Everybody remembers the furor caused by Bank of America and several other banks when they proposed a $5 per month fee for debit card use. This was an affront to everyone’s senses because we were already saving the banks millions of dollars by not writing checks. We were being charged for saving the banks money.
Lately, my Bank of America debit card was becoming difficult to use. You know how it is. You stand in line at the grocery store and watch while the clerk rings up a couple of hundred dollars of chips, nuts, dips, and beer. When you try to use your debit card, the darned thing won’t work. Then, the clerk tries the old plastic bag trick with your card, and it still doesn’t work. In frustration the clerk sighs as she keys in the debit card number, manually. The people behind you have grimaces on their faces. Your day is going down hill.
Today, I had a little run-in with Bank of America over my defective debit card. I called Bank of America customer service and told the agent about the problem. She was thoroughly empathetic with me, and suggested ordering a replacement card. No problem kemosabe, I says. I should receive the card within five to seven business days.
“A $5 charge will be added to your account to cover the replacement card.”
She actually said that, even when I asked her to repeat her statement. Yep! BOA will now gig you for five bucks to replace your defective debit card. Debit cards save them millions of dollars annually and now they charge for replacing defective cards. When I asked how long the card was supposed to last, mine was supposed to go until the year 2016, a full five years after I received it. I think BOA has found another guaranteed revenue stream. There’s no way a plastic card using a magnetic strip will last five years.
Bank of America is doing this because they can. My only recourse is to change banks. Of course, that is more trouble than paying $5 for a replacement card, and BOA is banking on that.