It’s starting to dawn on me why there are people in this land that hate banks.
A couple of weeks ago, I opened up an checking account with the Bank of America, what they call an “eBanking” account. I deposited the necessary money from my Walmart debit card to get it started. I did all this because if my book writing career takes off, it would make much more sense to get royalties deposited electronically into the bank account as opposed to getting a phyiscal check.
What they don’t bother to tell you is it’s the only time you can use a different debit card to make deposits. Nor do they tell you that with the opening of the account, you get a debit card automatically.
Fast forward to the Friday after Thanksgiving. I get the first wave of information in the mail, which didn’t include a debit card. There was no information in BOA’s mailing that I’m about to receive one, so I order one.
The next day I get a debit card in the mail. Uh oh. Now I have two debit cards, and a mess on my hands.
That’s because BOA doesn’t really bother to warn you that there’s a fee for getting a replacement card.
So on Friday, I get debit card number two. The number is the exact same as debit card number one, so I assume the PIN number would also be the same.
Right? Wrong, and that’s what I get for making assumptions. The PIN number is totally different, spitting out my debit card every chance it gets at the ATM machine.
(Actually, after initially putting up this blog post, I checked all the mail I got from BOA the past 10 days or so. When I received the second debit card, there’s nothing in that piece of mail that suggested that the PIN number had changed. Ah ha!)
Did I mention that because of all of this…and I’ll use a nice word here…folderol, I’ve overdrawn my account? Well, now I have. Wasn’t too hard after all.
I call up Bank Of America’s customer service line, and explain the situation. They tell me to go see one of the tellers to make the deposit and reset my pin number. Huge problem with that; because I have a “eBanking” account, if I use the teller just once, it costs me $8.95 in the month I decide to use said teller.
As you can see, the situation is deteriorating. But I maintain my calm. I go to the teller. The teller informs me that I should go see one of those assistants in the cubicles on the other side of the building to get my PIN number reset, which resolves the problem. Right?
Wrong again. I go to the ATM machine inside of the bank, give it my new PIN number…patooey! It spits my debit card out again. I go back to the same assistant and ask: what gives?
The nice lady tells me that I have to wait 24 hours or so before I can use the ATM again. While I nod and smile and say thank you, I’m trying very hard not to get angry, which I succeed at. I’m thinking: lady, you could have told me this a few minutes ago, so why didn’t you?!? Again, I’m not getting information from BOA that I need WHEN I need it. It just seems to my somewhat biased view at the moment that they withhold certain information from you in an attempt to entrap you into being subject to fees.
So I bite the bullet, and make my deposit the old fashioned way. When the $8.95 service fee comes up, I intend to appeal it. I think I have a good case.
And just when I think the problem is solved, it festers up again. I try and order some books on Kindle, and now it is having problems with my Bank Of America debit card. I assume that’s on a 24 hour hold, too.
It’s just one of those days where the shit keeps rolling at me. So my mission the rest of the day is just to get past it. Tomorrow, the story will be a little different. How can I be responsible when full disclosure of what I’m responsible for is being withheld from me?