It’s time for a bitch session. I really try not to do this too often; but damn it, if a business sucks people should know…
I recently tried to order a gift for a friend on-line, which I wanted shipped directly to my friend. There is a particularly good on-line geek store that I frequent (and I’ll plug somewhere else) that I wanted to use for the purchase. They have a wonderfully secure policy regarding instances where the shipping and billing address do not match: They contact the credit card company and verify that the shipping address is listed as a valid shipping address for the card. I think this is wonderful as it is great at thwarting purchases made on stolen credit cards. Now, I’ve done third party shipping with this company before. The last time I was buying with my PapPal debit card, and PayPal has an item in their customer service web tools specifically for adding another address. Last time was a piece of cake.
This time I used my Bank of America debit card. Big mistake. There is no ‘Add Shipping Address’ in the BofA customer service screens. There is a Contact Customer Service option. I used it. That’s when the trouble began.
First email to Customer Support described that I wanted to buy a gift for a friend mail-order, and that I needed the friend’s address added to my authorized shipping addresses. I get a reply letting me know that my address has been updated with my friend’s address. Puzzled, I write to confirm that my friend’s address was added, and did not replace my address. The response I get is short and sweet, and did not answer my original question. The response simply confirms that the address on my account is the one I gave for my friend, and to let them know if I need it changed again. It was late, I was tired, and I just decided not to worry about it.
The next day I made my order. I waited until the order had charged. I returned to the BofA customer service website. I replied to the last message, indicating that my order had been placed, and could they please change my shipping address back to my home address.
This is where it gets surreal. A BofA represenative writes me back and informs me that I had already changed my account address in the last 64 days, and that due to banking regulations they can not take another on-line address change request from me. I need to go to a branch to prove who I am before they will returm my account address to where I actually live.
I got ticked. I wrote a long reply. I explained that I had never asked for my account address to be changed. I suggested the person read my first email to customer support, because I clearly explained the purpose and intent of my request. I aksed why the person who first handled the request had simply not told me they could not do what I asked, if that was the case. I explained that PayPal has this feature and asked why my bank does not. I asked if my customer support requests were being handled by a call center in India. I hit submit. The site said my reply was too long, gave me no way to edit it, and completely dropped my text.
I got really ticked, which means I got terse. I tried my best, in four sentences, to let them know that they were incompetent baboons and that I would file a complaint when I drove to the local bank branch to fix their mistake.
Well, they finally fixed it. Still, it seems silly that at this time of year they don’t know how to handle occasions when someone wants to have a gift shipped directly through a retailer that takes credit card security seriously.
I’ve hated BofA since the Leather Jacket Incident, but I’m stuck since Wells Fargo doesn’t exist around here…
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