Does Bank of America Have The Worst Customer Service? My Latest Experience

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Bank of America Customer Service Experience

My Bank of America Customer Service Experience

I have to admit that the last few times I have contacted Bank of America (BOA) their customer service has left a lot to be desired.  Not to mention they are stuck in the 1980’s and offer no way to contact them electronically (live chat, secure message etc.). My latest Bank of America customer service experience really drove me crazy though.  It took me multiple calls, long hold times, and some terrible procedures to simply close down a few credit cards.

RELATED: Bank of America $66 Million Class Action Settlement

Background Info

As some of you may remember I recently called Bank of America when the annual fees posted on my Alaska Airlines and Virgin Atlantic cards.  I wanted to see if there were any retention offers like what I had previously received on my Alaska card.

After hearing their offers I decided to close the accounts.  This was in part to increase my chances at getting a more desired Bank of America product.  The other part was my desire to simplify my life and reduce the need to track so many accounts.

After closing the accounts the agent said my my annual fees should be credited within a few days.  I had 3 weeks or so before the due date so I was sure the annual fees would be credited in time.  It takes American Express all of one day to get this accomplished most of the time.

Not So Fast

After 2 weeks the accounts were still showing a balance so I decided to call in again.  There was a 50 minute wait time but they were willing to call me back.  I can not tell you how INSANE it is for a bank customer service line to have an hour wait time but I thought it must be an anomaly.  Maybe adding a secure message feature for your customers would help with that…just an idea.

I received the call about an hour later and was told my accounts were closed but I needed to pay the annual fee.  I asked why they weren’t credited in the first place. She said I needed to pay the fee and then they would be credited.

At this point I knew this would require another call to BOA to get the refund. Since they don’t have any other way to contact customer service. I really wanted to avoid that.  She said she could not credit them herself since it wasn’t done properly when the accounts were originally closed.  I don’t know if this is true or not. I can not remember if I needed to pay the annual fee before getting a credit in the past with other BOA cards.

Giving In

There really was no other option at this point so I paid the annual fees. The very next day a credit balance showed on my account, how stupid is that?  So I of course had to call Bank of America again to take care of my negative balance.  And wouldn’t you know it, the hold time was once again over an hour.  What is going on with this bank?

After finally getting my call back, over an hour later, I was able to get the money deposited into my checking account within a few days.


There are so many things wrong with this situation.  Why did I have to call so many times to cancel two credit cards?  I shouldn’t have to call in at all to cancel a card.  Why couldn’t they credit the annual fee when I called in instead of making me pay it and then call again for the credit?  Lastly, what is with the 1990’s Ticketmaster hold times?

I have no idea how a bank can operate like this but it is beyond frustrating.  What a waste of time and energy for something I can do in two seconds with American Express or Chase etc.

That is my latest Bank of America customer service experience have you had anything similar happen lately?



Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. H-A-D had two business accounts with Bank of America for years. I made an honest mistake applying timely payment to the wrong account, so the other became past due. Adam the “representative” could see I made a mistake as he could view both accounts, but had NO authority to make an adjustment, forcing me to pay the late fee and finance charge on the account I failed to pay. Their website design begs you to make minimum payment. Seems purposefully confusing if you have multiple accounts. So, I let Adam know I was closing 2 business accounts and 1 personal account, yet his reply was cold and indifferent. Bank of America is more callous than any bank or any other large company that I’ve dealt with in my +30 year business career. I have easily done business or had accounts with at least 15 to 25 banks over that time.

  2. Worst customer service. Rude reps. Feels like you are playing a game of telephone. Passed on from one incompetent rep unable to help to another. Passed on to the wrong dept . All I need to is set up a payment plan. I would rather do it online but it does not allow me to do that now because we went on deferral for a few months due to covid 19.
    Worst bank ever.

  3. I am not sure how this bank can stay open with the worst customer services ever.
    I have to wait for a long time to get to talk to a person just to get hang up on and so
    I have to call back 3 times and still have to wait. I called because they put a hold on my debit card because I have 900+ refund in my acct??? I don’t understand and asked to repeat and got hang up on. I am still waiting and not sure if I can ever talk to another person to release the hold on my acct!

    • Yeah, they wouldn’t use my SS number asked me instead for an old email address to verify the account??????? No security questions, then told me to go into their branch, during their covid-clossures, and very hostile service!!!!!

  4. This bank is the worst bank I have ever dealt within my 55 years of life. Are these people hired from grammar school.Why do they transfer you around everytime they cant solve my problem of opening my account so I have access to my Unemployment.
    I spent over a hour being transferred to all different people to be told they couldnt open my account and that I have to go to my local bank?These people are a bunch of clowns and should not be dealing with peoples money.This bank needs to retrain their employees because they take SUCK to a whole new level.
    I have been trying to transfer my unemployment direct deposit to Santandar and they keep closing it ,this is second time now and now they cant reopen it.Why is it that 2 weeks ago they closed my account when trying to change banks. when I called they fixed it right away now they have no clue how to fix it and I have to go to a bank now to talk to these quacks directly.
    I will never ever deal with this company again and I will make sure I tell everyone I know what a circus show it is to deal with them.Good riddings.

  5. I went to a b of a branch today with a small refund check, $20, that was from a business that has an account with b of a. Since I don’t have an account with them they wanted to charge me $8.00!!!!! I asked why, if the check is from a b of a account, do I have to pay an $8.00 fee on a $20 check. The answer, “it’s bank policy”. Left b of a about 15 years ago and went with a local credit union. Best banking decision I ever made.

  6. I needed a paper notarized for my mom’s estate today. She passed away in January. I went to Bank of America. I don’t have an account there but my mom did. Since I am executor, I didn’t think it would be an issue.
    They wouldn’t do it because I don’t have an account with them.
    “You don’t have an account with us?”
    I wanted to say, “No, I switched to another bank back in 1997 because your customer service sucks.”
    I will never, ever bank with Bank of America again.

  7. I’ve been a customer of Bank of America for more than 30 years going back to BayBank and the banks they’ve bought since then. One Shoran Toler gave me two dates for my mortgage lien release robe recorded. Both came and went and then she ghosted me. The single worst customer service experience I’ve ever had. Couldn’t have cared less that the application for my HELOC was expiring. The heck with their people all thanking me for being such a loyal customer.

  8. I absolutely agree the worst bank customer service ever!!!! I have spent no less than 12 hours on the phone trying to resolve a claim that should’ve been resolved within the original 90 days then someone closed our claim “Resolved see notes” 1) not resolved. 2) no notes in file to see 3) no notification sent to us regarding claim via electronic or paper! so I called now they reopened the claim assigning a new number and giving them ANOTHER 90 days to resolve the claim. the bank is bullshit! they are stuck Back in time somewhere there is no email or phone numbers apparently which I find hard to believe and they state that the department that handles their claims the “back office research” there’s no way to contact them I don’t know how BofA stays in business! Every time we call we just get the runaround we talk to a rep, then their supervisor then their supervisor and we still get NOTHING! Once credit due is given time to close all accounts there and head to a new bank

    • I do find it very annoying that they don’t have an email or chat option to contact them like Chase does.

  9. I have had a checking account with Bank of America ever since I graduated school . It has been in perfect standing for the last 12+ years. I literally never use that account but I still have to maintain a balance to avoid maintenance fees (again because that is not my primary checking account anymore).

    Over the weekend, for roughly 10 hours because of some scheduling errors, it went into overdraft for the first time in about 13 years. I called in to explain the situation to see if they would waive it, you know, since I have been their customer forever, have excellent credit and have never ever incurred absolotely any type of charge ever. Guess what? the customer representative was okay with me CLOSING the account than WAIVE that fee even once in TEN YEARS!!! So finally I just gave up and closed that damn account since I wasn’t really using it much anyways.

    But seriously? They definitely are the WORST bank ever!

    • It is so much cheaper to keep a customer and waive that fee than it is to get a new one…sad they don’t realize it

  10. The worst customer service I have ever seen and they want to know where you bank while they make you wait 15 minutes and talk to three different people just to get a check cashed and charge you $8 why do they think anyone would put their money in a bank that is this bad there are plenty of Banks out there that don’t treat everyone that walks in the door like crap.
    Good job Bank of America again you are the worst !

  11. It’s a 50/50 with over the phone customer service. However the website really sucks. I never had a problem with checking my account info online. But in the last 2 years , when I enter my id / password. A pop up will come up on my screen to sign up for paperless billing. You would think they could have someone in web design give you a yes or no option to click on. Nope it only gives you one box to click on, no small black x to get you back onto the main page of my account info. I have had to call 4 times in the pass 2 years with this problem. My account info will pop up, then about half a second later the pop up for paperless billing pops up. If something is no broken, why mess up your website even more. I’m not in the high tech line of work. But it baffles me that people get paid a lot of money to design websites and yet they make them worse.

    • The BOA website gets so much worse if you add a business card into the mix. I have seen local credit union websites that blow BOA out of the water….it is sad.

  12. Bank of America is the the very worst bank forever to make people get stressed to make people having too much disease in their mind.To give you chance and warning and never let you use debit or credit card to shop anymore

  13. Bank of America just lost two potential customers for life. I was in line at an Oceanside branch, behind a father and two small children. each of them were holding a piggy bank full of coin and were so excited about making their first deposit and getting their own bank account. I knew what was going to happen before they went to the tellers window. BofA, along most other banks, do not have coin counting machines any more, because it was an expense and a service they could avoid.
    So when the kids went to the window with their father the teller said “we do not accept loose coins. You must go home and put them in paper roller and bring them back.
    They will never be back.
    Banks are not our friends

  14. I used to like bank of America because they had a one of a kind virtual, teller assist that was open until 10 pm most days . Sure they charged a stupid fee but I could go in and cash a check after bank hours which was the saving grace for someone like me who is always at work during bank hours. Now though they only have teller assist during bank hours !!!!! Wtf is the point of teller assist if you can just go to a bank? Better yet wtf is the point of going to the bank if they just direct you to teller assist.

  15. I am sorry guys. Chase banking and credit is the absolute worst bar none. I cant elaborate now but they are the worst. Followups…LOL.

    • To be honest I have never heard people bag on Chase much before. They always respond quickly whenever I call or SM them. Sorry to hear you have been having issues with them.

  16. They are terrible, dumped them about a year ago as well, never got some incorrectly charged fees back, etc.. The day I closed all my accounts, do you think they asked why I was closing a 10 year + relationship with them? I was in and out closing my accounts in 10 minutes, they have zero care for their customer base…

  17. When they fold (or probably merge) much lamenting about loss of choice and consolidation will occur. At this point, let’s still send praise that we have more banks left than airlines out there.

    • They already merged with Merrill Lynch so I don’t see them doing it again anytime soon but choice is always good.

  18. Here’s my opinion: I have been with Bank of America for maybe 20 years, and I’ve been saying for YEARS they are the worst IN THE WORLD. The representatives RARELY know answers to the questions you ask. The wait times to even get a hold of someone is crazy long. The computer prompts are inaccurate or misleading. The computer voice asks for you to enter information, and then it says it doesn’t work. They take FOREVER to verify your identity, going to the extreme. They give you a password and say it will be easy the next time, but it isn’t. They seem to spend plenty of money to grow themselves to extraordinary size, and then, spend little to provide positive customer satisfaction. I just can’t remember how many times its been a bad experience with them, but I’m guessing 90% or 100 times. I say all this from dealing with THOUSANDS of companies, big and small. And it’s easy to compare them to a GOOD company. Whenever i call American Express, my calls are answered immediately. I ALWAYS have a representative that knows the answers to my questions. Their website (Amex) is perfect. Its easy to pass their security measures (wonder why, do you thing Amex takes it less seriously than B of A? — I doubt it). It’s just a pleasure to work with AMEX. But when I go to call Bank of America, which I do a few times a year, I cringe. I had my credit cards stolen, which included Bank of America. In the midst of a panic, and having to call many other credit card companies to report stolen, all while the thieves were running around charging up my cards, Bank of America took 40 minutes just to cancel my cards! The only reason I don’t switch is because it would be too long to set up my 100 bill pay accounts.

    • That last sentence is what I think they count on. Just too much a PIA to change over to another bank. But they do leave a lot to be desired.

  19. This is the result of “too big to fail”. The customer service sucks in the branches, too, at least in mine. I’d leave tomorrow if my wife would agree.

  20. Mark,

    You’re not alone. Bank of America is the WORST! It’s like they are stuck in a time warp and refuse to utilize the newest technology. Their website sucks. It’s EASY with any other website (Chase, Citibank, American Express, etc) to set up auto bill pay but it’s impossible on Bank of America.

    I keep the Alaska Airlines card as I still get value each year renewing it. I’m set up on automatic e-statements. Well, back in late August my card came up for the annual fee. Only they did NOT send out an e statement/email. I only figured out by accident that the bill was late. Something was wrong with their e-statements. I not only didn’t get any statements but didn’t get any email that the bill was not paid/late.

    Well the payment was now past due and at this point I was really angry because in 25+ years of credit history I never was late for a payment. I called in and reported that I never got an email or e-statement. The lady on the phone was nice (I also had to wait almost 45 minutes to talk to someone). She said she would remove the late fee. But I was more concerned about them not reporting it late to the credit bureaus.

    She said they didn’t. But sure enough 2 weeks later it hit the 3 credit bureaus and my FICO took a 50 point hit overnight. I called and asked them to correct it with the 3 credit bureaus since it was their mistake. They agreed to do it but it took TWO MONTHS for them to update with the 3 credit bureaus. My score went back up after they deleted it but not to the level that it was at before this.

    Setting up autopay is super slow. They have to actually mail you out a letter that you have to fill out to handwrite in the account you want to debit. Then you have to snail mail it back in. And they say it takes 2 billing cycles to update. WTF? Why can’t they upgrade their website to utilize technology.

    They are the worst!

    • Their website is like a local credit union’s site. And the business cards…you have to manually enter in the card info to pay…what is that? Also why do they issue you a new account number for the business account and then the card account under it. They make it so much harder than it needs to be.

    • Obviously they do what is their required way to do, so what they do is coming from policy may be.
      They try to get or collect more and more details from customer who is of particular getup. If customer is other than that they happily treat, serve and greet. Otherwise be ready to be treated flat faced and played by rules.
      They even state wrongly that they knew previous customer so didn’t ask that much stuff from them and since you are new to them (no matter you have long setup account with them) so you have to provide details, ID, etc. What this all will be considered and called on customer’s side.
      Thank you Bank of America policy to be treated harshly (from customer’s perspective) and not treating all types of customers same.
      If there is a customer type that makes you speedy pass holder please tell so one will do that. Customer service representative discretion is a bad thing, as a representative from Khatmandu will feel total stranger to other person from North Pole.

  21. They are TERRIBLE! I have only had to call in a couple of times, but both times it was complete misery. It makes me think twice about signing up for one of their cards.

    • Obviously they do what is their required way to do, so what they do is coming from policy may be.
      They try to get or collect more and more details from customer who is of particular getup. If customer is other than that they happily treat, serve and greet. Otherwise be ready to be treated flat faced and played by rules.
      They even state wrongly that they knew previous customer so didn’t ask that much stuff from them and since you are new to them (no matter you have long setup account with them) so you have to provide details, ID, etc. What this all will be considered and called on customer’s side.
      Thank you Bank of America policy to be treated harshly (from customer’s perspective) and not treating all types of customers same.
      If there is a customer type that makes you speedy pass holder please tell so one will do that. Customer service representative discretion is a bad thing, as a representative from Khatmandu will feel total stranger to other person from North Pole.


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