UPDATE: Bank Of America Has No Idea Whether It Treats Parking Meter Payments As A Cash Advance

Remember our reader who tried to use his Bank of America debit card on a parking meter and was charged a $10 cash advance fee? One of our commenters did a little investigation on our story and got two conflicting responses from Bank of America.

In two comments to the original post, reader Varro reports that a normal CSR confirmed that Bank of America treats parking meter payments as a cash advance, but when a city employee contacted Bank of America’s government relations rep, the rep dismissed the cash advance charge as an “error.” Below are the two comments:

A response to my e-mail to B of A:
Thank you for your inquiry dated 6/29/08 regarding (your card). We are happy to assist you. You may access cash with your credit card up to the credit line; however please keep in mind of your transaction fee associated along with each cash transaction.

Bank of America will now convert charges from parking meters, court fines, and parking tickets into a cash charge. The transaction fee for each cash transaction is three percent with a minimum of $10.00 and no maximum cap.

We appreciate the opportunity to assist you online. Should you have any further inquiries, please e-mail us again. Thank you for choosing Bank of America. We value your business and look forward to serving your banking needs.

Varro asked a reporter friend to check it out further:

But here’s what happened when Ms. Ruiz talked to a City of Portland employee who then contacted B of A…:

(B of A Rep) said that there was an issue early this year whereby some municipalities were encoding parking meter transactions incorrectly. The issue was identified and corrected by May 5.

Bank of America does not charge a cash advance transaction fee to use parking meters. Parking meter payments are treated as purchases. There is no associated fee for this transaction.

Below is the actual statement she said that their Government Banking Merchant Group sent her regarding the payment of parking tickets:

“Bank of America does not consider payments of parking tickets as cash advance fees. There was a coding error for a brief period in April and we worked with the District of Columbia to correct it and credited any fees back to our customers.”

As far as we know, there was no such problem in Portland.

What’s the real story here, Bank of America? Was this a snafu or was it intentional?

(Photo: mbeldyk and dM.nyc™)