  105. Consumer007 says:

    @sis: Sis – Obviously you have no spine, and enjoy being abused, which is your choice, but don’t you DARE tell me, OP or any other consumer they shouldn’t complain when they are violated.

    What is it with you attacking and criticizing other consumers on a pro-consumer site?

    You are the one who needs a maturity check.

    Consumers have the right to be aggressive when their rights are violated, and denying them access to their money IS NOT a RIGHT of the bank if they identify themselves successfully. No bank should be in business doing this crap.

    Like I said, I hope OP has Controller of Currency come down on them like a ton of bricks.

  106. Veeber says:

    @ogman: If he has the money in the bank to pay for it, then he should indeed use the credit card, earn the points and pay off the balance. This is perfectly sound advice when you have the cash to pay for your purchases.

  107. FLConsumer says:

    Why is someone buying this type of thing on a debit card?

  108. Consumer007 says:

    @bugsnbre: Bugs – Nope, what it DOESN’T clearly state in bank terms & conditions is that you will be denied access to YOUR OWN MONEY if you PASS security procedures.

    Of course the bank won’t tell you that up front – I call that FRAUD.

    Again, NOBODY brings checks these days. Who wants everyone in line behind them hating their guts (right or wrong, reality).

    Yes, one can use a credit card, as many have posted and yes, maybe that works fine, but the point here is you shouldn’t HAVE to, because some BANK wants to tell you how you are ALLOWED to access YOUR OWN MONEY.

  109. HawkWolf says:

    I have a credit union debit card, and it has a daily limit. I forget what it is, but I KNOW there’s a limit. I ran into it once. I felt stupid, but the Sam’s Club clerk said, “oh, this happens all the time, most banks put limits on consumer debit cards.”

    The problem is that, at the time, I didn’t have a Discover card to use as a credit card at Sam’s. Luckily my roommate could split the cost of the item with me.

  110. nevergod says:

    just write an fffing check. how hard is that?

  111. sis says:

    @Consumer007: Being aggressive and screaming at people is not a right you have as a consumer. It’s not about having a spine, but a sense of decency in how we treat other people.

    This whole notion that “it’s my money” ignores the fact that it’s entrusted with the bank. If you don’t want to deal with the bank, don’t setup an account there. It is certainly a nuisance having to worry about the daily spending limits, but having to deal with a little hassle to spend 5000+ dollars doesn’t seem unreasonable to me, given that it may prevent fraud.

    I come to the consumerist to read stories of true consumer issues; these bellyaching stories about someone having a difficulty buying something seem shallow, especially when it seems that the story is being embellished.

  112. sis says:

    @Consumer007: Also, this keeps coming up:

    “Consumers have the right to be aggressive when their rights are violated, and denying them access to their money IS NOT a RIGHT of the bank if they identify themselves successfully. No bank should be in business doing this crap.”

    What if it’s an inside job? An employee uses a card swiper to steal the card number, then attempts to purchase expensive items?

    Let’s say I have 20K in my checking account. Are you saying this criminal should be able to debit that entire amount in a single day?

  113. Addison says:

    First, I’ve been a BOA customer for ten years and have never had a problem with them….ever.

    @ogg…some of us pay off our balances every month, if he had that amt in checking, he could have made the purchase on a credit card and mailed a check the next day for the amount and never paid interest on it.

    We make all our major purchases on AMEX Blue card and love it.

    Oh, and BTW, about the voicemail phone tree, I sleep next to the guy who holds the patent for it, he thinks it’s evil too.

  114. ROK33 says:

    @ogman: LOL!! They are not saying to pay interest from the purchase. Its GREAT advise!! You buy the items on your credit card and then payoff the credit card when you get the bill. He already had the money in his checking account. Using the credit card will give him added security and rewards if the card has it.

  115. Amy Alkon says:

    By far the WORST advice I’ve seen on The Consumerist. Yeah, I should pay some exorbitant amount of interest for some reward point! Somebody’s been attending too many credit card company lunches.

    Perhaps it hasn’t occurred to you that you can pay the balance in full every month?

    I have never once paid interest on my United Miles Visa, and I put every dollar I can on it, including my cell phone, home phone, cable, and Internet fees. No interest, free flight to Paris a lot faster.

  116. kwh says:

    I had this problem trying to purchase an engagement ring, about 6 years ago with a BoA Visa Debit. At the time, I believe it was declined, but the jeweler got in touch with BoA and they required a form with additional proof of identity for fraud protection (I think a copy of my drivers license or something).

    Of course, policies change over time, and maybe they don’t even do this anymore because of rampant fraud. And in retrospect, It might be a better idea to use a credit card with full purchase protection/warranty.

    But hey, if you’ve got $6k to blow on a bigger badder idiot box, and all that’s happening is someone trying to stop you and give you the chance to think twice – those are nice problems to have in this day.

  117. johnva says:

    To all the people who have suggested using a credit union: that likely wouldn’t have helped in this case. The credit union would probably have this spending limit also. The key thing is to understand what the spending limit is before trying to make such a big purchase. That advice applies regardless of whether you use a credit union or a big bad retail bank.

  118. ianmac47 says:

    WhyTF does anyone use checkcards anyway?

  119. AlphaUltima says:

    you realize you just press 0 during those automated junk to go straight to an operator.

  120. yesteryear says:

    i was suggesting using a credit union in regard to how frustrating all of the people the guy had to deal with were. in my experience i’ve encountered consistently excellent, personalized customer service with both credit unions i bank with (sea west and 1st united services). it’s true that they wouldn’t have been on the phone at 10pm on a friday night – but the BofA rep who was answering the phone that late was useless anyway – so it’s moot.

    for me, the quality of service i get with a credit union far outweighs the quantity of service (more ATMs, CSRs on the phone at midnight) big banks provide. i guess im just one of those weird people who puts a premium on doing business with companies i respect and that respect me. it’s a philosophical choice that not everyone would agree with, i understand that.

    also – someone mentioned BofA’s online banking – both of my CU’s offer the same thing.

  121. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    I’m amazed that no one brought this up: Maybe he couldn’t get a credit card for some reason.
    Or he had other cards that were maxed out.

    You’d be surprised how many people are denied for credit cards.

  122. DAK says:

    @Addison: I’m not sure if his feelings on it make me feel better or worse.

  123. XianZomby says:

    Absolutly would piss me off too. And I wouldn’t take any explanation if it was me.

    I assume this prevents spending sprees if your card is stolen. I’d be grateful if this limit protected me in the event my card was taken. And now that I know there are daily limits on check cards, the next time I want to make a 6000 dollar purchase, I’ll call the bank ahead of time to let them know, so they can make an exception.

    Now I just need to have 6000 in my account.

  124. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: I dont have limits that high due to some credit issues in my youth. I probably could get one now, but Ive never run into an issue.

    @Consumer007: randomly using CAPS while typing doesnt help you make a RATIONAL ARGUEMENT. It makes you come off a bit crazy, as does BRAGGING about abusing some random TELLERS at A bank.

  125. gingerCE says:

    I don’t think people should be too critical of him choosing to use his debit card. I use credit cards and pay them off every month but I got my first cc when I was in high school and got into major CC debt early on. Eventually I got out thanks to some financial luck, but it took me 2 years before I was even willing to use a credit card again.

    Yes, some people here, like myself now, pay off their credit card bills each month and play the rewards game, but there are others here who cannot honestly say they don’t have credit card debt.

    I actually know someone who doesn’t have and has never had a credit card in her whole life. For many years she could honestly say she was debt free–even no student loans!–now she can’t say that cause she’s got a mortgage but there is something to be said about being credit card debt free.

  126. parad0x360 says:

    BOA..assholes is what they are.

    My girlfriend had a credit card with MBNA who was bought out by BOA. She owed $5400. Her monthly payment of lets say $150 was due this past Thursday. Thursday night I login to her account and pay off the ENTIRE BALANCE. The payment of $5400 goes through on Friday morning.

    She logs into her account today to check her balance which should in all honesty read $0 but instead it reads $38 from a late fee.

    She calls to get it removed. She tells the lady that she just paid off the entire balance in one fell swoop, can you remove the late fee because it was really not late at all and if anything it was only 4 hours late as the payment was taken from my bank at 4am.

    They wouldnt remove it. Now we have to send them a check for $38 because if we pay online it costs $1, if we pay on the phone it costs $15. We are closing the account, we were going to keep it but since they are such assholes they can screw themselves and keep their line of credit.

  127. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    What credentials do you have to be so condescending about this scenario?

    Credentials? WTF are you going on about? I didn’t realize we needed credentials here now. And “condescending”? Give me a break, and grow a sense of humor, dude.

    Let me get this right – you are saying that he deserved what happened to him because he DARED to try to use his check card to pay for something?

    Don’t get yourself all in a lather – it was just a bit of good natured ribbing.

    So that makes him deserving of your contempt? Don’t you have anything better to do with your time than attacking consumers on a pro-consumer website?

    Sheesh. “condescending… deserved what happened… contempt… attacking consumers”

    Lighten up, Francis

  128. DarrenO says:

    @Consumer007: No, I don’t read the whole disclosures but that’s really not where they bury the spending limits. For every bank or card I have dealt with those are pretty clear on what your limits are. A consumer SHOULD know what the limits are on any card they’re going to use to try and make a major purchase. It’s more common sense than anything else. Why blame BoA for something that was clear from the start and for something that is in line with most banks / credit card companies?

  129. jfischer says:

    Funny… I’ve used a Wachoiva check card to make a large purchase over $5K, and it went through like a champ.

    But I signed a receipt rather than punching in a PIN code, so they clearly ran it as a credit card, even though it is not a credit card at all.

    Just to clarify I am nowhere near Donald Trump in terms of financials. To start with, unlike Donald, I’ve gone bankrupt.

  130. jfischer says:

    Correction to the above, “unlike Donald, I’ve NEVER gone bankrupt.”

  131. DAK says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: +1 for your comments, +2 for your avatar. I drove past that same sign (or a remarkably similar one) for 2+ years every morning on my way to work.

  132. billhelm says:

    I’m actually glad that my bank has a relatively low limit on my check card. Twice, my check card account info has been skimmed and used for fraudulent transactions. Since cash is immediately involved, it’s good that someone couldn’t charge thousands of dollars. This stuff is for your protection more than anything.

  133. UnnamedUser says:

    BofA … heh, heh.

    They don’t call ’em “Bunch of Assholes” for nothing.

    Getcher self a real bank.

  134. deadlizard says:

    @Addison: You may never had a problem with BoA but that doesn’t mean you’re not prone to get a problem anytime in the future. It will come and when it does, you’ll be sorry. I don’t know how many times this advice has to be on the Consumerist so people can get it: Do. Not. Bank. With. Bank. Of. America.

    On the other hand, big purchases like that should me made on a card like an Amex that gives you some purchase protection you’re not going to get on an ATM.

  135. peteyale says:

    right now, i’m stranded in a foreign country, i lost my BoA card. I spent 3 hrs on the phone with BoA for emergency cash so I could eat. They couldn’t help me. I tried for days as I had less than $10 to work with. When I return to the US in a few months, I’m cancelling my BoA card, because I recieved horrible service from them in my time of emergency. They couldnt even send my card to my address here. How can I use my card to buy food if I’m here and the card is there?

    Luckily I have Amex also (and they were helpful and I had cash in hand 15 minutes after calling Amex; they wired it to me)

  136. johnva says:

    @yesteryear: Well, whenever I’ve encountered minor problems with BoA they were very courteous and fixed them for me with no problem. I’m not discounting all the stories of bad service people relate, but in my personal experience their customer service has been just fine. I’ve had a checking account with them for about 10 years.

    @deadlizard: Hasn’t happened yet (see above). Then again, I’m pretty careful about tracking my money, and I don’t use debit cards. I’ve never been in a situation where I had to deal with them with fraud on my account or overdrafts. I did find some minor bank errors and they fixed them within about 24 hours.

  137. Hyperion1144 says:

    The funny thing is, if this guy’s card had been stolen, and the thief had used his Platinum check card to buy the same home theatre system, and it had been allowed by the bank, The Consumerist would be writing an article criticizing BoA and their shoddy security!

    You can’t have it both ways people! Do you want the bank to offer security, or convenience? Because security and convenience are a trade off – you give up one to get the other!

    It is not good this guy had to be transferred around so much to finally get an answer, but this problem is ultimatly his own fault! I don’t feel sorry for this guy. He should have made arrangements beforehand!

  138. boxjockey68 says:

    @Vastarien202: I would like to know more about this not using banks thing…I can’t seem to find a good bank, I am kind of thinking to just dump them.

  139. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry, I can’t listen to this anymore. I have a fork jammed into my ear.

  140. consum3rist says:

    lol, there is nothing new in this thing. Its nothing specifi to BofA – every bank does this. In fact it seems that BofA are more liberal with 5k limit, citibank has around 600 ATM withdrawal limit I think.

  141. Consumer007 says:

    @sis: Ummm no, that’s what the security procedure is for. If an inside employee who has access gets around that, the bank is legally liable for all damages. Nice try…

  142. Consumer007 says:

    @Tracy Ham and Eggs: Yes and spellcheck helps too, dear. Thanks for the concern…

  143. Consumer007 says:

    @TinyBug: Get a clue – sarcasm is only effective if you write it effectively. Otherwise you come off sounding like…an a-hole. Congrats.

  144. emax4 says:

    As bad as they are, why not open an account every time you’re over the $5000 limit? This way you can take money from each account and go “over” the $5000 limit.

  145. Consumer007 says:

    @Hyperion1144: No Hyp, we’re criticizing BOA for stupidly and arrogantly harming and grossy inconveniencing consumers for no reason. Identification is very black and white at banks. When someone passes, they pass, security threat over, then they need their money. There is nothing rocket science about this. If a bank throws up more security barriers for no reason when it’s not merited, “just because”, they shouldn’t be in business.

    Banks should not hire security people / consultants who cannot logically understand process flow and treat customers like people being frisked at the airport because “EVERYONE is a potential criminal, let’s treat them that way! GET em!”

    While what some have said here is true and this practice may be standard, it’s also been established that denying access to someone who passes security is NOT standard, nor should it be.

  146. Consumer007 says:

    @billhelm: Just curious – did you ever press the bank on whether it was an employee versus outsider – how did someone get acess to it? The security people at the bank need to answer to you for this…

  147. Consumer007 says:

    Another point to consider. We become okay with $250 daily limits today and it’s $20 or $2 daily limits tomorrow (with fees for going above each if they “courteously” allow it). I mean really people, at what point are you going to stand up for yourselves, use common sense and say enough is enough?

    Here’s what I’d like to see – federal legislation allowing consumers to levee fees on banks: Incompetence Fee, Disrespecting Customer Fee, Overcharging Customer Fee, Inconvenience Fee.

    And banks have to accept customer’s counter-terms and conditions.

    After all—two parties to a contract.

  148. genevh says:

    I canceled my BofA account months ago. Anything I tried to do with my money was difficult. It’s like the bank is completely automated and completely devoid of any normal human interaction. But what do you expect after they’ve bought so many banks – who could manage all that. They obviously can’t. I’ll never bank at BofA again and discourage anyone I know from banking there.

  149. johnva says:

    @Consumer007: You are wrong about how security works. You use layers of different security measures so that there are multiple protections. It’s not an “all or nothing” sort of thing…the assumption is that security measures will sometimes fail. A limit like this could help limit losses to fraud.

    Shouldn’t the customer be responsible for knowing what their daily withdrawal limit is? I know for a fact that this limit is disclosed…I remember reading about it in the materials they gave me upon opening an account.

  150. Grazubit says:

    I agree with the many of the comments left already by those on here and want to add:

    How many times have we read on here about people who have debit cards that have been compromised and only find out after the fact their checking/savings account has been wiped out?

    So here’s a guy who’s complaining he can’t use his debit card for a purchase over $5000 for a home theater system. Sounds like he wants BofA to essentially allow purchases up to how much someone has in their account. BUT, god forbid his card was compromised and someone made purchases in a single day that wiped out every penny he had in there, who would be screaming foul that BofA allowed a thief to get away with that.

    Like many have said, quit using debit cards for purchases. Nothing but trouble! Get a credit card, have the benefit of the grace period with the CC company’s money, the protections afforded CCs that aren’t given on DCs, and pay it off the following month with the cash that’s sitting in (hopefully an interest bearing) your account!

  151. shenanigrams says:

    @icedcornholio: totally agree. the consumerist is being dumb here. everyone screams “chargeback” one minute and the next it’s “disregard all fraud protection”.

    will say that i’ve both international (english) and us credit cards. used an english card internationally and they called my cellphone literally before i’d reached my car in the parking lot. impressive.

    us banks take a day or two to verify which blows (and i have Chase and BofA cards).

    please, consumerist, up the ante on quality. know which issues are news-worthy — unfortunately newsworthy and comment-worthy aren’t the same thing as evidenced by this post.

  152. nrwfos says:


    I hate not being able to get a human on the line when I need one. I’ve started just punching a number that hasn’t been mentioned by the auto teller. Eventually, I usually get a person although I have had it hang up on me, too. That’s also annoying. But frequently getting a human who doesn’t speak a language I do is even more annoying because they go by their script and usually it doesn’t cover my situation. I get really annoyed by that! The most insulting conversation I had with a person speaking a language I couldn’t understand and she couldn’t
    understand me was with the female person who claimed to be named “Mike”. Now that might be her name but this company is well-known to out-source and each answering person is given an American first name. I doubt that was her name. This time it worked in my favor, though, because I was having to deal with an account in my husband’s name and they usually gave me trouble because I don’t have his first name. I just did what she did and insisted my name was what his name is. I could tell they knew it wasn’t, but they couldn’t very well prove it right then. They did what I asked.

  153. mikelotus says:

    Seems the bottom line is, for once, the consumer is at fault. As a person that will, I hope never own such a card (and the Visa commercials really irk me), this is protection that has to be there. If this guy got his card stolen and lost all $10K he would be screaming like a banshee out of hell. I understand that the check cards stop you from spending what you don’t have, but the downside is so bad. No buyer protection, no ability to deal with problems caused by Best Buy by threatening to have CC deny payment, no benefits, possible theft of card, and having this happen. So besides not being able to spend what you don’t have, what are the benefits of this card?

  154. MommaJ says:

    So let me get this straight: the guy would have to wait a day to buy a big screen TV because he didn’t bother to read the terms and conditions of his check card. Truly devastating. I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep tonite. Thank God we have The Consumerist to bring this outrage to our attention. Printing these “Omigod the bank was mean to me!” stories just diminishes the value of this website for those with real issues.

  155. DudeAsInCool says:

    I got slammed here previously because I like writing checks:


    You see – they do have their purposes.

  156. dazzlezak says:

    My suggeation:

    Don’t use Best buy OR BofA.

    Good Luck. You may need it.

  157. Buran says:

    @sven.kirk: So howcome he admitted the bank can make an exception “in advance” for some people? Seems like that policy isn’t as ironclad as they want it to be. I think it’s more excuse for “we don’t want to do work”.

  158. Buran says:

    @ogman: Uh huh. So what if I pay off the bill in full every month? I assure you that my statements say “Effective interest: 0.00%” no matter how much I charge to them. Methinks company lunches aren’t involved at all but a lack of thinking — on your part. You are assuming that all credit card users incur interest fees by not paying in full.

  159. BugMeNot2 says:

    why not just use a credit card like normal folk and let the bank carry the 5k loan for 25 days while you earn $15 worth of interest, points, double warranty and all that jazz and avoid the above aforementioned problems?

    Oh, and try to get anything more than $5k in cash from any bank these days and you are looking for adventure. 3 branches + 2 hours to find a bank willing to give me ~9k, in 10s and 20s mind you. that takes a long time to count.

    Next time I will try the trump comment…BoA, hook me up.

  160. Jordan Lund says:

    If you have that kind of scratch in your account and are being denied access to it then there’s one really, really easy solution.

    “Can you transfer me to the department where I can cancel my account? That will be great. I’ll be at my local branch for immediate withdrawal of all funds in 15 minutes. No, I’m not satisfied with your apologies. I’m canceling my account.”

  161. inkhead says:

    Even though I use a semi-private bank that allows me access to a higher sum of money, I’ve still had these problems. Once you get wealthy enough you learn to either always keep a few grand laying around, or have your 24 hour accountant who keeps a decent sum of cash on hand, to drop off to you whenever you need.

    People should wake up and realize that NOT having cash can be a really bad thing. It would take me all of 4 minutes to get just about anyone’s bank account turned off for several months or good.

    Ask yourself if you would be fine if your assets are frozen tomorrow. How long can you go? Bad stuff happens, be prepared, and expect to get screwed over.

  162. schmad says:

    I love you guys that have $10K in the bank and expect to be treated special. You are (generally speaking) the least profitable type of customer for the bank and generally the biggest pain in the ass (as shown here). You obviously never bothered to read the standard T&Cs when you signed up, but you do seem to expect to call up at whatever hour of the day and have a grunt customer service rep bend them for you on the spot because it suits you.

    The bank is in business to make money, not to serve you (or any of you reading this) personally. If you are a high net worth individual, you can have private banking with a one on one relationship manager, if not, tough shit. They provide you with a service, but there’s a very distinct difference between the two ideas. Your business with them barely makes enough money to make it worth dealing with you. The pittance of interest that they earn off of the < $5K that you will keep in this account over the course of a year will be enough to pay for about 5 phone calls from you, at which point they will in all likelihood be losing money on you as a customer.

    You are considered a high risk customer to the bank. You keep a relatively low balance, you want to spend 60% of that balance impulsively, and you expect them to adjust their risk factors on the fly because YOU want something immediately. “Oh but it’s MY money you say” — not exactly — it’s not a virtual piggy bank and one of the fundamental concepts that you agreed to when signing up for the type of account that you did is that you were authorizing them to lend your money out; which is of course how you make interest on it. You also agree that you funds may be subject to availability and they may require prior notice for large withdrawls. You obviously don’t seem to think that these rules should apply to you because with your enormous $10K balance, you’re a high priority customer for them.

    You are going to have these same issues at any bank (large or community bank), credit union, etc. because you represent a large portion of the consumer banking space. They have to setup rules like they do to protect themselves from impulsive, demanding, and worst, generally unprofitable customers.

  163. JChoice says:

    It makes no sense that you’d spend an hour on the phone instead of just using a credit card. Unless of course, you have already maxed out your credit cards in which case, purchasing a $6k TV wouldn’t be best idea. Judging by the fact that this person spent so much time on the phone and was so hot and heavy to walk out of the store with a TV, I wouldn’t rule this out.

    Consumer007: Yes, banks CAN set whatever rules they want and yes, THEY ARE IN CHARGE of their bank. It’s their business. YOU are in charge of which bank you choose.

  164. diddy0071 says:

    I keep on reading all these response about “why didn’t he use a credit card” and blah blah blah, well sometimes people don’t have the Luxury of a credit card. Some people have bad credit, or no credit cards at all. Now to say that this is the case with this person is more than likely wrong. He seems to have money, and therefore, he probably has credit cards. But the point is, people are avoiding debt like the plague nowadays. I mean, who the hell wants to get into debt right now? WITH a recession looming, and possible depression, I feel that if you have the cash, use it, otherwise, don’t spend money you don’t have. I agree with the consumer that this is bullshit that he would have to fight with his bank to get HIS money. If this was the other way around, and he had the bank’s money, I’m pretty sure they would be pushing him around for their money.

  165. nikepsex says:

    The fundamental issue here is that this poster had $10,000 of “available” funds, yet was denied convenient access to those funds.

    If the daily $5,000 limit is truly for our protection, then banks need to work out an efficient means of overriding this when required. It would seem to me that after the initial transaction was declined, the poster should have simply called a toll-free number on the back of his card, verified his identity, and confirmed that he is authorizing a purchase exceeding his daily limit. If an added measure of security is desired, banks could also require the merchant to verify the purchaser’s photo ID, and provide a merchant code to the bank before the override is approved.

  166. zaidestudios says:

    This entire story sounds like the rambling of a spoiled rich kid. Everyone with sense knows that there are transfer, withdrawal, and spending limits with every credible bank. BoA is no exception. Now, the obvious reason for this is to ward off significant identity theft, but there is a more potent purpose that dates back to the Great Depression. Now, consult a text book or just watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” and you’ll see that the GREATNESS of the Great Depression came from mass panic and withdrawals due to the loss of faith in banks. Everyone grabbed as much money as they could and when the bank ran out, the rest of their customers were screwed.

    If you’re paying attention, but not too bright, you might recall the FDIC which insures up to $100,000. That’s great and all, but when can you really expect that money? If there is no physical currency in a bank, it won’t be teleported in the form of gold bars from Ft. Knox… you have to wait. Now, if FEMA’s response to the victims of Hurricane Katrina is any sign, you’ll be waiting a long time. During that time, bills need to be paid by everyone, everyone needs to eat, and so everyone gets a reasonable percent of their money immediately. You’ll be pretty thankful for this implementation when your excess caves in on you and the American economy collapses (again).

    As for putting the charge on a credit card, spare me. Americans are already $2 Trillion (I spelled it out so you didn’t think I fell asleep on the 0 key) in credit card debt. Now, I care not for the individual whining and finding promotion, but this is a warning to those of you unaware and in a similar, yet more understanding predicament. Now the real thrill, would anyone be so anxious to put this large charge on a credit card (which has its own daily processing limit) if the option were advertised with a big sign that states “Why Not Add 10% to Your Total”? The sane and relative answer is no, I’m not throwing my money into the pig pen, yet millions of Americans do each and every day.

    In closing, I have only to say that a reasonable person would have known all this and a reasonable person would have shopped around for the best price ahead of time and called their bank (again, ahead of time) for a limit suspension or raise. Had this been done, the entire process would have taken fifteen minutes and been quite pleasurable. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances surrounding this event, it was not. As for Donald Trump, I believe the attendant was trying to say Trump would have had the sense to raise his spending limit ahead of time.

    I consider this protocol and my ensuing rant a victory over ignorance. If only the battle weren’t uphill, against the wind, and taking place in Russia with insufficient equipment. Good Day.

  167. BugMeNot2 says:

    If it’s widespread practice for there to be a 5k limit on daily spending on people’s accounts, why are there items on sale for over 5k? Surely no-one can buy them without the hassle of BoA or whoever – and only then if they get lucky after an hour or so.

  168. TheWraithL98 says:

    i went through a similar nightmare buying a $1300 tv at sam’s club once. this was 3-4 years ago, so policies may have changed, but they did not take credit card at the time if i remember correctly.

    however they did take debit, so i tried to swipe it through on my debit card, but it wouldn’t allow it. I bank with a local bank, but I too called the bank’s 800 number on the back of the card, and they told me there was a $500 limit per transaction on debit card purchases, and there was nothing I could do.

    I was fortunate enough to have a bank branch in the supermarket in the same shopping complex, that was even open on the saturday this was all going down, and I had to go over, have a bank check made out to myself, and take cash back over to Sam’s Club.

    Stupid, stupid policies.

    And a curious side note, I used that same bank branch in the supermarket a few days ago, and it’s closing down now, for a bigger branch up the street…that i’m sure will not have saturday hours since it’s not in a supermarket.

    customer service in this country is dead.

  169. Dr.Ph0bius says:

    This is poor customer service… nothing more. Every debit/credit card has a limit (as stated by many people above), and if one is going to make large dollar purchases, they should be aware of such things… but much like any EULA, people seldom read the papers that theyre signing, so Im sure few people know that until it happens to them (or they hear of it happening to someone else). I promise you, that limit IS in the papers you signed when you set up your bank account, so maybe use this as a lesson in reading what you sign? (not intended to be sarcatic, Im dead serious!)

    As for the boo-hooing over phone trees… Welcome to the 21st century. The alternative is for all of these businesses to severely raise fees and in store prices to compensate for having “real people” standing by to answer the phone (they arent going to give us anything for free). We as a society have a lot of growing up to do, we want immediate results, fast service, no waits and low, low prices. But we dont want to have to sacrifice ANYTHING to get it. Im not saying im pro-big business, but Im just being realistic… you cant have it all. I’ll take the phone tree and less fees/prices.

  170. wdnobile says:

    I am the person this article is about. Just to address a few things:

    1.) I signed up for this account over ten years ago. The bank I created it with never gave me any limits and the bank itself changed hands multiple times over the years before ultimately being absorbed by BoA. I’ve never been given an “updated” terms of service and so I assumed, perhaps foolishly, that my account remained the same.

    2.) Im not a “spoiled rich kid.” I work hard for my money and saved for quite some time to make this purchase.

    3.) Yes, I could have used a credit card but, well, I dont own one. I cannot see the value in paying someone 25% or more interest on my purchases. Even if I pay the balance in full monthly, they still hit you with annual fees, surcharges, useage fees etc. To me, its just not worth it.

    4.) To those saying “well all banks do that.”, and spouting lessons from you soapbox about the great depression: You have missed the point. If I’d walked into the branch, shown my ID , and said “give me 6000.00 of my money” , it would have been handed over immediately, no questions asked. The guy on the phone confirmed as much. So, the “limit” only applies to debit card purchases. So, its really not about protecting the money they have invested, its not about my protection either as the guy confirmed he believed I was who I said I was. What then is the point of the limit?

    5.)As for using Best Buy, I have exactly two stores in the area that sell the model I want: Best Buy and Circuit City. Circuit City was lower and I had Best Buy price match figuring that, while Best Buy is evil for sure, Circuit City is usually evil AND incompetent.

    ’nuff said.

  171. Imaginary says:

    You should never have to use a credit card for anything! You should always have access to YOUR money. If they want to question it they can call you afterwords. Do not put your money in boa. For one they’ll find ways to take it from you on a consistent basis in the form of fees or overdraft charges. I for one will never put my money in a BANK again. I use credit unions.

  172. johnva says:

    @wdnobile: Re: point 1), I usually read the updates for my account online. They post them at the same place they post online copies of my statements (they also periodically send them with paper statements).

    re: point 3), I believe you are quite misinformed about credit cards. There are tons of credit cards available that do not have “annual fees, surcharges, [and] usage fees”. For my main card I get hundreds of dollars per year in cash back rewards, extended warranties, etc and I have never paid them interest or a fee for ANYTHING. Now that’s not to say that you must use a credit card…but there ARE a lot of advantages and the reasons you have given are not really valid objections to them. If anything, DEBIT cards are more likely to be a minefield of fees than credit cards.

    re 4) It IS about security. They have multiple layers of security…it’s not just one layer like you seem to be assuming. The limit is to LIMIT the amount of fraud that can take place if your card is compromised. Most fraud takes places via debit cards (or checks), which is why this limit is in place. It limits the bank’s loss to fraud and it also protects YOU since if fraud did take place you might be out whatever money they managed to drain while the bank completes its investigation.

  173. Ksilebo says:

    Since I’m more informed than some people and know the limits of my bank account ahead of time, its all of a 30 second call to USAA to say, “Heya, going to make a large purchase, can you raise my max debit transaction limit for the next 24 hours?” To which they say, “Sure, its at $x000 for the next 24 hours. Have a nice day.” When I dealt with Comerica and Wells Fargo, this was not an issue either.

  174. yesteryear says:

    @wdnobile: beautiful. yes. those of us who choose not to have credit cards have somehow become the ‘crazy consumer trolls under the bridge’. but credit card or not, you’re absolutely right to have been frustrated by this experience.

    so we’re supposed to be satisfied that if we have credit cards, we can charge huge sums of money, but if we have money, like, real money, we can’t spend it? oh, and if we do, we aren’t protected at all? hmm. interesting way to encourage people to use credit rather than cash. this is the most backwards, consumer-unfriendly, bank/corporation-slanted policy ever. i think everyone who keeps advocating for the use of credit cards can go ahead and use them if that’s what they want to do do – but considering the fact that this site is supposedly about consumers, and consumers are what’s driving the economy, and without consumers bank of america would crumble (can’t exactly depend on those mortgages anymore, can they?), it seems to me the pendulum needs to swing back in the other direction for a minute. if you have the money, and you are who you say you are, then you should be able to access your money.

    i think everyone is missing the point of this story – the headline was not ‘Bank of America Enforces Daily Limit on Debit Cards’, because that’s not news. everyone knows that. the story here is that even after an hour on the phone, the money was still unavailable. and that’s unacceptable.

  175. RStewie says:

    I would never go with Bank of America. I had a similar experience with my Government Purchase Card, which had no limit and supposedly, no daily limit. Of course, I was deployed to Kuwiat, and activated my card there. I ordered some items online, then went downtown the next day to order some furniture and other items, just over $10K. A few days later, I attempted to order some items online again.

    Rejected. All of them. So I called BoA (and bear in mind I am deployed and this is my official card, which I am supposed to use for most transactions there, in support of the entire military base) and they inform me that my card was put on hold because I had made “suspicious purchases”. I ask if they understand that I am deployed and using the card in support of a military base in Kuwait. They say yes, because the card is coded a certain way to show this.

    When I asked why the card was locked, they explain that I had made purchases online and then, later, in a foreign country. I explained to them that Kuwait IS a foreign country, and that was my job. They were marginally confused, but willing to do what I told them in order to fix it, once I explained to them that I would have to report this up my chain if they did not fix the problem.

    They proceeded to unlock the card, but couldn’t explain why they hadn’t been able to call me or contact my counterparts in the US concerning the card. Since the phone number they used didn’t get answered (they didn’t dial out right, since it was international), they figured “you would call us when it didn’t work”. Which I had to do, with a time difference of 9 hours, and a phone call “limit” of 15 minutes.

    This happened three times while I was over there, once while I was downtown in the middle of a purchase. I can’t convey adequately my frustration and disgust at BoA…I will NEVER be a customer of theirs.

  176. yesteryear says:

    @Imaginary: we should start a pro credit union website together. i’m getting hammered here for plugging CU’s, but i’ve never once had an issue like this that wasn’t resolved quickly and by a friendly person who knows me and appreciates my business. i guess some people don’t mind dealing with huge banks that treat them anonymously – but i prefer to keep my life savings in an institution that treats me like an individual.

    for those of us who are not super wealthy, credit unions provide the same level of personalized customer service found in high net worth banks (like First Republic).

  177. Wormfather says:

    Bank of America…Bank of Opportunity.

  178. skehl says:

    A daily limit is very common for check cards. A $5000 limit is a lot higher than any of the banks I have worked for in the past.

  179. gingerCE says:

    I think those using debit cards are in a way smarter than those using credit cards. Had I used debit cards when I was younger I would not have gotten in such bad credit card debt–I never overspent money in my bank account, but I would overspend on a credit card. They hand out credit cards like candy to kids–I got my first one while a senior in high school. Eventually I started to only use my debit card so I could pay off my cc debt.

    Eventually I paid off my cc debt and now I have learned to pay off my credit cards each month–but it took probably at least a couple thousand in interest charges for me to learn that lesson.

    It sounds like there’s a lot of us here who do pay off our credit card bills each month, but that’s not everyone. Anyone who has credit card debt and is criticizing this guy for using a debit card isn’t seeing the big picture. Even those of us who no longer have credit card debt are missing the big picture.

    Like I posted earlier I know someone who has never had a credit card–and so yes, she’s never had free airline miles but she also has never paid a penny in interest or fees to a credit card company. And that is something to be proud of.

  180. Yogambo says:

    $10k in a BoA bank account also strikes one as less than savvy. What kind of interest are you getting? Why not ING, E*Trade, etc. But I echo the ‘why not a credit card’ queries? I mean, you could get a double warranty with the right card, cash back, fraud protection, 20 days (minimum) to earn interest in the high interest checking/savings account, etc… PLUS no hassles!

    I can’t imagine making sure a large purchase on a debit card.

    All that said, as a BoA customer, I have relay this one. I moved, used the promo to open a BoA account, gave the guy my info on a little form, get my account open and 10 days later get a platiunum credit card! I didn’t apply for a credit card mind you, just a bank account! Imagine! Yeah, I complained, got a $50 gift card to… wait for it.. Best Buy. :)

  181. bobblack555 says:

    @icedcornholio: Have you guys thought about actually just listing out these very important facts instead of making customers read through a ridiculous “huge pile” of disclosures?

    Seriously, who wants to read a “huge pile” of disclosures?

    And maybe if the banks had better fraud protection, they wouldn’t have to severely inconvenience their customers just to cover their own backsides by putting limits on transactions

  182. bobblack555 says:

    Wait – HEY CONSUMERIST – Are you actually telling your readers that we should get a credit card in order to purchase something like this?

    (not that its wise to spend $5000 on a piece of technology that’s just going to depreciate in value anyways – seriously, $5000 for a tv?.)

  183. kinksville says:

    I have Chevy Chase Bank, which I’ve never been particular fond of, but I have to say that I’ve never had issues when making large purchases with my check card.

    Of course I always called ahead BEFOREHAND to make sure that the purchase would go through.

    Last time I spoke to them it was about airline tickets+hotel for a vacation in Paris, and they basically said “How much do you want us to increase the limit, and would you like it to stay there?”

    What happened to the OP sucks, and when he called them they should have dealt with it expeditiously, but it was perfectly justifiable to decline the initial authorization.

  184. Trai_Dep says:

    Can we please please please see Visa make a commercial out of this, with consumers merrily spinning around Best Buy, happily using their debit cards until – screech – everything stops?

    Until a skeevy character throws down $6,000 cash with a flourish and a grin and the Ferris Wheel starts up again?

  185. onesix18 says:

    I can’t imagine using cash to buy a hyper-depreciating consumer product like a TV. The idea of the cash just instantly–poof!–leaving my account before I even take the thing home to make sure it works…yikes!

    In addition to the reward points, I love the ‘float’ that a credit card gives me. When I do make a big purchase, I have about 10-20 days typically (depending on where I am in the billing cycle) to work through all my issues and return the product if necessary before the cash leaves my checking account (to pay the CC bill in full, of course, which I do every month).

    In an interesting coincidence, my reward card is with BoA (originally MBNA), and I’ve had nothing but good experience with them. BoA/MBNA has paid me thousands–THOUSANDS–of dollars in cash rewards over the years. Sticking to our household budget and paying every bill on time has worked out to create a very positive net gain for me in the relationship with BoA.

    Caveat emptor, true, but in the discussion of credit card use for/against, those against seem to be using emotional arguments instead of logical ones. And money, my friends, is not something that should be dealt with emotionally.

  186. failurate says:

    @walterny: He didn’t say it was a positive surprise.

  187. johnva says:

    @yesteryear: It’s not that they aren’t letting you “access” your own money. They certainly would, if you walked into a bank branch and asked for a cashier’s check or cash (within reason, since they may also have only a limited amount of cash at a branch). All they’re saying is that you can’t instantly access an unlimited amount of your money via a debit card. The risk is too great for both you and them when using that payment method, which is why the limitation is in place. And they clearly tell people this, if they bother to read. This isn’t some nasty BoA policy that is unique to them. It’s just a risk-management measure that virtually all banks and credit unions use.

    Now I agree that it sounds like he got some poor customer service. That’s not really acceptable. I’m just saying that I haven’t experienced this sort of thing with BoA. Then again, I’ve never really put myself in a position where I’m having to ask them for an exception to one of their policies, either, because I’m usually aware of the ones relevant to what I do.

  188. johnva says:

    One other point: some businesses will let you split debit card charges over a few days if you can’t cover the charge under your daily limit. For example, if you have a $500 daily debit limit and you want to buy a $750 item, they will charge $500 the first day and the remainder the second day. I know for a fact that Dell computer used to do this if you wanted to pay via debit card (and they would tell people how to contact their bank and find out what their limit was); don’t know if they still do. This obviously works better for mail order since the seller isn’t really at risk that you won’t have the funds for the whole thing (they can just not ship if you don’t have the money). But maybe you could have called the store and asked if they can do this (maybe in advance of the date you pick up the TV).

  189. johnva says:

    @onesix18: I agree with your post except for the final paragraph. Some people simply are not capable of making money decisions without involving their emotions. I agree that it’s best to be coldly rational about personal finance and investing, but some people simply can’t do that. If you’re someone who goes on shopping trips as an emotional support mechanism (for example), then credit cards might not be a good idea. If you’re someone who can control your spending in a disciplined way, then credit cards are obviously a better choice for a number of reasons. You SHOULDN’T make money decisions emotionally, but we have to recognize that a lot of people DO.

  190. krom says:

    I realize this is Consumerist and not GRS or Lifehacker, but I still kind of am surprised that the post is siding with someone who is blowing multiple thousands of dollars on a single transaction for something completely frivolous, insanely expensive, unnecessary, luxurious, and wasteful.

    A good consumer would make a more frugal decision with their money, wouldn’t they?

    And to think I feel wasteful spending more than $500 on a new computer, or more than $20 for a pair of jeans.

  191. rjhiggins says:

    @SchecterShredder: Yes! Less than 15 minutes and we get an cliched, irrelevant twofer: “Why do you shop at…” and “Why do you bank at…”

  192. Blish says:

    your first issue was shopping at Best Buy. i got an incredible home entertainment system including a 50 inch plasma, Bose Surround Sound and a few other goodies for less than 3 grand… all at Sams Club. And i got a one year warranty for only 60 bucks more.

    yeah BofA sucks … but you should also consider just how huge of a corporate criminal Best Buy is!

  193. MYarms says:

    A BoA platinum check card doesn’t mean jack. I think they give them out to everyone because I have one and my bank account usually has less than $100 in it. On a side note, BoA finally fixed my access to my online account which I haven’t been able to login to for almost 3 months. After getting the runaround from their customer service I took my issue to the manager of my bank and she helped me personally (and I’m obviously a nobody with little to no money in their bank).

  194. Canoehead says:

    Good for the bank – the amount should be lower. Having these Debit Cards linked directly to your bank account is a terrible idea. I NEVER use the stupid thing to pay at POS and I wish I could remove the function. Why not just plunk down a Credit Card and get the rewards – get one with cashback if you want to be conservative. If you are a cautious person, then go straight home and transfer the funds from your chequing account straight to your credit card (I sometime do this for big purchases – it removes any temptation to spend the money twice).

    Also, most good credit cards have some sort of loss protection (60 or 90 days) – what if the TV got dropped on the way home? I know these are a pain to use, but they got my wife a replacement Treo for one that was lifted from her purse in a bar – I’d bought it for her on ebay using my card through paypal – they weren’t exactly eager to pay, but it was worth about $400 to us so we pursued it. Finally, if you are absolutely detirmined to use your debit card, why not put the TV on it and everything else on a credit card? Please don’t tell me that your only means of payment is one card from one bank? That’s just foolish – what if you are travelling that that bank has a systems outage?

    I swear to god, some folks are just stuck on stupid and looking for problems.

  195. TONY says:

    next time try reading the contract before signing it. theres limitations and penalties when signing up for certain accounts.

  196. Canoehead says:

    The Chase Amazon Credit Card has not annual fee and gives 3% on Amazon purchases and 1% on other purchases back in Amazon coupons. There are other cards that can help pay down your mortgage (veeeery slooowly), etc. If you are lousy with credit cards then don’t carry them on a daily basis – keep them in the safe at home and only use for big purchses.

    And why criticize this guy’s decision to get a big TV – sure it is in no way an investment, but he’s worked hard for his money and wants to enjoy some quality home theatre? Some folks hunt, some ride Harleys – this is how he wants to spend his disposable income.

  197. banmojo says:

    We’ve been banking with BoA for years, never had a problem. Any time an odd charge showed up I’d call the bank manager and she’d correct it for me (not a frequent thing, btw). Always got my check reorders for free, and got an INCREDIBLE deal on our first home mortgage through BoA. What happened to this guy is unfortunate, and I wasn’t aware of their 5000$ check card daily limit (thank you Consumerist! :^) but why WOULDN’T this guy use the BoA Worldpoints Visa?? He’d get back 1% on this (that’s 50 bucks, sir!) PLUS would get an EXTRA 1 year warranty past dealer (oh, Bestbuy? Forget it!) or manufacturer warranty! PLUS he’d be able to reverse the charge if Bestbuy ended up screwing him over on this deal (believe me, I’ve done this (eg. with Ikea) and BoA treated me like a KING, PLUS I got my money WITH tax back into my account.

    #1 this guy was an idiot not to use a cashback Visa card
    #2 this guy was an idiot not to use a Visa card that gives him 1 extra year of full warranty
    #3 BoA should make it easy/fast to access ALL the money in your account, should you need/want to, via your checkcard (provided you sign a waiver stating that you’re accepting the risk if someone steals your card and starts making purchases around town and empties out your account in under one day – in that case YOU should be liable for all those missing funds, NOT BoA who is just trying to protect your account from fraudulent use!)


  198. SpeakerphoneON says:

    “But it’s MY MONEY!”

    And you gave it to a bank. In theory, they’re a little more careful with your money than you are. Screaming at tellers and CSRs because you never read the terms of service only makes you look even more foolish. LOL at the “credit/debit” debate.

    I think the original story is a wild exaggeration born out of being declined at Best Buy and ticked off at BOA. Everything else has just been nature taking her course. How many people make $5000+ purchases on a DEBIT CARD routinely? Purchasing managers maybe. Average consumer, not so much.

    I’ll wait for this to come back around as “I tried to buy a new Scion with my Titanium Visa Check Card and my bank told me I’d have to wait three days AND get permission from the assistant to the regional manager.”

    All your base are belong to us.

  199. bilge says:

    What’s all this about people getting HUMILIATED because their check card wasn’t accepted? Suggestion: Tell the sales person you’ll be back, leave, and call your bank from the comfort and privacy of your home.

  200. pssshwhatever says:

    I work at Best Buy (don’t stone me, we’re not all evil, I swear. Plus, I’m a college student), and daily limits on debit cards are are something that we all have, whether we realize it or not. I usually sell appliances, where most of the purchases total over $1000, and I always advise people to run their card as credit if their purchase exceeds the average. A lot of people get irritated at the implication that they NEED to run it as credit, but most debit purchases over $1000 simply won’t go through. You can usually get around it at that price point by running it as credit, though. I’ve never had a customer try to make a purchase of more than $2000 with a debit card (seriously, folks, get an AmEx).

    To answer a previous poster’s question, we do indeed use Certegy for checks, but I’ve seen checks of several thousand dollar go through just fine. It just depends.

    I had a customer one time try to make a purchase of around $7000 and the bank had frozen her debit card and checking account (she had just moved, and the series of purchases she made in the new location set off their security measures). She called the bank on speakerphone in front of me to see if they could unfreeze it, and I heard the bank rep confirm her checking account balance of over $70,000 to her. Still, they would not let her make the purchase, even after she confirmed her identity to them.

    I’ve seen people with daily limits as low as $800, depending on the bank. It’s often in the fine print of the type of account you sign up for, and people very rarely know about it. Check with your banks, folks!

  201. efesus says:

    DIE BOA, DIE!!!!!!! I avoid them like the black plague. I had a few accounts there when I was young and dumb. But after a series of mistakes on their behalf on my deposits, (my payroll checks came out to $515.15 a week, and I would use the ATM because I hate dealing with the tellers, the deposits were always listed as $51.51). Customer service and the tellers at the branch would get rude and angry when I would ask them to correct their mistake.

    Again, DIE BOA, DIE!!!

  202. CuriousO says:

    @SchecterShredder: and probably using his Sprint cell phone to make the call.

  203. Obi5Kenobi says:

    The OP, Bill, is a friend of mine. What may not have come across in print but did in person when he told me this story is how very, very long he was on hold. Combined with being disconnected at least once and sent to the wrong department as well I can sympathize with him.

    The fact that this was ultimately approved means that it is possible and can be permitted. If it were absolutely against the rules he would have left without a TV. I think that’s where a lot of the frustration comes from. He had to wait so long and jump through so many hoops to get this done. It was ultimately done, why all the hassle?

    The other thing is that, as some have pointed out, he passed all the security checks. There was no question that he was the owner of the account and that the money was his. At that point who was being protected by the limit?

    I can appreciate that BofA has policies and enforces them. I think the policy doesn’t make sense if it denies people their money after proving who they are.

    I should note that I too use BofA and have never had bad service and even had some really helpful people help me out.

    Finally, as for not being familiar with the policy: If his account is like mine it was opened at Baybank. Baybank merged with Bank of Boston to become BankBoston. BankBoston merged with Fleet Bank to become FleetBoston. FleetBoston was bought by BofA. Keeping track of all of this can be a task. The policy he started with may have been very different.

  204. radio1 says:

    BB was not at fault, so stop blaming the guy for shopping at BB.

    BOA is PIA. I agree with the OP. Good God, it’s his money, and he passed the ID qualifications; they should have just immediately given him access.

    And the people here complaining about the guy not using credit or maybe even having enough credit to buy it- shut it. Who cares? The guy had the amount in his account to cover it.

    But then again the last time I bought something that cost that much (a $7k used-card), I had it all in 100’s in nice little envelope because I did not want car hassles.

  205. jimmy37 says:

    Uh, I can’t tell you how many times I took a trip, only to have at least one credit card declined because of their anti-fraud measures. I had to call up the CC Cos and tell them that I am on the road and that everything is cool.

    Moral of the story: Make arrangements ahead of time with your financial organizations if you are going to do something out-of-the-ordinary. It is for YOUR protection.

  206. UnicornMaster says:

    First of all, Why are you buying a Plasma TV from Best Buy for $5800?

    Secondly, everyone should already know that there are limits to a Visa CheckCard, where the penalty for overdraft is multimple NSF fees.

    Lastly, Consumerist is right, you should be using a rewards card with extended warranties and reward points. Points or chashback on a $5800 TV is $58-100.

    Overall, your little attempt at instant gratification cost you hours in frustration and about 50% more money.

  207. zerobane says:


    Some of these comments are very scary…

    At no point should security be a reason to deny YOUR money. I understand that there can be extra checks, that is fine, but in the end there should be a established mechanisms for dealing with a issue like this. A hour on the phone is in-excusable.

    Also the typical corporate mun drum that we provide horrible customer service because of our policies is really getting over-played.

    Then everyone keeps saying that the bofa is protecting you…. This was one of the greatest half truths the bank inddustry has every pulled. The bank could care less about your funds. They do however care that they cannot find you liable for any fraudlent charges. So in the end there are protecting BofA.

    Pure genius in convincing the general public that they make are lifes a living nightmare anytime we travel, purchase 1000+, buy something on ebay or online, etc, is actaully for our protection… ha! Some people even pay extra for this!!! o:

    Evil genius’s

    But i guess thats why they have all the money?

  208. joesixpack says:

    I am American, I work in sales in Mexico, I deal with this problem all the time. However, this is a FOREIGN COUNTRY. We are selling to Americans, the bank flags their acct for big purchases, BUT, it always just takes one phone call for the bank to verify they are who they say they are and the card was not stolen, and they almost ALWAYS will up the limit. And this is to drop a lot more than 5 g. I have also run into this when taking my boat to foreign countries but have always been able to up the limit and get it OK’d. Of course, once I told them that the fuel was already in the boat and we couldnt pump it back out they kind of had no choice, but still….this guy was getting reamed. Probably a schmuck with a pattern of having about twelve bucks in his acct…

  209. trujunglist says:

    Not everyone can get a credit card with a +$5k spending limit, even people with a large amount of money in their bank accounts. See, you have to have this thing called a “credit history” and then banks and other financial institutions “trust” you with their credit cards. Just because you have a lot of money and are making large purchases doesn’t mean you have a (good) credit history.

  210. Obi5Kenobi says:

    “Overall, your little attempt at instant gratification cost you hours in frustration and about 50% more money.”

    Little attempt at instant gratification? Do you realize how condecending and stuck up you sound? You don’t need to make reservations at a Wendy’s and you shouldn’t have to take a bank officer with you to Best Buy to buy a TV.

    Whether or not using a credit card or not would have been smarter as a consumer isn’t the issue. For whatever reason he didn’t use a credit card and shouldn’t have to. He had the money. He proved his identity. End of story.

    As for purchasing at Best Buy, not everybody’s shopping needs are the same as yours. Have you ever returned a 58″ TV that you bought online? The shipping would probably be a few hundred dollars. Also, had you bothered to read and actually comprehend the story you would have noticed that he bought a receiver, speaker system, wall mount, some blue ray movies AND the TV for $5870.69. He didn’t pay $5800 for the TV.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I need to call Wendy’s to reserve a table for six…

  211. UnicornMaster says:


    It’s okay, you can admit that this person is YOU, not a “friend”. Otherwise, I don’t see why you are getting so upset because my comments were mostly sarcastic. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.
    a) I used to work at Circuit City and people with plenty of money would get denied for WRITING A CHECK (which BTW you could have tried) because the system rejected them. They didn’t blame the bank.
    b) Yes, customer service is frustrating especially when dealing with money, so getting transferred and having calls dropped sucks, yes, but it happens.
    c) I’m not defending BoA, i don’t work there or own its stock, it’s just that you wrote into The Consumerist, and as a consumer, I was offering to you other options that involve saving you money.
    d) Finally, did Bank of America actually let you have access to your funds? I think they did. And if anyone were trying to pull $6000 directly out of my cash checking account I would hope it would be difficult.

  212. Obi5Kenobi says:

    @ DeanOfAllTrades

    I have no way of proving that I am not Bill so kudos to you for creating a situation that cannot possibly be resolved. You’re a clever one. I’m interested in this because Bill is a friend of mine and people seem to think this is his fault. I feel bad for you that friendship is such an alien concept. That must be very lonely. To be honest it was your statement of “little attempt at instant gratification” that irked me. As if Bill shouldn’t be able to buy a TV and some electronics on the fly.

    You said:

    “Yes, customer service is frustrating especially when dealing with money, so getting transferred and having calls dropped sucks, yes, but it happens”

    Does not that attitude conflict with the very premise of Consumerist? Essentially you’re saying, “Companies treat their customers poorly, get over it”?

    You said:

    “Finally, did Bank of America actually let you have access to your funds? I think they did.”

    Bill did get his money, which means BofA’s policy is not set in stone. Why all the hassle? Either it can be done or it can’t. If it can he shouldn’t have had to go through so much hassle. If it can’t then they should have told him it can’t be done.

    You said:

    “And if anyone were trying to pull $6000 directly out of my cash checking account I would hope it would be difficult.”

    Even if it’s YOU trying to pull $6000 out of YOUR account? That should be difficult? I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on that one.

  213. UnicornMaster says:


    So one last thing, and we’ll stop this whole flame war you have going on in your head. My point was, yes, you can buy TVs on the internet, and it’s convenient too! I purchased my last TV and receiver on the internet, otherwise I wouldn’t have recommended it. I had it all shipped for $40 directly to my door and saved hundreds off the price and in sales tax. The guys who brought it even offered to set it up on my TV stand. Much easier than trying to fit a 50″ into my Altima. If the Tv or Receiver had not worked (which this one did) they had a free shipping exchange policy. The only bad thing is if you change your mind you’re out the shipping costs. So my comment that ENRAGED you was just a point that if you can wait for something to get shipped, you can save a lot of money and a lot of frustration.

  214. chiefray71 says:

    As a former Bank employee (WAMU)I can say all banks have a spending limit on a check card WAMU has a $500.00 limit per day. The problem with customer service is something most people do not know or understand, we at the call center are punished if our calls last longer than what is set by the Call Center Management based on the type of service provided. My limit was 182 seconds max. anything over that and we were punished I was fired because I actually believed we should provide the best customer service no matter how long it took. Another thing you the customer is not aware of is when you request to speak to a supervisor you’re just being connected to another call center operator designated as such. This person is trained to give you, well, the basic runaround until you either accept what you are being told. If you want anything done DEMAND to speak to the Service representatives, Manager (CSM)but that usually isn’t much good either because I discovered that most of these don’t know what to do either, except how to whip their charges into meeting the time restraints. Also when you are transfered to another department such as the ATM dept you will always be transfered to someone on the bottom of the ladder and you will probably be given another set of runarounds, remember the time limits. Remember to a bank your money is more important than you are god forbid that they have to let you use it. I could go on but You probably get the gist of this. I just wish I could have told some of my customers to get out of the bank and get into a Credit Union.

  215. chiefray71 says:

    @nevergod: I am finding hard to find places that would accept a check for any amount let alone this large purchase. and because of security reasons when the merchant calls to verify if funds are available most banks no longer give that info.

  216. Obi5Kenobi says:

    Dear Dean,

    The “flame war” is not in my head. You yourself are perpetuating it. Your comment that I said “irked” me has now, according to your last post “ENRAGED” me. No, it hasn’t. And accusing me of being a sock for Bill also contributed to making a heated debate into a flame war.

    If your point was that TVs can be purchased online for less money than a brick and mortar store then point taken. I’m guessing that point was taken for most of us years ago but thanks for the reminder. That’s not the issue. The issue is access to money.

    It seemed to me that your point wasn’t so much to save Bill money but to say that all the hassle he went through should be expected and is OK by you. We simply disagree there.

  217. littlewoman47 says:

    We have one CC (platinum)with a self-imposed limit of $1200. Our ATM allows only $300/day withdrawl – no matter what. So our solution… C A S H.

    Of course making plane reservations is difficult (if you pay cash for a ticket – I think it’s $300 – you are under scrutiny as a possible terrorists).

    One thing anyone dealing with banks should know: after closing hours they engage in market activites in the overseas markets by wire with your money. So far every morning it appears like magic back in your account. For now. Just one gitch in world affairs,electronics,etc., though, and millions of us will be suddenly demanding to speak to a plethora of supervisors! Sugggestion: don’t leave any more money in an account than you can afford to lose ESPECIALLY OVER LONG WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS. No card, account, limit is going to be available shortly with BoA into the derivative market for over $40 trillion. Fact. All the 25 major banks are exposed at over $500 trillion in derivatives and the bond market is failing that backs them.
    Sort of makes that plasma t.v. seem almost a Goodwill puchase. By the way, recent Consumer Research reveals that that t.v. will run about $200 per MONTH in electricity. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy !

  218. chiefray71 says:

    @FLConsumer: He was not using it as a debit card he was using as a “check” card it is supposed to be as good as writing a check.

  219. parse says:

    I have no doubts the positive comments about Commerce are sincere, even though they come from employees. As a Commerce customer, I have a different experience with the quality of their customer service. I purchased a gift card at my local branch; when the recipient tried to use it, there was no balance.

    Trying to deal with this, I learned right away the gift card was really provided by some third party, not Commerce. It was extremely difficult to get through to the third-party customer service on the phone, and several attempts to remedy the problem failed.

    I went into the branch–even they couldn’t get through to the Customer Service, which didn’t even give the option of holding for an operator; it went to an answering machine. (This is about 2 in the afternoon.)

    It took a week and 2 visits to the branch to get things straightened out.

  220. Smd75 says:

    I had an issues with BoA one time. I had lost my debit card, which was picked up in a restaurant and held. I went back to get the card the next day, but some one had called the number on the back which cancelled the card. I had already called in and cancelled the card, and they were sending me a new one. When I received the new one I tried to activate the card, but it had already been cancelled because someone called in the card after I had it cancelled. I was going on a trip to new york in a couple days and needed access to the money. I immediately went to the BoA center to get a new card. The lady there, who later I found out was the bank manager, treated me like some dumb college kid who wasnt worth her time. Well, I am a college student, with out a lot of money. Everything was “taken care of.” When I went to with draw from the ATM the next day (sunday), the card wouldn’t work. Fed up with all the stupid games and the way the lady treated me, I went back to the bank and told them I wanted to with draw all my month and close my account. The person helping me was very nice, and i told her the story. She informed me the lady helping me with the bad attitude was the bank manager. I requested to inform the bank manager that she lost a customer. I’ve switched to USAA and never looked back. Every time I call, They treat me like I am the most valuable person in the world, Im not, and they know it, but they still treat me the best. Im avoiding BoA forever now. And after a bad experience with US Bank, doing me a “courtesy” by allowing me to overdraw and charge me $35 every time I do it, Im avoiding them too.

  221. wisepicker says:

    Maybe, BoA is just trying to avoid that the customer might ever experience a fraud.

    But, having to wait so many minutes, and just to be told that there is nothing that they can do, and even worse: “Was there anything else I can help you with?”. Well, it does not speak loud of a bank that is really interested in the customer.

    Certainly, if all this had happened to me, I would send a letter to the General Manager asking for an explanation and suggesting a change in the policies of BoA.

  222. larkknot says:

    A decade or so ago, when I was in my pre-teen or early teenage years, my dad decided to spring for a big-screen TV… I remember he had to basically do a lay-away overnight on it because the limit on his card was $2000 and this was before cell phones and 24/7 national customer service lines. I don’t remember what kind of card it was.

  223. moore850 says:

    BofA turns down a large purchase at Best Buy — I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing given some of the stories here on BB. Granted, you can spend your money how you want…

  224. sarahchirp says:

    Umm…don’t they give EVERYONE PLATINUM check cards. I have one, and I have about $600 in my checking account. This guy sounds like an entitled douchbag. “I need to make this purchase…” It’s a TELEVISION. No one needs a TV that badly.

  225. Papagoose says:

    I have a question, a little off topic, but maybe someone can give me some advice… or am I bette

    I am a BOA customer – i hate the bank, I only opened the account because I was moving from PA to GA last year and need a bank that had branches at both ends of the move to aid in transferring closing monies within the deadlines.

    Here’s the thing – when I close my BOA account (and I definitely am closing it!), am I better off dealing with a different large bank that has all the bells and whistles, or off dealing with a local bank or credit union that has fewer, but better and more personalized service?

  226. unklegwar says:

    I have to disagree with the “use your credit card” summary in the article. Yes, for a TV, that might be sensible, but in the end, it’s the consumer’s choice how much of his/her money to spend, and on what and when.

    What if it were a more critical expenditure?

  227. iwontusebofa says:

    My opinion on this article is that, he can use any card he wants. Who knows why he wanted to use that card.
    The main focus should have been on how terrible bank of America’s service was.
    I am sure there alot of people that have been impacted by bank of America.

    This is my story:

    I am a dissatisfied ex-client of Bank of America.

    As I kept my personal accounts with BOA, and had not experienced any problems, I opened my business account with them as well. My business was doing well, and I took out a bank of America visa business card.

    Shortly after, my business slowed down, as most businesses do. The business card had a balance of just over $14k. For 4 months I was not able to make a payment on the Visa card, and had no funds available in my bank of America business checking account. My Personal checking account had just over $8k and another $2k in my personal savings account. My wife had cashed out her 401k so we could pay for our daughter’s upcoming surgery.

    I received a (yes just one) call from the bank of America’s collection department. They wanted to work out a payment plan. I let them know that I was just going through some difficult times and was not able to structure a repayment at this moment.

    Sure there was about $10k in my personal accounts, but to me my daughter’s surgery was more important. The $10k, along with selling my car was going to cover her surgery.

    Well Bank of America removed ALL the funds from my Personal accounts (both savings and checking) to payoff the business credit card.
    So we called bank of America. The call was redirected to a representative of bank of America who identified himself as Tobias Thompson. He said that BOA had taken the funds to collect the debt on the business credit card. Tobias said that Bank of America had every right to remove these funds as it was in the terms of business agreement. I have read it and still can’t find where Bank of America can take money from my personal account to payoff a business credit card. We even explained to Tobias how the funds in the personal account were for our daughter’s surgery, and that is why we were not able to make payments on the business card.
    They didn’t care!

    I read some of the comments above, and my business was is Corporation, which is in fact it’s own separate entity. I am in the proccess of finding an attorney and fighting, this. I don’t know with what funds, but hopefully I can find one that will take my case.

    Either ways, I found a way to get back at bank of America. I made a blog, and posted google ads on it. Guess who advertises on Google….. Yep you are right!

    Tell your friends about our blog, this is the link ( ).

  228. mosher-392 says:

    I have a BoA credit card that I have had for years (formally MBNA). I have a $14,000 credit limit. Last week I wrote a BoA check to my primary bank for $2,500. Today I receive a notice from BoA that this check was rejected by them and returned to my bank, stamped refer to maker. What is wrong with this picture? I tried to get some satisfaction from Customer Service but with no viable results from them. I am done with BoA!!! Now I have to figure out how to cover checks that I paid on this $2,500. This company is a fraud. Do notuse BoA for a credit card – they are not MBNA!

  229. freedom69 says:

    I hate to say that the whole situation could have been resolved if the merchant had called for a manual authorization as they were instucted to do so by the bank. All the other stuff is your fault for not reading that little piece of paper that they give you when you open the account called “Cardholder Agreement”. All the details are in there.

  230. zerobane says:

    oh my, that post above is a beauty O:

    Nothing like a coporation hiding behind a TOS or “Cardholder Agreement” to provide horrible service…

    Not sure what is worse, the big corparations providing the horrible service or the people who think that this is a “OK” bussiness pratice…

  231. Anonymous says:

    Try using a credit card and not a debit card.

    Limits are placed on your debit card account for your protection. For instance, if the debit card is stolen, you won’t lose all of the money in your account.

    For a credit card, you have a bit more insurance–you have 30 days to settle and can challenge unauthorized charges.

    So, if you decide to eliminate your debit card daily spending limit, you are essentially screwing yourself.

    Try using some common sense before getting angry. A therapist might be able to help with some talk therapy and medication.

    Realize that Bank of America is a very solvent institution. If you decide to immediately close your account because you don’t like their protective measures, be careful. Many other banks are much less solvent. Instead of being denied the transaction because there are safety limits, you might be denied a transaction because the bank is insolvent!

    Or, if you actually have good credit, you could get a credit card. What kind of a fool keeps $10K in a no-interest checking account, anyway?

  232. says:

    Any debt can be dangerous. Credit is good, but only for very few smart people.

    People can sign up for prepaid credit cards and debit cards even
    on my site: Debit Cards