It’s great to have Bank of America in my corner — seriously

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By Christopher Elliott

Bank of America gets more than its fair share of complaints. But Ann Rieke just had a terrific experience with her B of A credit card, and wanted me to know about it.

Hers is a familiar story. She’d paid $1 to get her “free” credit score through a fly-by-night company online. “When we called, a representative said it was ‘plain as day’ I was signing up for a monthly report.”

Actually, it wasn’t.

“I followed their ad for a “free” credit report and that was all I wanted, not a monthly report,” she says. “I didn’t go back to see if their claim was true because I didn’t care — I was willing to pay the $1 for service charge and that was it.”

In fact, you can get your free credit report right here. And yes, it’s actually free.

Credit card dispute success

I’ve written about this scheme in the past, and even though the disclosure is relatively clear, customers don’t always read the fine print. That doesn’t make it any less of a scam, say consumers.

Rieke decided to dispute her credit card bill. Here’s what happened next:

“After going over the charges and dates with the B of A rep, she was able to get through to the company,” she says. “It turned out to be a lengthy and argumentative conversation with the merchant.” (Related: To the caring employees at Vons in Chatsworth, Calif. — thank you!!)

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Rieke and the merchant went back and forth during the conference call, and the B of A representative said nothing. “The B of A rep stayed on the line quietly and patiently until the company agreed to reverse the charges,” she remembers.

She adds,

The B of A agent was respectful enough of me to let me handle the problem, but stayed on the line in case I needed her. When the matter was resolved and the merchant hung up, the B of A rep confirmed with me the problem was solved, I was satisfied and we were done.

Bank of America is a shining example of customer support

In other words, B of A had her back.

“I hear people bash B of A all the time,” says Rieke. “They say, ‘Oh they are awful.” But my experience has been if you are patient and polite they hang in there with you and solve the problem. This is not my first positive outcome with them. I’m staying with B of A.” (Here’s our guide to resolving your own consumer problems.)

I hear about too many credit card disputes that don’t go the customer’s way, and truth be told, B of A could have turned Rieke down flat. I’m sure the “free” credit report company had protected itself with disclosures and legalese on its website.

Still, B of A stood with its customer, and that was the right call. (The bank doesn’t always make the right call, but this time it did.)

Bank of America gets our third Elliott award for excellent customer service. Good job, B of A.

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can't. He's the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes three nationally syndicated columns. He also publishes the Elliott Report, a news site for consumers, and Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can't solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on X, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.

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