Over the weekend I got a strange email from Bank of America:
I immediately brushed it off thinking this was a phishing email trying to get me to log into my account, divulging my information to thirsty spammers. But something said go back in and check on that!
I did. It came from Bank of America and had all the authentic markers as having come from Bank of America. I then tweeted Bank of America on Twitter because I was in a rush and knew from past experience that they quickly respond to account holder issues online.
A million things are running around in my head because I have EVERYTHING in my account automated.
Why was it canceled?
There’s no reason given for the cancellation, what the heck is going on?
Is there a new payment address? New due date?
I was pissed because the email was very vague.
If nothing else, my bills are paid on time for this very reason. The way I have my accounts set up is that they are all paid via Online Bill Pay, most of them being electronic and the rest via physical check that the bank sends out to each account. Bank of America happens to be one where it’s electronic and when the bill is posted for the month, my Bill Pay sends a check based on the due date and my predetermined amount.
Bank of America got back to me and asked that I DM my contact info to get started so they’d be able to look into the account and see what’s happening.
You can see here the exchange on Twitter:
My credit card is through Upromise. I signed up for it during grad school. Originally the card was serviced through Citibank. Then Bank of America took it over. A few years later here we are in 2012 and Bank of America relinquishes servicing of the Upromise accounts and transferred it back to Upromise who then transferred servicing to Barclays Bank.
I promise you, I am over Upromise and their uncoordinated bank changes.
This happened a few years ago with Citibank. No notice of the change until some random email comes across my screen telling me that my ebill was cancelled. A few years ago, my card number stopped working out of the blue and I only found out about the issue when I called Citibank to have them tell me that my account was transferred to Bank of America. They had no further information.
At this point I’m thinking, Ok, new bank, new due date, new payment address and my due date is around the freaking corner! Who has this information and how do I log in and set it all up before my due date passes?
I jump online and start tweeting Upromise and Bank of America. I then get on the phone with Upromise through a Bank of America transfer (they called to discuss the situation after my tweets on Twitter) to find out that the new bank has my information and I need to call them to get the information.
Calling Barclays was like coming home after a long day to a warm and inviting house. Once I got on the phone with them and verified my information, I learned that the card was already registered with them online and I would receive my new card this week.
Amidst the exchanges on Twitter between Bank of America and Upromise I see that there are other account holders tweeting Upromise their frustrations about the random account switch:
Our cards were scheduled to be shut off but yet we didn’t have new cards in hand which we need to pay the next statement? I just kept thinking, whoever arranged all of this should be fired. Period. Or this can be a teachable moment:
After talking with Bank of America and Upromise, I was told that a letter was sent out to all account holders in May 2012.
There are 3 issues with that statement.
1. You don’t send a letter to customers in May 2012 for an account transition that will take place in September/October 2012. You send them said message 60 days prior to the transition WITH the card in that letter so they know that this is actually happening
2. You don’t only send a snail mail letter. You send email, letter and robo calls to make sure that everyone gets the message
3. For those of us like myself who don’t get paper statements, how did you expect me to get this letter if I have opted to receive all communications via email?
I have a love/hate relationship with Bank of America and they know this. On the social media end they are quick to respond and remedy issues but on the practical everyday end? They suck. Long hold times and reps who don’t know what’s going on because it’s clear that they all don’t get the same information at the same time. This results in my explaining things over and over again. Further, they lack true customer service. At Bank of America, you can often tell that reps are being worked like stable horses while you have the reps at Barclays answering the phones like they are on vacation at the pool somewhere hot: cool, calm and informed.
My lesson and takeaway from this process is that I need to take these emails seriously and continue checking my accounts monthly. Everything may be automated, but I can’t depend on the banks to understand my plight in getting payments in on time when they cancel my setup with no explanation. After all, if I send my payment late into the wrong address, they get to jack up my interest rate.
I would also never advise signing up for anything with Upromise. They absolutely suck as it relates to customer service and
saying WE APOLOGIZE for the mix up – that I never got from them. See update below. While I was pissed at Bank of America, I give them kudos for getting back with me so quickly and calling me back at the end of the day to make sure everything was squared away. They were genuinely helpful and apologetic for the issues caused during the transition.
My next step will be to figure out how I can transfer my account via balance transfer back to Bank of America or completely with Barclays since I don’t want anything to do with Upromise again, ever. Upromise lost a customer and I’m not alone in that assertion. I’ve been with them long enough to know that when things like this happens on a continuous basis they have no value for me as a customer.
Upromise just called me to apologize. 2 days after I left a message to speak to a manager. I’m sure they are nice people but they have to begin thinking about these transitions from an account holder’s perspective.