Terrible Customer Service – Bank of America Edition

How come so many companies are so absolutely, disgustingly terrible at online customer service? You email them some straight forward questions and it seems like the reps are trained to duck and dodge and avoid the questions. You ask them again, and get something completely unrelated to the original question. It’s like they don’t even fully read and understand your questions, and just fire off something as quickly as possible.

Last night I placed an order online for some cycling stuff. Not much, about $22. Immediately, Bank of America sent me an email telling me that I was trying to commit fraud and that they are suspending my account. I wait till morning and, indeed, I cannot access my account. I email them and ask what exactly is going on. They basically refuse to help me and I have to use some website to prove who I am.

I go there, it asks for my credit card number, last four, mother’s maiden name, etc.. Scary stuff, especially after the bank has just told me I was trying to commit fraud. I go through with it. They ask me questions about my car loan that is through another bank. Why in the world are they looking that up?? I go with the flow.

I go back to email and tell them I did their dog and pony show and ask them what it was all about. I very directly ask them what it was all about, and they just say it was an out of the ordinary charge. What? I’ve purchased from 4 different bike shops since the 17th (the current statement) alone, why did that one transaction make them decide I was committing fraud? They don’t answer and dodge the question and I end up getting an explanation of what a pending charge is after I ask to have a manager, or someone that knows what is going on, get in touch with me.

So, Bank of America, why are your online reps so bad? Why do they dodge my questions?

Update: I’ve exchanged a couple more emails and these people absolutely refuse to let me talk to anyone with any sort of authority in the company. I’ve been with NationsBank / MBNA / Bank of America for 13 years now and cannot get someone to actually help me. What does it take?

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