I find it very difficult to write a letter about my service with Bank of America. But since there is no formal department where I can voice my complaint, I have to find a way to get this off my chest.
In November of 2008 I applied for a mortgage with BAC to refinance my existing home. My credit rating was in the mid 700's and my wife's in the low 800's. It should really be a simple procedure to qualify for a loan. We had a first and second mortgage on the house. However, prior to applying for the refi, we paid off the second mortgage with money I used from my self-directed brokerage account.
In order to qualify for a loan we had to provide two months of bank statements. On one of those statements was a large deposit from the brokerage account that I transferred over in order to payoff my second mortgage.
This raised a red flag with the underwriter's and they needed me to provide the source of those funds. I was reluctant, but agreed. So I provided them with a statement of my brokerage account, however, I blacked-out the account numbers as I felt this was personal information and I didn't feel comfortable revealing it to them. They didn't like this. As if I was trying to hide something.
After several weeks of going back and forth trying to resolve the issue, I finally backed out of the loan and went with Countrywide. That's right, Countrywide... the mortgage company BAC had just bought out.
The process with Countrywide went smoothly and I closed on the refi three weeks later in January of '09. Although, I did lose $250 to BAC for their appraisal of my home.
I knew in was coming, but, in June of 2009, I received a letter from Countrywide explaining how they are now Bank of America and how pleased they are to have me as a customer and are excited to service my mortgage. Awesome! But, the story doesn't end there...
In January of 2010, I received a letter from BAC for my escrow account. The escrow account showed there was a deficit of $897 on my 2010 estimate for taxes & insurance. They instructed me to either pay the shortage in full by Feb 16 or have my monthly payment increase $185.
What the F***! I have a 30-yr, fixed rate mortgage. How the H*** can my mortgage go up $185?
So the next day I called customer service to find out what the problem was. After being on hold for 20 min I finally got through to a "mortgage specialist" and tried to figure it out.
She noticed that my homeowner's insurance increased for 2010 and that I should contact my agent to get a better rate. Well, I already knew my insurance was going up as I received an assessment from my agent in December. But my insurance only increased $147 for the year. So ***HOLE, where's the other $750 coming from? After spending 30 min on the phone, I realized this so-called "mortgage specialist" was not going to be helpful.
I later contacted my insurance agent to find out if he could help. I faxed over a copy of the statement. On the statement were two charges in excess of $600. The agent thought these were for insurance, however, there was another charge for $938. We correctly identified this amount as my homeowner's insurance but still couldn't figure out the other two. So I had to get back on the phone with another BAC associate to help figure out what those two $600+ charges were for.
When she looked at it in more detail, she said they were for flood insurance. Hey dumb***!!! We don't live in a flood zone. Why are you charging me for flood insurance? She looked into my information and saw that indeed we do not live in a flood zone and she would remove the charges.
How F***ING *** are these people? They call themselves mortgage specialists? How can a competent person look at a 30-yr, fixed rate mortgage and see the monthly payment go up $185 and not think something is wrong?
The senior leaders of this corporation all say "We need to become customer advocates." And "We want to be the most admired company in the world." How do I know all this...? BECAUSE I HAVE WORKED FOR THIS COMPANY FOR OVER 10 YEARS!!! I hear this S*** everyday. That's why it's so difficult for me to write this letter.
I don't believe in the message you preach when you hire incompetent employees who don't give a S*** about the customer. All you've taught them is how to cross sell, up sell, backwards sell, or whatever the F*** without regard to customer service.
Want to become the most admired company in the world...? Teach your customer's about how to maximize their savings, how to plan for retirement. Teach them how to create wealth. Empower your associates to solve problems, not to err of the side of "it's bank policy" for fear of losing their job. Explain to them how important their job is to the success of this company and how important each and every customer is that either walks through the door, opens an account online, or calls for customer service.
It's not our job to fight about who's right and who's wrong. It's our job to make the customer feel like their right. Every single time.
Sadly, I will be refinancing my mortgage with at local credit union three miles down the street from the corporate center. It makes me sick! Shame on you BAC for putting me in this situation.
Product or Service Mentioned: Bank Of America Mortgage.