I hate paying those draconian credit card late fees just about more than anything. Therefore I am extremely careful to make sure my credit card bills are always paid in a timely manner.
Apparently, that's not good enough, not for Bank of America anyway. For example, last month my BoA Visa card had a minimum payment due of $57.00 on October 1, 2011, so I scheduled an automatic payment from my BoA checking account to my BoA credit card account, using the Bank of America Bill Pay service. All very "in-house", all very proper. Scheduled it a week in advance on September 26, 2011 and plenty of money in the checking account. See below. So no problem right?
So imagine my surprise when I received my November bill and found that I had been charged a $25.00 late fee together with an additional buck fifty in interest for a total of $26.50.
Why? According to their own statement, they received my $57.00 on October 1st, from my BoA checking account, through their electronic payment system, but they didn't post it until 2 days later on October 3rd. See details from my statement below:
So apparently I have been charged $26.50 because they posted the payment late??? Can this be legal?
Naturally I called BofA to ask them what the story was. That was on October 14th, 10:20 in the morning. I was on the phone for more than 8 minutes. I explained my complaint and they pulled the records, which agreed with mine. When I asked the nice lady on the other end what was taking so long, she said that she was trying to see if they could "waive" the late fee.
I explained that I wasn't asking them to "waive" the late fee. Waiving the fee is what you ask them to do once they've caught you in an error. I just wanted them to correct their error. I asked her to call me back when they had figured it out. She said she couldn't call back. I said I couldn't stay on the phone any longer and hung up.
Now I'll send my complaint via snail-mail, they love that, file a formal complaint with the controller of the currency, and possible also sue them in small claims court. I will recover my $26.50, but what really bothers me is that they regularly skim from their customers with tricks like this. For those that catch the ploy on their bank statements and spend the time on the phone to correct it, they may "forgive" the fee, for the rest, it's all good money for the BoA.It may add up to millions stolen from the bank's customers and nobody ever goes to jail for this type of bank robbery.
Coincidently I also saw last month that Bank of America was reporting an upswing in customer late fees. From HuffPost Business on October 18, 2011 we have:
BofA Reports First Increase In Customer Late Payments In A Year
NEW YORK (AP) -- Bank of America Corp. on Monday reported a small increase in customer late payments for September.
It was the first increase Bank of America reported for delinquencies, as they are known in the industry, in a year, and echoed similar increases reported by other major card issuers.
Delinquencies are an important indicator of future default.
Now I'm wondering if my personal experience is related to this report. Is Bank of America fabricating late payment figures for their own creepy reasons?
All Night, All Day Occupy L.A!