Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Closing a Bank of America Savings Account

Simply go to the bank, show your photo ID, and tell them that you would like the account closed. They punch some buttons on the computer, give you the balance of your account in cash or a cashier's check, sign on the line and it is closed...unless you are me.

Trip one to the bank was at the end of January. After deciding to close the savings account I had opened for Isabella because it was earning virtually no interest. I believe the interest rate was .3% or something rediculous like that. I decided it would be better to just add a sub-account to my ING account to put her money in, which was making over 3% at the time. I had some other business to take care of at the bank so I had gone in and waited my turn to talk to a teller. I told her that I wanted to close the account and just have the balance transferred to my checking account. She asked why I was closing it, as she is probably directed to do, and I told her that B of A's rates were horrible. She agreed, gave me a slip that showed my balance of zero on the savings account, and my balance in my checking account which reflected the transfer of funds from the now closed account.

Through February and March the account still showed up when I logged into my online banking and ATM, so I looked at the account activity online. It showed that there was 1 cent paid into the account in February as interest, then it was removed, and that the account had a balance of zero dollars.

Trip two to the bank was in March. I calmly came into the bank and again waited my turn to talk to a teller. I told her that I had closed the account but that it was still open. After looking it up she discovered that there was "no closure code" put in when it was closed, which caused it to stay open, and then accrue a $2.99 maintanance fee for having too low of a balance. She called the manager over and he appologized for the error, informed me that the fee would be reversed, and assured me that the account would now be closed but would take a statement cycle before it was removed from the system. This seemed reasonable so I thanked them both and left.

The next statement cycle ended at the end of March and the account was still showing up. I thought that maybe since it was mid-cycle when I went in in March that I would give them April too for fixing the problem. April and May snuck by me. I was busy, cut me some slack! Come June, the account was still not gone. What did I have to do to get this dang account closed?

Trip three to the bank I was very frustrated and asked immediately to speak with the manager. I was informed that the manager was not in, but the assistant manager was, and that if I took a seat in one of the comfy chairs, she would be right with me.

I explained to this woman that I had tried to close this account twice and that it was still open. She said that there was no "close code" on it and got one of her lackies to call the help desk to figure out what the issue was. After about twenty minutes she told me that they would take care of it and that the account would probably be closed in 120 days. I told her that 120 days was not reasonable and that I wanted it closed as soon as possible. She sent an e-mail to whatever department might be able to close it sooner, but said that she was guaranteed a response back within 48 hours and that she would call me two days later to let me know what they said. I was irritated, but with her guarantee that she would call I left.

Trip four to the bank was on the third day after I had not recieved a call from the assistant manager when she said that she would call me. She saw me come in and I could tell that I instantly stressed her out. I told her that I wanted to talk to the real manager and not her. Of course, he wasn't there again. (Does that guy ever work?) She said that she didn't call because she passed the buck on to the manager and he should have called me but didn't. I said that this whole process has been rediculous and that I wanted her to get on the phone with whoever it takes to tell me exactly why the account was still open, what needed to be done to close it, and what date it would be closed by. 120 days was not an option. It had already been five months. She called someone at the tech department, and they couldn't tell her what the problem was. They suggested that she just close the account the old fashioned way by submitting the closure paperwork instead of finagling the computer system to "try" and close the account.

I was so irritated that I didn't even know what to do. She said that she would submit the paperwork and that in 3 days I could come in and see if it worked. How rediculous is it that she couldn't/wouldn't guarantee that the account would be closed? I made a plan to come in 3 days later, when she and the manager would both be working so that I could at least chew the ass of a slightly higher-up if this attempt failed.

Trip five to the bank and I ran into the assistant manager leaving as I got to the bank. She threw her hands up in the air as if I was mugging her and said, "It is closed! I have to go to a dentist appointment, but you can have the manager show you if you want. Bye."

I went to the ATM and finally the account didn't show up. I went home and it didn't show up in my online banking either. I am finally free...ahhh!