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I got fired as a customer from Bank Of America

March 31, 2005

It seems I was just fired from my bank. It seems that in the world of customer service, sometimes if you get fucked over by the bank, they try to make it all better by making you go away.

A few weeks ago on March 2nd, I was in a Bank of America trying to make a deposit. I filled out the deposit slip the same way I have filled it out since I started banking with the company in 1989. I put my name down and I filled in the account number, I listed the checks on the back and I totaled the amount, I brought the total amount forward, I endorsed the checks and I went up to the cashier to deposit them.

So I go up to the Dena Bainbridge, the cashier at the Aurora Village Branch and I hand her the deposit slip, the checks and my Bank of America debit card which has my photo emblazoned on the card. She smiles, she looks at my deposit slip and hands the whole pile back to me and says, "I can't take this. You need to fill out the entire deposit slip."

"It is filled out," I say.

"No, you need to fill out the entire slip in full. I need your address, telephone number and signature."

"Why?" I ask.

"Because it is bank policy," she says.

"Well I've never heard of the policy before. You don't have to sign it unless you are withdrawing cash."

"It's the bank policy and I need you to fill this out." Then she pushes the slip aside to help the next customer.

"But wait, we're not finished here."

"I need you to fill out the slip or I can't help you."

So she helps this African guy. And when I mean African guy, I mean a guy from Africa. He smiles, greets her with some sort of accent and hands her the deposit slip just like I did a few seconds ago before I was brushed aside.

She punches up his account number and looks up at him, pushes the deposit back at him and says, "I can't take this deposit. You have an First Choice Account (or whatever the free checking account is) and you can only make deposits at an ATM. The guy has this look on his face like he doesn't really understand what happened and that just makes me mad. Would it kill this woman to explain where the guy has to go or maybe call the customer service person who greets customers to show this guy what to do or since he already had the account information pulled up to simply take the money and explain why he cannot do what he wants to do? I am not much for people or rules that jerk people around just to jerk them around and this rule just screams out stupid and pointless.

So Dena calls up the next customer skipping over me and so I get a bit indignant like I can and I say, 'Excuse me, you are not done with my transaction."

"I cannot help you until you fill out the slip."

So I looked at her in the eyes and I projected the most threatening evil thoughts I could think of and I said, "let me speak to your manager." So she says, "I am with a customer right now," leaving me fuming.

So finally she gets the Steve Engleson the manager and I explain in front of her how she was rude to another customer, she was being rude to me and I have never heard this rule before that I have to fill out the slip in its entirety."

"Well, the manager says, "that's the bank policy and I cannot help you unless you fill out the slip."

"Well wait a minute," I counter, "if I dropped the slip into the ATM or the night deposit or the inside deposit thing, you deposit the check without any issues. Why do you insist on this rule if a customer is standing in front of you with valid ID? I mean look, my check card has my photo imprinted on it."

The manager stands by the rule.

"Can you show me this rule?"

"No I cannot."

"So how do I know you are not making this up when I have never been confronted with this rule in my entire history of dealing with this bank?"

"That is the bank policy!" He is losing his patience and thats fine with me. So often we "customers" are confronted with rules that simply make no sense and they never have to deal with them. It's just their customers that get hit with a non-stop barrage of crap that have to wade through this rule or other rules like the one where it takes 2 to 3 business days for a deposit to clear from an ATM, even though the entire bank staff will claim up and down that it's not a rule, but when you deposit a check because the bank is closed and they wait 2 or 3 days for the deposit to clear, it becomes pretty apparent that the rule indeed exists. But then it's too late to see a teller, you have to suffer through wondering when you can draw on the money or if your automatic payment for your mortgage is going to clear.

Finally, I got the manager to fill out the form for me and deposit the amount in the bank. It was like a little victory. I won out over a bullshit rule which exists for no good reason other than to waste ink on a line on a form that was originally printed in April of 1992. It says so in the lower right corner.

So last night I am trying to make a deposit in the bank branch that is at a grocery store. It's close to closing time and I hand the woman my deposit slip which is filled out the same way I have always filled them out. The teller takes the deposit and attempts to deposit the amount and says, "I'm sorry sir, your checking account was closed."

"What! When?" I asked.

"Today." she replied.

"Why was it closed?"

"I can't tell. It looks like fraudulent activity."

"What? W-w-what kind of activity?"

"I can't tell sir. You'll have to call customer service. I have to close now." and she closed the window and left me with two endorsed checks and no place to put them.

So I call customer service in a panic to find out what happened. I talked to some guy named Trevor and he couldn't tell me what happened. He just said that it was closed by a division of the bank that deals with fraud. That division is closed and I would have to call back in the morning. He promised to call me.

The next morning I get a call from Trevor. Yes, my account was closed, but he couldn't give me any details. He does a bit more checking and finds out that the bank was alerted to possible fraud by me on my account, so they chose to terminate my account and no longer do business with me.

And just like that, I was fired by Bank of America as a customer.

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