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Bank of America - Kicking out Advantage Customers

adixyz 70 13 April 6, 2016 at 05:05 AM
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Last Edited by adixyz April 6, 2016 at 05:09 AM
Just got a letter from BOA asking for $ 75 yearly rental for the small 3x 5 safe deposit box previously free with any advantage account. Anyone else got these? There as no advance communication on this. Called BOA preferred customer service and they asked me to contact the local branch where I had the safe deposit box. The branch manager showed me a new brochure where they re-classified all their customers into 3 new bands based on three monthly average combined balance:
Gold: 20k-50k
Platinum: 50k-100k
Platimum Honors: 100K+

The Bank manager told me there is no free safe deposit box for Gold customers anymore and either I pay the yearly rental or become a Platinum Honors customer (100k plus). Really? Why should I maintain 100K balances in one bank just to get a 3x5 safe deposit free and a 20% rate booster on the money market interest (0.06% Vs 0.04%)? And no transparency of mentioning a free safe deposit box or rates with these accounts on this brochure.

I have only 3 weeks left to either find a new bank that offers a free deposit box and move out of BOA. That will be breaking a 15 year relationship and I am not happy with them. Typically safe deposit boxes are made available on first come basis and there is a wait list in some areas.

Not sure if any of you guys got this, but please share your experience and what options you are considering.

22 Comments

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#2
Honestly. The cost of that box is cheap and you were lucky to receive it free. Not many places offer that luxury. I don't know of any around my area that have. It does cost money to provide that service.

I think this is an argument where you would be petty to rail against the bank. That's just my opinion and you are free to disagree. People don't like change, and they especially don't like it when it's not in their favor. But for ~ $6/month you can have your box. If you have lots of banks in the area that offer free service, I'd say good luck to you because people mooch the heck out of free services then get pissed when free stuff goes away (hence this thread).

Best of luck to you but I would pay the fee if you actually need the box.
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#3
First off, this is nothing new from BOA imo. Like most commercial banks, horrible service with an attitude like they are doing you a favor by agreeing to store your money and at next to no interest. I have no idea why anyone does business with them.

As to safe deposit boxes, it is very difficult to get free ones these days and this screw over your customers attitude is pervasive. I had one at a local bank a few years ago for a couple of businesses I have. Had done business with them for years. Their rates were OK as banks go. Then they became garbage. The bank manager knew me and would waive all fees on the safe deposit box, checks and the like for me so I sort of tolerated the lower rates as there is not a lot of difference between them rate-wise anyway.

He ended up retiring and the new manager gave me the same type of story, where I needed to keep some ludicrous amount of money in the bank in order for them to waive the crummy $50 fee on the box. A real a-hole too about it too as he treated me like I was robbing them for years by asking to get the fees waived. I took my business elsewhere needless to say. So that $50 they tried to extort from me was apparently more important than the money I had in the bank with them. Ended up getting a box for $20 at another bank with a much lower min.

As to alternatives, some local banks offer better deals as to the min deposit required to get the fees waived and\or give you a discount. TD bank, M&T Bank, Capital One all generally are more helpful to small busineses and cheaper then using one of the big banks. Cap One for instance will often run promos of 1% interest rates for a year on savings and throw you $250 for opening a business checking account. You might want to consider just taking your business elsewhere as such imo. You will never get squat from a bank like BOA imo.
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#4
Have a box no letter or anything received so far. That's the only reason I stay at bofa and maintain a balance. All checks and stuff go thru discover now.
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#5
/ shit on BoA

I must be an anomaly but all things considered, BoA has been fine for me. I don't have a SDB with them though, but I am an "Advantage" customer although besides waiving account fees, I don't really know what benefits that provides.

I used to have a mortgage with them before a refi in January, so we'll see if/how the lack of that business affects "the relationship".
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#6
Quote from Dr. J View Post :
/ shit on BoA

I must be an anomaly but all things considered, BoA has been fine for me. I don't have a SDB with them though, but I am an "Advantage" customer although besides waiving account fees, I don't really know what benefits that provides.

I used to have a mortgage with them before a refi in January, so we'll see if/how the lack of that business affects "the relationship".

Define "fine". They offer high mins, virtually no interest, crummy customer service and the same basic service any bank does only with a crummy attitude imo. You can go to most B&M banks and get 0.2-0.5% interest as opposed to their < 0.1%. Sign up offers...fat chance. What ones they have are garbage usually requiring some nonsensical direct deposits be maintained or some ludicrous limit to avoid their fees. Even Chase (the king of the sign up offer with strings) offers better deals (which is not saying much).


A number of years ago I went into a BOA branch my father had an account with to close it out. There was a decent amount in the account and my dad had it opened for quite some time, so one of the bank officers came over and asked why I was closing it. I told them bluntly because their rates sucked and I could do a lot better at another small, local competitor. The bank officer just said they can't compete with rates with the local bank. I said "BOA can't compete with a small local bank"?...You mean you won't compete because you do not want to pay? The bank officer just walked away lol.
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#7
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Define "fine". They offer high mins, virtually no interest, crummy customer service and the same basic service any bank does only with a crummy attitude imo. You can go to most B&M banks and get 0.2-0.5% interest as opposed to their < 0.1%. Sign up offers...fat chance. What ones they have are garbage usually requiring some nonsensical direct deposits be maintained or some ludicrous limit to avoid their fees. Even Chase (the king of the sign up offer with strings) offers better deals (which is not saying much).


A number of years ago I went into a BOA branch my father had an account with to close it out. There was a decent amount in the account and my dad had it opened for quite some time, so one of the bank officers came over and asked why I was closing it. I told them bluntly because their rates sucked and I could do a lot better at another small, local competitor. The bank officer just said they can't compete with rates with the local bank. I said "BOA can't compete with a small local bank"?...You mean you won't compete because you do not want to pay? The bank officer just walked away lol.
You know thats one of the reasons I hate BOA they have some services I still use (that come in handy) however their interest rates are just a joke. Having a high amount of money their just hurts you their other banks that offer more, but it might take a little extra work than having a local branch, but as you said their are credit unions small backs that even them being small offer you more to bank with them.
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#8
Quote from gpister View Post :
You know thats one of the reasons I hate BOA they have some services I still use (that come in handy) however their interest rates are just a joke. Having a high amount of money their just hurts you their other banks that offer more, but it might take a little extra work than having a local branch, but as you said their are credit unions small backs that even them being small offer you more to bank with them.

Their services are generally no more than what any decent bank will provide these days. In fact, they are usually less imo. Even fairly large banks like Capital One offer far better deals and services than the BOAs of this world imo. My 2 cents obviously.
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#9
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
Their services are generally no more than what any decent bank will provide these days. In fact, they are usually less imo. Even fairly large banks like Capital One offer far better deals and services than the BOAs of this world imo. My 2 cents obviously.
I totally agree and I seen it one of the reasons I got fed up with them I went Ally and never looked back very happy with them and they offer way more free services BoA needs to step it up because with technology growing and making it easier to bank online more people will start banking online when they get offered more out of their dollar.
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#10
Quote from gpister View Post :
I totally agree and I seen it one of the reasons I got fed up with them I went Ally and never looked back very happy with them and they offer way more free services BoA needs to step it up because with technology growing and making it easier to bank online more people will start banking online when they get offered more out of their dollar.

Yes but a couple of points:

1. Big commercial banks simply do not care where you and I park our savings. They are mainly concerned with big business accounts and just prey on the lame and stupid consumer who refuses to shop around imo.

2. There seems to be a certain segment of the populace that insists on going with the corner, B&M big commercial bank that rips them off. I have a friend who swears by Chase banking (including online) for ex. I pointed out years ago to him that they give next to no interest and and offer nothing different than a number of other banks these days. He refuses to switch though saying they have "the best" online services. When I asked like what, he mentioned things like transfers and the like that any bank offers. Basically he is just comfortable with Chase and resistant to change of any sort. That is fine up to a point, but when they literally pay you nothing and require huge mins to avoid fees, I hardly see why anyone would not take their money elsewhere and make some money as opposed to paying fees. Complacency has a cost sometimes. Of course I am old fashioned and have no qualms about moving my accounts around to whoever gives me the best deal. 1% interest may not be much, but it is a lot better than 0% with fees lol.
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#11
I've had a free box with them for a few years, was part of my Prima account. My local branch switched to the Gold/Platinum account types a long time ago, but I haven't gotten any notice about the box.

While I do use it, its not really worth the cost to me. If they want me to pay for it I'll just let it go. Not gonna change banks over it by itself, but its definitely one of the reasons I've stayed, might start to look around if I get the same notice.
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#12
Lol I knew I should have kept the cat blocked

I see rollover and take in the ass is the norm? Not for me.

For someone to tell you to keep taking it that way and not change is asinine. In this case you vote with your dollars. VOTE!

What drives change?

Money and people.

Continue being a follower or change.

Banks are looking to make more $ since the fees they can charge got reduced. They need to make $ so they look good to the markets.

Oh look, PEOPLE made the changes to the way banks can charge fees. Banks are making a change to increase bottom line so the investors are happy. (Money)
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#13
Quote from stufine View Post :
Lol I knew I should have kept the cat blocked

I see rollover and take in the ass is the norm? Not for me.

For someone to tell you to keep taking it that way and not change is asinine. In this case you vote with your dollars. VOTE!

What drives change?

Money and people.

Continue being a follower or change.

Banks are looking to make more $ since the fees they can charge got reduced. They need to make $ so they look good to the markets.

Oh look, PEOPLE made the changes to the way banks can charge fees. Banks are making a change to increase bottom line so the investors are happy. (Money)
I agree.
If you're not happy there.
Then you should take your money out.
I've been with Wells Fargo for a while now.
They're pretty good, customer service is good.

shake head
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#14
Quote from glck23 View Post :
I agree.
If you're not happy there.
Then you should take your money out.
I've been with Wells Fargo for a while now.
They're pretty good, customer service is good.

shake head

Wells Fargo??? Really? Same as BOA imo. Horrible service, no interest, people act like they are doing you a favor by agreeing to store your money at no interest.
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#15
Thank you all for your comments. Here is the update and end to my story.
I made a few calls to some banks in my vicinity. Chase and Capitol Bank were offering a free 3x5 safe deposit box with a 15K and 10K average monthly deposit respectively I am sure there were more banks but I called these two, since there were closest to my home. Chase also had a $500 coupon on new checking/saving accounts. I went to my local BOA branch one last time to before I moved elsewhere and told them about the these banks offering safe deposit box. The Relationship manager was surprised to hear safe deposit boxes being available in other banks. She created a case for approval to the Branch Manager for waiver of yearly fees and said it will take 1-2 days. This is the same Branch Manager who told me to maintain a 100K deposit. Knowing his past response, I didn't want to take chance and moved 15K from BOA to Chase and got a safe deposit box. To my surprise, 2 days later, the BOA Branch Manager sends me letter waiving the rental fee for 1 year. Don't know if they will waive it next year, but now I don't care. BOA forced me to go to competition and I am glad to learn I have more options now.

In this whole experience, the bank lost their faithful customer for some stupid decisions taken by their Management of maintaining a 100k deposit for a 3x5 deposit box? I still have my BOA account but now have a hedge with other bank. Message to BOA Management if you are reading - Know your competition before making such huge Average Account balance requirements for some of the complimentary services.
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