A shadowy figure emerges from even darker shadows to reveal the umber-colored world that is the Bank of America Collection department. It is a place so fell that it cannot be even spoken of directly and is instead referred to as “Customer Assistance.” A cruel joke? Perhaps. “I never expected to be working for such an evil company. but they were the only ones hiring,” says our tipster who has some tough-love advice for all you deadbeats out there so he doesn’t have to call you up and demand your money. Because he will find you, and he will get you.
“I have come across heartbreaking stories and I have spoken to just plain jerks,” says our Bank of America insider. “Here is some of what I have learned so far.”
* First of all, use credit wisely, don’t spend more than you can afford, because I will find you and I will collect on you.
* The bank does not read minds, if you are having trouble paying your bill, CALL US AND LET US KNOW, we can work with you, there are arrangements that can be offered, we work with debt management (most of which are non-profit) and we also have several programs to help protect your credit.
* You may have credit protection, if you are paying for it and you need it, USE IT, if not then CANCEL IT!
* Not answering your phone and ignoring the collection calls is not going to solve your problem.
* If you simply don’t feel like paying for credit that you used as a way of “teaching us a lesson,” (I’ve actually heard this before ad nauseam) just know that we are the largest financial institution in the United States, 1 out of every 4 Americans is a customer, you are only hurting yourself.
[ed. I don’t know what this is supposed to mean but it sounds impressive.]
* Simply saying you are declaring bankruptcy doesn’t stop the calls, we need information from your attorney, sometimes working with us is way cheaper than paying for an attorney as well.
* Changing your phone number or your address will only buy you a little bit of time, we will find you, and the time it does buy you just hurts your credit.
* When we do speak to you and you do agree to give us a payment over the phone listen and write down the dates of payments, we have to read you disclosures and if you don’t have sufficient funds you will be hit with penalties.
*We are constantly monitored, and if we take a payment that is unauthorized we are terminated immediately.
*I believe this may have happed to consumerist reader chris (Why Did Bank Of America Take Money From My Personal Account To Pay My Business Debt?) in this posting.
– upon speaking to a cardholder who is in past due, we offer them a phone payment, is it convenient, secure, and it reflects immediately, but we do not take the money out of your account until a date that you give to us. If you have a non-BofA account you have to provide all of the information, if you are with BofA we can access your account number and set a payment but ONLY WITH YOUR PERMISSION. – here is where my previous point applies, Pay attention to what you are authorizing, otherwise we take the payment and you are left wondering what the heck just happened, we have you recorded authorizing us to take the payment.
*Now some unscrupulous associates may cut corners, if you have an issue with a payment, just call us and we will investigate, if it was truly unauthorized you can get a refund (even for penalties caused by the transaction) and corrective action will be done.
*You don’t know when you will need credit, protect it.