Jan
08
2009

  Unexpectedly Reasonable Bank Service

I was irritated to see that I got charged a $20 "monthly maintenance fee" at Bank of America, this had never happened before. I called to see what the problem was, and as it turned out, I misunderstood how the combinations of balances in various accounts were applied and I had indeed let my "average daily balance" fall below their fee-waiver threshhold. I thought I needed X amount over all my accounts, but really I needed X amount in just checking OR Y amount in all combined accounts. So I asked for the fee to be waived since I wasn't clear on the rules, and for them to downgrade me to an account that requires a lower balance to avoid monthly fees.

Instead, the phone rep really didn't want to downgrade me, and instead gave me a 12-month fee waiver. So I keep the Advantage account, but don't have to keep a high balance at B of A. That was nice, and it did work in their favor. The reason I have the low balance in there now is because their interest rates are abysmal, although I have from time-to-time in the past gotten decent rates in various of their products. So by keeping me in the Advantage account, they preserve my access to higher-rate products when they do offer them, and so they keep open the chance that I may once again keep a high balance with them. I surely would've just kept a really tiny balance if they downgraded me, since the main reason I opened accounts was to use the ATM in Crozet.

But I didn't expect a yearlong fee waiver when I called, so that was a pleasant surprise. I'll give Bank of America credit for their good customer retention effort.