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Bank Makes U-Turn on Controversial Fee

Bank of America, recently listed among the 18 Most Hated Companies in America, has scrapped a planned $5 monthly fee for customers who wanted to use their debit cards for purchases.

The banking giant says the decision was the result of listening to its customers “very closely over the last few weeks” and in recognizing their concerns with the fee.

But there may be another, more important reason: the fees were shunned by smaller banks and credit unions who hoped to attract — and likely were attracting — customers by promising not to impose such a fee.

The customers who were heard the most clearly are likely those who voiced their concerns by switching to other banks.

After all, a company will only listen to existing customers so much. But when people start leaving for competitors, that’s always going to get more attention.

That’s a message I wish people who are camped out in this whole “Occupy” movement would take the time to consider: if they’d spend their time moving their money rather than putting on a demonstration, the corporations they’re targeting would be a lot more likely to actually hear what they have to say.

And making themselves more and more self-sufficient — and helping others do likewise — so that they depended less and less on the corporate giants with whom they are so angry would surely have a bigger impact than carrying signs and screaming.


  1. Ah, the irony.

    I mentioned them in my list on Sunday – not because of my own experience, but my husband’s. He has an active dislike from the various fees and surcharges for perfectly innocuous things – it is not as though he ever does anything would result in troubles with the bank such as late charges or deposit issues or dipping into the overdraft.

    This is damn near criminal. If your bank cannot survive on the scores of people who do dip into the overdraft, run out of funds, accrue late fees and such (sadly, this happens to an ungodly high number of people) and need to find ways to apply bogus charges to your customers in perfect standing, you have reached a new low. It is clear to me that over the past year, BoA has indeed hit that low.

    If you think the main bank is the pits, definitely steer clear pf their stocks and bonds department. They are even worse.

    Ted, you are absolutely right. Like any company seeking that kind of income, they will find a way to accrue it but in some more heinous and less visible fashion. I would stay clear of their credit card division as well. And yes, while I spent one day being a protestr, I had long ago begun making my displeasure known to companies I have had issues with in rectifying the problems with fees, errors and other little money-making schemes. It takes a considerable amount of research to find the best offerings for banking and credit cards but it is worth it in the long run.

    In case anyone is curious, I have to say that my bank, ING Direct, is a very honest, decent banking establishment that never has presented me with any insurmountable issues or fees or stupid attempts to make money at my expense. I would highly recommend them to anyone.

  2. I have a feeling BoA will figure out another, less transparent way of adding this fee. It was a PR disaster, but they still want that money.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.