So... I went into my branch of Bank Of America armed with 2 copies of the Proclamation Of Required Change - one signed and dated. It was a cold and rainy day here in Los Angeles - the perfect Hollywood effect for my "breakup scene" with the bank.
Upon entering, the greeter asked me if I needed any help, and I told her I wanted to see the branch manager. Sara, the branch manager, is a lovely person who had tried to help me resolve my fee issue with the bank back in December. As much as she worked to get matters overturned, the powers that be at the bank overrode her attempts and the matter was not (and still is not) resolved to my satisfaction. When I told her I was emptying out my account she understood, and she seemed genuinely saddened by the news.
Ideally, Sara is the kind of person the bank needs at its higher levels. She welcomes and assists every person who comes her way with equal attention and concern, with no regard for how much or little money that person has invested in the bank. And I think she feels a certain amount of responsibility when her employer screws over her customers. But Sara is on the ground floor as it were. She is part of the facade that BofA creates at the customer level to hide the ugliness that happens upstairs. And I know that this woman isn't making enough money considering that she has to walk that fine thread between doing what is right to keep the customer satisfied while at the same time having to satisfy the greed of her employer - which often runs counter to what is best for the customer. She has to take the brunt of all of the anger that her customers feel because of the bank's toxic practices. Some days it must be hell for her, knowing that despite her best efforts and the humanitarian concern she feels for everyone she encounters, she is nonetheless powerless to do what needs to be done to salvage a customer relationship after the bank has done everything in its power to destroy that relationship... like the almost-14-year relationship I have had with BofA.
Well, anyway, I presented Sara with both copies of the Proclamation - the one signed, sealed, and addressed to the regional manager, and one for her to read. She took a few minutes to look over the demands (the item about NSF fees especially intrigued her). After reading the Proclamation she asked if I would mind if she set up a meeting between me and her higher-ups. I agreed, but I also let her know that I would still be taking my money out of the bank that day and not re-depositing it unless and until the demands in the Proclamation were met by the deadline. She graciously understood and then checked my account to make sure I had no pending transactions. Satisfied that my account was free and clear of any such incomplete transactions, Sara then took me over to the teller window and had the teller return all but one dollar to me, per my instructions.
It was apparent that the request didn't fully register with the teller. But whether or not he understood was immaterial. He followed my instructions and gave me my money. Wow... talk about feeling a sense of accomplishment and freedom! It felt GOOD to take my money out of the bank - and to leave them with the Proclamation to chew over in their next meeting.
I am awaiting further information regarding the pending meeting with Sara's supervisor(s). It will be interesting to see what they bring to the table. And of course, I will keep you posted and report the results of the meeting back to you once it has occurred.
In the mean time, please go ahead and continue to pull your money out of Bank of America and give your teller or branch manager your signed copy of the Proclamation. Let's keep this movement going! Also, please feel free to relate your experiences here at this blog or on my Facebook page (John Quincy Adams) or join my Facebook group (Bank Of America, we demand change!) and make comments if you have any. Your feedback is most welcome!