Nick became a customer of Bank of America since 2003, and hasn’t had any major issues, so he has stuck with them. Until now. He works in Afghanistan, and needed to wire some money to his mother. No problem! He just needed to sign up for a free program that lets customers prove their identities before transferring huge sums of money. Free if you’re in the United States and own a smartphone, that is – otherwise he would have to pay $20 for a physical card and wait for it to slowly meander through the military mail system.
Is there any way to get the urgently needed cash to his mom? Nope.
I’ve been a BoA customer since 2003, it was the only national bank that had a branch in the small town where I went to college. Even though I am an avid reader of the consumerist, and have read all the horror stories, I have stuck with them. This changed today.
I work in Afghanistan and had BoA as my primary bank, I used it for billpay, savings, and ad a BoA visa card. Yesterday my mother emailed me saying she needed to do some repairs to her house. I offered to cover the cost and I got her bank info and tried to set up a wire transfer online.
Here’s where the irritation occurs. Her repair bill came to 1275 dollars, no problem, I put that into the wire transfer page but when I hit submit it came back with an error saying I need to sign up for safepass to complete the transfer. I look into and safepass is a program to verify that you are who you say you are before you transfer large sums of money. Its a free program when you are in the US and have a smart phone, but otherwise you have to pay $20 for the safepass card. Military mail being what it is, it would take a few weeks to get to me an my mother needs the funds now.
I called up BoA customer service to see if they could assist me over the phone if I provided my account numbers, social, and verbal password. They flatly said no, that if I wanted to transfer those funds I would have to sign up for the card or make 2 transfers 24 hrs apart. I ended up doing the latter but this has been the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The customer service was crap, they didn’t seem to care that she needed the money or that I am overseas. So, I’ve switched to USAA and am already getting great service.