How Many Bank Of America Customer Service Reps Does It Take To Close An Account?

A while back I talked about how my wife and I were looking to close out our account with Bank of America because the rate of interest that we were receiving on our money was not very good, even in today’s market with low rates across the board. Our account had a paltry .50% rate of interest, and I wasn’t expecting them to raise the rates anytime soon. We had a considerable amount of money sitting in the account (our 9 month emergency fund), and we wanted it to be gaining at least a little bit more interest while it sat there.  At the time I wrote about how I had closed the account, and was expecting to receive a cashier’s check in the mail for the balance of our funds in the account.  At least that’s what I was expecting, but unfortunately Bank of America had other ideas.

So, how many attempts would it take before we were actually able to close our account?

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Closing My Account: Attempt Number One

The first time I attempted to close my account I called up on a Monday morning. I talked to a nice young man who told me that closing my account would be no problem.  He quickly processed my request (or so I thought), and told me that my account was now closed, and that I would be receiving a check for the balance of the funds in the account.    He said it would take 5-7 days for my check to be processed and sent.  He then asked if I had anything else that I needed today.  I said no, and hung up the phone fully expecting to receive my check a few days later so that I could open and fund a new account elsewhere.

A few days and then a week passed, and still I hadn’t received a check.  I was a bit worried because this was a considerable amount of money that we were waiting on, and I wanted it sitting in an account gaining interest – not sitting out there in a post office somewhere waiting to be delivered.   I checked my account online and discovered my account still appeared open and all the funds were sitting there in my account.  Something wasn’t right.

Closing My Account: Attempt Number Two

I called up Bank of America again to ask them why I hadn’t received my check in the mail, and to confirm that my account had in fact been closed.   The customer service rep pulled up my account and then told me that nothing had been done, that my account had not been closed.    I expressed my concern as to why this hadn’t been done, and the rep couldn’t tell me for sure, but told me she would help me to close the account now.

At this point she explained the process.  She would close the account for me on her end, which would mean I would receive a letter in the mail that I would have to sign and get notarized, and send back to confirm that I wanted to close the account. I was frustrated by this because it meant I had to find a notary to notarize the documents, and it was going to mean more time and hassle in order to close my account.   She told me that this should have been done the first time around, and that it is standard procedure when closing an account with over $25,000 in it.

I finally agreed to do it so that I could be done with it, and waited 3 days for an account closure letter in the mail.    I took the letter to a notary at my wife’s place of employment and signed the document and had it notarized.   (By the way, if you’re looking for a notary, you can often find them at your bank or a real estate office)  I sent the document back and awaited a confirmation and a check with my remaining funds.  A week later I had seen nothing.

Closing My Account: Attempt Number Three

By this point I was getting extremely frustrated.  I had now made two attempts to close my account, one of them on the phone and one of them involving me having to track down a notary public and signing documents in order to get my own money back.   By now I was beginning to think that Bank of America was never going to let me have my money back.

I called Bank of America again and asked why my account hadn’t been closed and my money sent.  The rep told me that they had never received my documents, and that I would need to resend them.  The problem was that I hadn’t made copies of the notarized letter requesting the account be closed (my own fault, I know).    She said the only option was for the documents to be resent to me, and to have them notarized again.  So again, I would have to wait 3-5 days for the new letter to arrive.

At this point I was exasperated and started voicing my displeasure with BofA on Twitter.  At this point my experience with Bank of America changed for the better.

After I had tweeted my situation I received a reply from the Bank of America twitter customer service rep asking if they could help.   If you want to track them down for your own issues, you can find them here:

I started talking with one of the reps, Nereida, about my situation on Twitter and via email.    She did her best to help me rectify the situation.  After doing some research she called me up, got further details of the situation and called the manager of the account closure department.  Instead of making me wait 5 days for a letter in the mail, she emailed me a copy of the account closure letter.  She then asked that I send it back to her directly, and she would make sure that it was followed up on.   I expressed my displeasure that I would have to pay for a notary again, and she said she could make things right by sending me an Amazon gift card.

I got the form notarized again, and faxed it back directly to Nereida.   She forwarded it on to the account closure department, and my account was closed and check was received within a couple of days.   On top of that I got a $50 gift card for my trouble.

Turning A Negative Experience Into A More Positive One Via Social Media

My experience in attempting to close my Bank of America savings account started out as a frustrating and aggravating one.   After several phone calls and weeks of waiting I hadn’t been able to close my account and my money was being held in limbo.

In the end BofA was able to turn the situation around, and leave me with a positive feeling by being more engaging and helpful via their social media customer service team.  While it wasn’t enough for me to stick around, it does show that at least some of their customer service reps know what they’re  doing.  Also, once again it shows the power of social media. I was able to get the attention of a big company by voicing my displeasure online, and get what would have been a 1-2 week wait turned into a 3 day turn around – and a gift card!

So how many customer service reps does it take to close an account with Bank of America?  One good one, and possibly several bad ones.

Now I just have to make a final decision about which new savings account I’m going to open.  I’m currently leaning towards an account with Ally Bank (read my Ally Bank Review here), but could be swayed if you’ve had a particularly good experience with another bank.  Let me know in the comments!

Have you had a bad experience closing an account somewhere?  Have your own story of using social media to get better customer service?  Tell us  your story or thoughts in the comments!

Last Edited: 25th April 2011

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  1. says

    Wow Peter! That is insane, it really shouldn’t have been that difficult and it stinks you had to go through that. But at least its resolved now!

    I Tweeted about a mysteriously canceled auto payment with USAA and I got a response from them on Twitter. Its good to see companies taking advantage of social media to satisfy their customers.

    I only use BoA for checking so hopefully if (no, when) I close…my procedure won’t be as painful!

    • says

      Yeah, it really shouldn’t have been that difficult, but at least in the end they tried to make things right via their Twitter customer service. It’s interesting to see how well Twitter works for helping to resolve issues sometimes. This is the 2nd or 3rd time now that I’ve had issues with a company, and was able to get them resolved through twitter.

  2. says

    Curious – why not draw the account down to zero then call to transfer? That way you control the funds at all time, and they see a zero-balance account when you call to cancel..

    That’s the way I’ve always done it, never had any problems – but also never dealt with BoA. ;)

    (And wait, you had to pay for a notary? At least at Wells Fargo, as long as you have an account, they will notarize for free.

    nc´s last post ..Kind of stating the obvious..

    • says

      There was a limit on the amount I could transfer from the account on a daily basis without having “safepass key” (which I couldn’t get because of my virgin mobile prepaid phone didn’t work with their system), and it would have taken just as long or longer to close the account that way. Trust, me, it would have been preferrable to do it that way – but what are you going to do!? :)

      Oh, and I didn’t end up having to pay for a notary, but thought I would and told them that on the phone.. I found out later that you can find them via a bank for free usually as you did (and I ended up finding one for free through my wife’s place of employment).

      • says

        Ah, got’cha on the transfer limits – I’ve seen that as a time-based limitation before (IE, you can’t do a “instant” transfer of over X, have to do a “regular” transfer and it’ll take X days instead of next-business-day), but not one like that – sounds like a good reason to not go BoA.

        And glad to hear you didn’t pay for the notary – phew! :) It was great of them to give’ya a gift card for your trouble though..

        I wonder how many people will open BoA accounts to try to close them and get free gift cards now!
        nc´s last post ..Kind of stating the obvious..

  3. says

    Hey Peter,

    I always close my accounts in person and walk out with a cashier’s check. One time I closed my etrade account via phone and they fedex’ed me a check without signature confirmation. So this 5 figure check was sitting right next to my door for the entire day while I was at work. How come you didn’t just walk into a branch and do it?
    Steve |MyWifeQuitHerJob´s last post ..Why Most Online Businesses Fail And Why You Should Start One Anyways

    • says

      There are no Bank of America branches in our neck of the woods here in MN, thus necessitating the phone call.

      That’s a bit scary that they sent you a check with no signature confirmation. At least when they sent me my check, it required a signature.

  4. JohnnyH says

    Why keep your money with a crappy bank?… ACH that shizzle right outa there and avoid dealing with BoA altogether.

    A decent bank like ING or even Ally can move that money, so you don’t have to deal with the incompetents at BoA.

    To close your acct with BoA, on the letter to be notarized be sure to make a crude, insulting drawing of BoA with a copious number of stink lines.

  5. says

    Congrats finally getting your account closed. My husband and I have been going through a similar situation with Comcast. Maybe I should send out a tweet about it and see what happens. We’ve tried canceling our cable twice now. When I canceled the second time they said they couldn’t give me a confirmation number even so I’m just hoping it worked.

    As for a bank, I would suggest using a credit union instead. I’ve found they’re much better than banks. Lower fees and better service. Most credit unions have a notary available as well, some of them even offer the service for free.

  6. says

    When I read the part about the $50 GC, I about fell out of my chair.
    A $50 gift card?? From Bank of America?

    Will wonders never cease.

    I am surprised you got it closed so easily. lol

  7. says

    I had a similar experience at SunTrust with something as simple as changing the address where my statements were being mailed. It took 2 years! Fortunately, my old college roommates still lived at the old address, so nothing ended up in the wrong hands. But needless to say, it was quite frustrating.

  8. leeway lane says

    I beleive that you could have averted all of that frustration if you had just physically gone to any branch of BofA to close your account right then and there. They would have had to supply the notary at the branch and then would have issued a certified bank check to you. ???

  9. Wendy says

    Thank you for sharing this information! I’ve been having the EXACT same problem with Bank of America in trying to close a savings account, and have been sending letters of closure to them that go absolutely nowhere. Its been an extremely frustrating situation, and will use Twitter to get some assistance. Thank you!

  10. says

    I haven’t had luck with BOA myself and in fact recently switched to a local credit union just so I could get some support instead of feeling like a number.

  11. HonestAbe says

    I had the same issue, called the first time to close the account – went nowhere. One week later the account was still open ;-O. Called again and the rep stated “you never closed it”, so I went through the whole deal once again, the two calls together lasted about an hour and a quarter (including wait times). My advice is if you cancel over the phone, ask for the reps ID # and name and have them make a note in the account you want it closed, even if they say it will be. I will never do business with them again, this is the second big issue I had with them, the first being an automated payment that three visits to a local branch and four phone calls still did not address. There are better banks, better customer service, better rates, better everything. I only was with them because they swallowed up my previous bank. Stay away people!

  12. ap says

    That stinks, maybe if i kept reading it i would probably get my question answered but why wouldnt you go to the bank and deal with the person directly. I know i would never just talk over the phone when it has to do with my money. I would want to deal with a person right then. And possible get the money right then and there. or even have it directly transferred to another account. Seems fishy. haha

  13. ap says

    i just saw some one asked the same thing. You should find a bank thats close to you. I like my money nice and close. If i could id keep it in my mattress.

  14. Dianne Lee says

    When I closed out my Wall Street bank accounts, I first transferred all of my checking account money into my savings account. Then, I just went to my Credit Union, opened an account and wrote a check on my Wall Street Bank (Citibank) for the entire balance in the account. Once it cleared, I called Citibank and told them to close it. They sent me some papers to sign, and I have been happily using my credit union for about 2 1/2 years now. They know me when I come in, they don’t charge anything for my account and give me better interest on my savings. And, if I don’t like the way they are running things, I can run for the board of directors and change it, or vote for someone who will. And, they care about my community because they ARE the community. Citibank, BofA, etc could care less if my town burns down, as long as it doesn’t interfere with their million dollar bonuses on top of their billion dollar salaries.

  15. Tiffany says

    I had a similar situation with BOA. My account is a cd. I do not live in BOA state but when the account was opened I did. I called from a Chase branch(where I have a checking account) and asked that they close my accout and wire transfer into a savings account. They refused but told the banker and I that they would mail me a cashiers check and I would receive within 7 business days. Almost a week went by and I called a second time to find out about the status of the check. They told me that the check was never sent but would immediately put in a request. I was again told about 5-7 business days. The next Saturday I received a letter telling me that the request to close my account was denied. I would have to send a notarized letter or drive to a branch. I was furious at this point because I had been lied to twice now. I called a third time and expressed my frustration. I was told again that I would be sent a cashiers check. The next Saturday again I was sent another letter saying that they denied my request and I would have to notarize a letter or go to a branch. I called a fourth time and asked to speak with a supervisor. I ranted and expressed my frustration and asked if I would have to seek an attorney to help me retrieve my money. I was given a tracking number and was told my check would be sent on Monday and again 5-7 business days. Today I called for the fifth time to check the status and was lied to and told that it was sent but it could take until February 27 until I receive. That didn’t make sense since that was almost two weeks since my last request. I called again for the 6th time and told them that I wanted to speak to a supervisor and that I was recording the converstion per my attorney. I was put on hold for a little while and the supervisor took a long time to review all of the information. The check had not been sent. I asked why and she couldn’t give me an answer but assured me that a check would be overnighted to me. She said that request could not take effect until Tuesday due to the Bank Holiday on Monday.
    I will never use BOA again. They are crooks and will do anything to lie and hold your money!

  16. says

    Wow are we feeling some of the same! My tweets were answered by a lovely CS rep from BoA named Blake who’s doing a great job of helping me get my disaster taken care of. I’m thankful for Twitter for sure!!!

  17. Arvind says

    Just chatted with a BoA rep over chat, and they closed my savings account in about 10 minutes. It was a very nice experience.

  18. Mike says

    Man, I should have done what you did. It took me three attempts also to close an account. What pushed me over the edge and made me cancel was the fact that a “closed” savings account (I got married and we merged our accounts) came back up with $20 of maintenance fees because of low balance (duh! I closed it for a reason!). After calling them up, I decided that enough was enough and closed my “Ebay” account. Took me 3 personal branch visits to fix it. Amazing.

  19. says

    B of A must do that complete “dog and pony” show when any sizable amount is being closed out of any account with them. It took me almost six months as executor of my father’s estate to liquidate and close his B of A accounts. One nonsense we lost this, now the letters of testamentary and certified death certificate are too old( not when I started this God forsaken task and all pertinent info had already been provided twice before all this ,ostensibly for addition to permanent file concerning my father’s accounts after another. Are you ready for the kicker? They mailed the check to the wrong address and sibling that was not first power of attorney nor in death the executor of the estate. How completely irresponsible and illegal but not so much as we are sorry. I hate B of A!

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