Clark Howard vs. Bank of America

The AJC has a write up on the Clark Howard story about his call to close accounts at BOA.

The gist of the story is that Bank of America arrested a guy for check fraud and the guy was innocent. He spent 11 hours in jail and incurred $14,000.00 to clear his name. Clark is now on a tear against BOA, which won’t reimburse the guy his legal fees.

I’m really torn (and I’m a BOA user). I’m sympathetic to Clark’s call, but I also am sympathetic to the business that might have gotten shafted. At the same time, I will agree with people in the story that Bank of America has gotten increasingly impersonal.


  1. SpaceyG says:

    I hate BOA, yet I bank there. I hate BellSouth, yet I pay them my good $$$ for virtually all of my communication services, ISP, etc. The thought of moving to other places at this point in the deeply entrenched, e-game though is just daunting, especially for someone as lazy as me. So yeah, everybody do as I say and not as I do, and switch to other service providers. That’ll show ’em!

    I guess it all would be a real burning issue if:
    a.) you’re getting screwed like the dude mentioned above, or
    b.) you still expect some kinda human interaction out of daily, minor business transactions

  2. mercergirl says:

    You know, I find all banks do stuff like this. I’m all the time on top of Wachovia for some kind of random fees, however I usually manage to talk my way into getting the fees back. ( $1,000 over a six month period- that should be incetive enough to sttay on top of them)

  3. CobbGOPer says:

    I hate BOA too, but unfortunately you’re likely to get poor service at any of these big banks. And you can bank at one of the small banks, but they don’t have as many branches (inconvenient) and you might face charges for using other banks’ atm, or various other (mostly inconvenience-related) issues. I’ve been with BOA for nearly 15 years now, and have always hated their service and approach to customers, but really, you’re gonna get the same out of Wachovia or Suntrust (wait, they aren’t around anymore right?) or whomever. It’s the price we pay for the convenience of having a bank on every corner.

  4. Jeff Emanuel says:

    Spacey, you’ve sort of got a point. Charter Comm. is the worst cable, internet, and customer service I’ve had the displeasure of paying for — yet, in regions like mine, they are the only provider available. Kind of makes it hard for customers to speak out by walking away.

  5. newgeorgian06 says:

    I think some of you are missing the point here. Bad customer service and fees are one thing, being thrown in jail is a completely different matter. Are y’all saying other banks throw you in jail when you try to cash a fraudulent check?

  6. Jen says:

    Are y’all saying other banks throw you in jail when you try to cash a fraudulent check?

    Most banks use the courts as a collection agency.

  7. Donkey Kong says:

    It’s bad management–I’m a former BOA employee. Poor management has led to disgruntled employees, which has translated to lousy customer service. They still have some great people there, but they are retiring or leaving by the droves.

  8. Donkey Kong says:

    Even the refusal to refund the poor guy’s legal fees I think can be blamed on poor management. The current leadership is so focused on $$$ that they forget what really drives profit–customers. Forget them, and you can forget $$$.

  9. Until Bank of America applogises and pays his $14,000 in legal fees in having him (the 1st victim of the scam) being victimized twice. They should be ashamed of them selves and also applogieses to Clark Howard.

  10. StevePerkins says:

    I started banking online with NetBank about 6 or 7 years ago, and never looked back. As I see it, the ONLY advantage to banking with a physical bank is no-fee access to ATM’s. However, I use cash so seldomly that I can take out a few hundred bucks every few months and be fine. The buck or two I pay in ATM fees is made up for by the fact that I draw interest on my checking acount (with no minimum balance) at a significantly higher rate than I would at a big physical bank.

    Plus, I’m not reamed up the rear on miscellaneous fees for low balance, excessive withdrawals… none of that. Some banks these days want to CHARGE you for online access… are you #$%# kidding me?!? I don’t know why you people still put up with all that.

  11. jm says:

    I seem to remember I had an account with First Union where if I actually spoke to a live person I was charged $8. That bank has changed hands several times and I am now with Wachovia, and I don’t know if that policy still applies to me but in the last ten years I have only used a teller for 1) cashing a savings bond 2) depositing spare change 3) setting up the account whereby thereafter I would get charged $8 for speaking to a live person. So, no, I don’t really miss the customer service.

  12. jsm says:

    My ‘hometown’ bank doesn’t charge me for talking to a teller, internet banking, or ATM transactions. I rolled a 401k account into an IRA through their investment dept, and they didn’t charge me anything for their services nor do they charge me for financial advice. My ING savings account seamlessly transfers money to my ‘hometown’ bank checking account whenever I need it.

    There are benefits to having the ability to sit and talk with someone local about your finances, and as long as ‘hometown’ banks exist without megabank-style fees, I’ll use one.

    IMO, having a good balance of personal banking and self-serve financial control is optimal. Credit cards make the brick & mortar mega-banks unnecessary.

  13. Demonbeck says:

    I was thinking about making the switch from Walkallovaya to BoA – because of terrible service. Now what do I do?

  14. Doug Deal says:


    I have had a Suntrust account for 10 years, and have been pretty satisfied with them. I have also had Walkallovaya, and BoA in the past, and every experience I have had with both has been terrible.

  15. Demonbeck says:

    I am starting to wonder if the customer service folks at Walkallovaya, transferred there from the Dicksover Credit Card company

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