Corey admits that he messed up. He was the one who didn’t keep as close track of his transactions as he should have, and overdrafted his account. It was Bank of America‘s policies, however, that resulted in his being hit with fifteen overdraft fees at $35 each, for a total of $525 over the course of a weekend. Corey knew that he was in the wrong, but thought that these fees were unfair, and also more than he could afford. So what did he do? He used what he’s learned from reading Consumerist to make his case to the people in charge.
I wanted to share a phenomenal success story I just recently had with Bank of America and those pesky overdraft fees.
To start with I want to acknowledge that I was 100% in the wrong in this case, but the variables were blown to mammoth proportions. I just recently moved into a new apartment and had written the check to my landlord on the 30th of May or so. I thought that he had cashed the check and I still had quite a bit of money left over which was great because I had a great many essentials I had to buy for my new/first apartment. Cleaning supplies, shower curtain, rental van etc. Unbeknown to me at the time my new landlord cashed the check on Friday and I was shopping for said essentials at various stores.
The weekend went off without a hitch moving wise and I was happy in my new place. I go to check my account on Monday to find that I was about 300 dollars overdrawn, mostly smaller transactions and that there were more on the way. Needless to say I was a bit distraught and the small purchases I had made started to rack up all incurring 35 dollars a pop.
So I decided to call Bank of America to see what my options were and possibly contest a few. Long story short, they were unwilling to do anything.
The next day I decided that I was going to go in to a branch and close my account to prevent my direct deposit from going in so I could avoid having to pay the total amount outright and be better able to pay my mid monthly bills. It was a no go, I couldn’t close an account that was in the red and once again they were unwilling/unable to help me in any way.
More transactions went from pending to over drafted. All told I ended up with 15 overdraft fees amounting to $525 in fees alone. A hefty sum to be sure.
Being an avid reader of the Consumerist for a couple years or so, I remembered the notion of an executive email carpet bomb (recent article as well). So I set about crafting the email explaining the situation, stating that I have no problems with overdraft fees on large purchases but 37 dollars for a coffee from Dunkin Donuts was a bit much to swallow.
A bit nervous I hit send and began the waiting game, to no avail. Today while at work I received a call from an unknown number, figuring that it was a credit collector hearkening my financial downward spiral I ignored it. They left a message though and curiousity got the best of me. A pleasant man named George from the office of the CEO had left a message notifying me the fees were to be removed and he left a number for me to call. I immediately called after that and spoke to him for about 5 minutes telling me about the notification systems they have available to me and a little bit of light lecturing.
I just checked my account and the fees were indeed returned. Needless to say a large weight has been lifted off of my shoulders.
See what a polite, well-crafted letter can do?
Go here to learn how to craft and launch your very own Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb.