Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Power to the People, Part II

Remeber this post? Well, here's the conclusion. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's been 9 months, blah blah whatever. Do you want to know what happened or what?

Well then, stop with the bitching and read, dammit.

...

N, having previously worked for a bank, knew that calling on a Sunday afternoon would get us nowhere. Instead, he planted his tired ass in the parking lot on Monday morning, after a full night's work, to wait for the bank to open so he could talk to someone in person. Why he thought he needed to talk to them in person was beyond me. I got the waiting-for-a-business-day thing, but in my (correct) opinion, a phone call on said business day would have sufficed. Ring ring, chat chat, kiss kiss, have a nice day, thankyouverymuch! Yes no?

But I digress.

N was told by a minion of Satan cashier that the fees wouldn't post until midnight so there was nothing that could be done until Tuesday morning. Technically, the fees were still pending. So even though our balance had a huge red negative, technically we weren't overdrawn.

Yeah, right.

So N, not having learned his lesson the first time determined to get this taken care of, was once again in the parking lot on Tuesday morning (N's new hours* are 7pm to 7am, which means he normally goes straight to bed upon arriving home). On Tuesday morning, N was directed by a minion of Satan cashier to Satan himself the bank manager. Satan The bank manager appeared to be listening politely while N explained that while we would be happy to pay the $10 transfer fee, we were requesting that the o/d fees to be reversed because it was only by bank error that they were there in the first place. Pull the money from our card, charge us the ten bucks and reverse the ridiculous o/d fees sitting there in gloating triumph on our account. To our credit, N had deposited his paycheck over the weekend so we did at least have a positive balance at the time of this little meeting, even after the staggering o/d fees were assessed. Also to our credit, we were not repeat offenders - this was only the second time in over two years of being with BofA that we had overdrawn.

The one snag was that I had requested the o/d protection to be moved to my credit card so long ago that Satan the bank manager was unable to access any record showing that I did so. He had to take N's word that I had indeed called and asked for this change.

Does this sound unreasonable to you? Of course not. It wouldn't sound unreasonable to any normal human being with half a brain and a modicum of customer service savvy.

Apparently, though, "normal", "brain", and "customer service" were not the words of the day. Satan The bank manager told N that really, there just wasn't anything poor little ol' him could do about it. He didn't have any proof that such a change had been requested and he just couldn't make $175 in fees disappear. Out of the goodness of his heart, however, he magnanimously reversed $43 of the charges.

Forty. Three. Dollars.

Out of one hundred seventy five.

Forty three dollars!!

N was totally exhausted at this point (working all night and then losing sleep two days in a row to deal with Satan and his minions will do that to a person), so he just accepted the verdict and left the bank. He called me on his way home, too tired to realize that was probably not the best course of action ... I have been known to kill maim the messenger in times past (my bad).

Let me tell you, I was LIVID. INCENSED. PISSED-OFF beyond all description. Smoke was pouring out of my ears and my eyes glowed demon-red. My hands turned into claws and my mouth grew fangs. I was growling and cursing in languages that no longer exist. If thoughts could kill, Satan the bank manager would have been all the way past dead and into decomposing, right there at his desk.

My co-workers were startled, to say the least.

Recalling that I look horrible in orange and that jumpsuits really aren't in style this season, I managed to pull myself together. I called (remember, ring ring, chat chat, and all that?) and without getting into the back-story of Nathan's conversation with Satan the bank manager -- no need to clutter up conversation with details -- I calmly and professionally explained the problem to the cheerful representative who had the shitty luck privilege of answering my call.

Said representative was very sympathetic (possibly picking up on the fact that I was almost beyond reason at this point) but told me I would have to speak with the manager, who - surprise, surprise - was not available at this particular moment, and could she take a message? I wanted to tell her to shove her message-taking into a place normally reserved for toilet paper, but I restrained myself. I politely said I'd be happy to leave my name and number so that Satan he could call me at his earliest convenience.

Not *my* earliest convenience, mind you. His. His freaking convenience, which, by the way, I had the sneaking suspicion would be NEVER. But alas, one who intends to win the game must first play the game, so I gave my contact information and sweetly thanked the message-taker.

And then I sat at my desk and waited for the phone to ring.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And at 5:00 pm, when I shut down my computer and left the office for the day, I was still waiting, unsurprised and unamused.

In the car on the way to pick up the kidlings, I called the BofA Big Brother customer service number. I tried to avoid the pointless exercise of explaining the issue by just asking flat-out to be transferred to a specialist, since I knew a peon phone answerer first-line customer service rep wouldn't be able to help me. However, the man who likes to waste everyone's time gentleman insisted on hearing my story, on the off chance that I was wrong about his lack of assisting ability. I rapidly spit the whole thing out in about 12.42 seconds and amazingly enough, was told that he just didn't have the power to reverse these fees. (Obviously, Satan hordes every last drop of power at BofA until there's just nothing left to go around.) The time-wasting gentleman transferred me to a higher power demon account specialist.

The higher power demon account specialist got an earful, and although it was a polite and professional earful, it was an earful nonetheless. By the time I finished talking, it was Rocky-Mountains-sparkling-crystal-clear how aggravated I was. I explained exactly what I thought of bank managers who blow off the concerns of customers in good standing and then try to pacify said customers with a random refund that has no correlation whatsoever to the fees in question. I explained that I did not appreciate being ignored for an entire business day by said manager, who was apparently too incompetent to actually pick up the phone and address the issue at hand. I explained, as I had to every single person who had previously heard this story, that I would be more than happy to pay the transfer fee. I explained that if this was not taken care of, RIGHT. NOW., I would feel the immediate and unavoidable need to close my accounts. All of them. Done. So long, goodbye and thanks for all the fish.

The only person worth a crap at BofA account specialist, being on the receiving end of this deluge, waited patiently for my ranting to finish. She responded with exactly the right note of empathy and apology (hey, I know when I'm being played). Then, within about 3.68 seconds of hearing me out, she hit a few teeny tiny little buttons on her keyboard and POOF! All account fees reversed.

Deleted.

Gone.

Vanished like cocaine up Kate Moss's nose.

No $10 transfer fee, no nothing.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank the only person worth a crap at BofA God Almighty, I'm free at last!

And that, my friends, is how you stick it to The Man.


*These were new hours when I started this post 9 months ago. Yeah yeah, blah blah.

1 comment:

Tanya said...

Can I have you handle any problems I might ever have with my bank???

Mom