Playing Hardball

I’ve had checking and Visa accounts with BofA going back to 2000 or 2001. I’ve heard horror stories about how horrible such a huge banking institution can foul up, but with me I’ve had no complaints. I’ve had to utilize my overdraft protection on occasion, but I’ve never been late with a credit card payment. So it was with some surprise when I cracked open this month’s statement that came in today’s mail and read:

“We did not receive your payment by the payment due date. As a result the promotional rate will no longer be in effect after the closing date shown on this statement.”

Funny. I know I mailed the payment a few days before the due date of November 30 and sure enough the payment was shown on the statement as having been posted December 1. Making me one whole day late. Or rather the slower holiday mails made me one whole day late. In addition, the statement shows me getting dinged a $39 late fee.

But late is late, so BofA has every right to claim my $39 and up my interest rate to a ridiculous 18.24%, and sure enough in not quite that language that’s what the customer service representative chapter-and-versed me when I called. To which I pointed out that in the five or so previous years I’ve had their Visa card I’ve never been late before, so howsabout BofA show some love to good customer, eh?

To which she essentially said “nope.” But she didn’t really mean it, because when I sat up straight and cleared my throat and explained in an all-italics tone how unfair it was to be so penalized for the USPS not getting my payment to BofA on time — a payment they now had — and that I wouldn’t hesitate to contact any of the several other eager credit cards I have and immediately transfer the balance at whatever comparable promotional rate they offered, she relented and waived the late fee and returned my interest rate back down to earth.

Then she had the gall to lecture me about sending in my payment with plenty of time to make sure this doesn’t happen again, because if it does BofA wouldn’t be able to give me another pass. To which I told her that first off, I did send my payment with plenty of time to make sure this doesn’t happen but that if it does, trust me, I won’t be calling and fighting for one. I’ll just pick a card any card and transfer my balance to a institution that hopefully isn’t sitting in some sort of vacuum thinking they’re only game in town.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."