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Bank of America Complaints & Reviews - Privacy Assist Scam

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Bank of America

Posted:    Bank of America FORMER customer

Privacy Assist Scam

Complaint Rating:  88 % with 67 votes
Contact information:
Bank of America
United States
**DON"T BANK WITH BANK OF AMERICA!!!** I am writing this to inform EVERYONE - DON'T Bank with BoA! I am on my elderly father's accounts and recently I was checking something in the account when I came across $12.99 debit that stated "Privacy Assist Bank of America". I found this odd so I researched the past statements and found that it started in March 2009 at $12.99 every month. I know my dad didn't enroll in this, so I printed it out and gave it to him to go to the bank the next morning! He went there alright and was told by an EMPLOYEE " Someone tampered with your account" Yes, someone did tamper with the account- Bank of America tampered with the account! Later my dad told me what happened and I have never seen him this mad. He stated that he was going to close his account (an account he had since 2 banks before BoA took over). I went with him the next day to a different branch to close the accounts. That is when I learned that my dad was NOT refunded for the money they ILLEGALLY took out of his account. I had to ask for the refund and even then the banker seemed like he didn't want to help. He told us "that's a different department" As if I care that it's a different dept! Longer story short - Privacy Assist didn't want to refund all of the money. They told my dad "we did a service so we can't refund all of it". Well, I got on the phone and asked for a supervisor, but they wouldn't talk to me. So I told them "that's fine, but here's what I want to know..Why did you take the money that you had no authority to take? And what do you mean you won't give a full refund? What you did was illegal and I want the money back." Within minutes, they had agreed to give the full refund back. Do you think it ends there? NOPE! The banker told me that they would give the full amount back but it takes 7 - 10 DAYS to get the refund and the account has to be re-opened!! I agreed to that only because I wanted that refund. But have they never heard of electronic deposits? So they can electronically TAKE money without permission but they CAN'T electronically DEPOSIT they money back that they should never have taken! Also, why does the account have to be open? Mail a check - you are a bank - MAIL A CHECK!!
I think that BoA targets SENIOR CITIZENS by enrolling them fraudulantly in the Privact Assist. I think this because both my sister and I have checking accounts and neither one of us were "automatically enrolled" in Privacy Assist. Plus, I asked several times "How did this happen? How was my dad enrolled in this?" And every time I asked I was told a different answer. Some of the answers were "When your dad activated the debit card - that would activate it." Really - because if they had checked his record - he DOESN'T have a debit card and never had one!
Bank of America rips off their customers with the Privacy Assist! They DIDN'T give the refund that they said they would and when I called today I was given the run around again ! I get more running done when dealing with them that I do on a treadmill!! HA HA~ But seriously - BoA has NO RIGHT to have taken that money, NO RIGHT to have enrolled him in anything with his knowledge and approval, and most of all - they have NO RIGHT to take 7 - 10 days to refund what they took electronically and then they didn't even refund the full amount!!
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 19th of Sep, 2009 by   KKEENNTT 0 Votes
I read your above statement with interest. My father is 84, recently had open-heart surgery, has a dementia diagnosis for which he is on medication. He has never had a Bank of America account. He does have a credit card thru his local bank which he never uses. Recently, when writing out his bills, I found a credit card bill with a charge for Privacy Assist in the amount of $12.99. As far as I can tell, this was the first charge for this. I immediately called the number to inquire. Like you, I was given the run around by everyone I talked to. I wound up having to call the third number given to me and finally talked with a lady at Bank of America. I explained the situation. She said she would have to speak with my father. He was sitting next to me and I handed him the phone. She asked his telephone number which he could not give to her so I prompted him. She asked to speak to me. She told me that she couldn't speak to him because I was giving him the answers. I explained that I am his Power of Attorney. She then gave me an address and said to write to this address giving the details of the situation, my contact details, and a copy of the POA. Like you, no one could tell me how my father was signed up for this service. Also, like you, I have a credit card with the same bank my father uses and no one has ever contacted me about this service and similar charges have never showed up on my credit card statements. I agree that BoA is targeting the elderly. I have composed a letter and have sent it via certified mail to the address provided, which happens to be in Chantilly, Virginia. We will see what happens. I want to resolve this issue without having to pay for an attorney to handle it. I am also writing to my Congressman and Senator and suggest that anyone in this situation do the same. This attack on the vulnerable has to be stopped!
 13th of Oct, 2009 by   ainedunn@comcast.net 0 Votes
I recently lost my husband and had been less than attentive to our checking accnt. info as it arrived each month. My husband was ill and I was his caretaker and as long as the $$ in the accnt. proved ok. I was comfortable. I've had time to go over the accnts. online and realized that we had been charged $12.99 a month for 7 months and no one could explain at BofA. They referred me to Privacy Assist phone no. which I called and explained as best I could what I perceived to be $12.99 withdrawal for 7 months and I did not know how or why. The very kind woman explained it was to protect the SS of my late husband...still not a satisfactory answer. I asked to speak to her supervisor in hopes of having some explanation. No one would get on the phone with me. Instead, I was asked to FAX a death cert. to them. I replied this was not something I could/would do. I am presently on crutches, this would be a burden and I was not comfortable with this resolution. Since they withdrew the $$ why should I have to prove with a death cert. that he was gone. I was not happy and when the woman came back on she asked for his SS and DOB which I gave her and asked when I could see the refund. She stated they would refund 6 months fee and it would take several statements on my B of A accnt. for it to sho. I thanked her personally and stated this seemed fradulent to me and I was very unhappy with the bank.

If this is a preview of B of Am. new policies, I will be changing my bank. How dare they promote this type of scam.
 18th of Nov, 2009 by   sd_hiking 0 Votes
I have a same exprience with my father's credit card account. He had been ill and not used his credit card for a long time but $12.99 monthly fee was started for several month without his knowledge. Becausee he does not speak English well, I guess they might take advantage of it over phone. When my mother visited BofA couple month ago and asked about the charge, they told her that she needed to pay the amount without explaining what it is. After finding out the charge, we closed the account. Even closing the account was not easy. I was translating for my mom and told her what to say. The BofA customer service told me I could not told her what to say. Worst bank!
 25th of Nov, 2009 by   Airam -1 Votes
Your claims are outrageous. Obviously you all should be more careful and pay attention to what you are doing. If you care so much then you would have noticed the charges earlier. It seems to me that you didn't pay attention to the fine print. Also banks have voice authorizations and confimations. I no doubt need to remind everyone it wouldn't be a problem if they would PAY ATTENTION.
 19th of Jan, 2010 by   snookers 0 Votes
I just received a call from BOA about this totally unnecessary expensive service. Bottom line, if you agree to have the stuff sent to your home, you agree to the $12.99 monthly charge. Only if you remember to call them within 30 days to cancel, you will be stuck with it.
All within the legal limits by voice authorization. Just do not agree to have the crap sent to your home. Like I did. Or just hang up the phone when they start their spiel about private assistance on identity theft. If you really worry about identity theft, most home insurance policies will accommodate for a lot less than the greedy unscrupulous banks.
And yes, I am a senior citizen, but still with a very sound mind though and adequate comprehension of English.
 27th of Jan, 2010 by   Sback 0 Votes
In agreement with snookers, I was contacted by Privacy Assistance as well with the same condition that I would be enrolled in the program at an additional 12.99 per month charge on top of my existing home loan payment and that to cancel I had to wait for the statement with the charge to arrive...telling the representative on the phone that I didn't want to enroll was not an option.

Consequently, I had to spend 25 min. of my day, with three transfers to the "correct department" to get the Privacy assist removed.

If you advertise a product I might be interested in, I will contact you. Do not enroll me in something and then make it my job to undo it.
 27th of Jan, 2010 by   Phong Ho 0 Votes
I totally agree with you, don't bank with them! They told me that I enrolled that service when I activated my credit card, thks so much lier and I lost my 12.99$ for nothing. When I call and cancel that service, they threat me like "you will become a victim, some household lost their 24, 000$ for the thelf cause they did not use this service! Are u sure don't need our support ?" OMG that's make me LOL look like they are clowns haha.
 27th of Jan, 2010 by   Phong Ho 0 Votes
1.800.516.9561, they transfered me 3 times, through many departments just to cancel 1 service. SUCK !
 12th of Feb, 2010 by   lovelylady -1 Votes
wow you guys are so lame. The people who work for privacy assist knows the steps of how you are enrolled and they have the authorizations shown how you enrolled. its not their fault ur dumbasses hit the same button over to agree for the service. Its not their fault you dont know how to say no. bottom line. if you agree to a service, thats your decision. This is why America is so messed up greedy ignorant people like yourselves. People are struggling to find jobs. They are just doing theirs. Just like you do yours. So if you dont want it dont authorize it they are partners with BOA they cant look into your bank account anyways. Learn all of thhe facts before you start talking trash... Thanksss.
 25th of Feb, 2010 by   Sshan3961 0 Votes
and lovelylady is clearly perfect when reading fine print! and she must not work hard for her money either...c'mon people stop being angry about people stealing your hard earned money!!! "dumbass" is the word for people that don't take allllll of these complaints seriously! something is not right with boa and thanks to these comments i will not be taking my business there!! fyi citizensbank is no better!!! stay away from them also!
 12th of Mar, 2010 by   Karl123 +1 Votes
lovelylady is very wrong.
You NEVER blame the victim. A girl walks a dark ally and someone rapes her... her fault???
She should not have walked there?
I do not think so.

By any definition:
Manipulating and making people do things they would not do if they understood the consequences is dishonest.
Possible it is the way this society works, but it should not... and then it does not very well at all.

 7th of Apr, 2010 by   satown1006 0 Votes
i do not agree with the WAY in which lovelylady was offering her opinion, but she is correct in the content. the bottom line is that you need to know 100% of what you're doing. you can't just get mad later and say someone should have told you. it's unfortunate, but true :(
 7th of Apr, 2010 by   Airam 0 Votes
Really 12.99 a month compared to rape? What are you talking about? Not even a close comparison! Are we really trying to say that there was never any indication you had the service. I have the service and it does well. Of course I listened to the recording and what it said. Ask a BOA rep to explain the service then call the privacy assist repand ask them. You'll find that the BOA reps are not properly schooled as to what the privacy assist does for thier customers. Think about this... How many illegal aliens do we have in this country? Who's SS# do you think they are using? What happens to the open accounts they have like lights, water, rent, etc. when they get deported. It goes on the SS# associated with that account. Really, do we honestly think we are safe from it happening because we stay at home. Everything and i mean everything is accessible through the web whether we put it there or not. There is always going to be someone to hack it. I prefer to know when it happens instead of the ever-most popular phrase..."That wasn't me or That is not my account"... Do you honestly think a creditor believes that?
 7th of Apr, 2010 by   snookers 0 Votes
Wow, BOA is really wearing their customers down with this privacy cr*p. I got 5 calls in the past 2 days trying to trick me into saying "yes" to getting the free credit report while at the same time roping you in for a $12.99 a month service fee. I was not that civil anymore after the fifth call and screamed a very loud "NO" into the phone. They are getting more persistent than bill collectors.
Still when you get a call like that, you have to listen very carefully(lots of us do not do that). They will always start with free this and free that. Unless you say "yes" to the free credit report(which is just a complimentary free one month trial), you also said yes to the future, not free, monthly service charge. Canceling it after wards, will require some hoop jumping plus another lecture.
While telemarketing is not new, banks have an advantage. People do not realize they are buying something because they do not have to give their credit card number, bank has it already. Unfair playing field IMO.
 19th of Apr, 2010 by   Chupacabra +1 Votes
I have to say that some of the users commenting just appear to be flat out 'moles', most likely marketing reps or just employees of "Privacy Assist" or BoA. I agreed to have the packet sent because the original spiel was so long and she told me she was sending me the information in written form. I received it and realized she had signed me up so I called the very day I received the packet to cancel. I have now been charged one month for the service. I called BoA credit card dept and was told I would have to call the Privacy Assist dept to handle that. I was told by the PA rep that I had called on Feb 28th but the records indicated I called to say I wanted to keep the service which was a flat out LIE. I told him I wanted the service canceled immediately and the $12.99 charge removed from my account. He told me he couldn't remove the charge because it was for services I had received. I explained that if the charge was not removed from my account or if the service was not canceled and I received another charge, I would cancel the card itself. He said, basically, that that was another departments problem. I told him I'm sure that department would still be interested to know that the reason I cancelled my card was because Michael from Privacy Assist refused to honor the original terms of the agreement that the former rep also refused to honor. I should also state that Michael would read from the sales spiel script NON-STOP without answering direct questions or my request to speak with a supervisor. He was never rude out-right, he just didn't respond and kept reading the script. I have absolutely no confidence that the matter is resolved. I doubt the charge will be removed due to my interaction with this rep today nor will the service be canceled. I have, therefore, reported the entire incident to the Better Business Bureau and I highly recommend the other people having issues with Privacy Assist do the same. The more complaints they receive the more pressure will be put on BoA and Privacy Assist.
 14th of Jun, 2010 by   madinmaryland 0 Votes
I've had a similar experience with my own personal account. Someone should intervene and put a stop to this fraudulent practice. Under no circumstance should anyone deal with BOA!!
 16th of Aug, 2010 by   esta34950 0 Votes
They did the same thing to my credit card. I also had to fuss at them to get the money back. You have to watch them every step of the way. They are theives.
 14th of Sep, 2010 by   justyouraveragejoe 0 Votes
I was taken in by this same scam. A man called my home in July informing me that he was calling from FIA card services, I verified if this was a sales call and he lied that he was not selling and said that he was from the card services. He said in these days there are lot of identity thefts and seems that there was a hack into a batch of creditcard numbers at thier end. They were sending out the credit reports and i was to check if there were any misuse of my account. I confirmed if there is any charge for getting the credit report and he said that there was no charge and they sending it out to all people whose account maybe compromised. So they they had reason to believe my card account could have been misused and that they needed to send me the credit reports so I could make sure that my account was ok. He then proceed to tell my credit card number and he asked to confirm my social before he could proceed further. i confirmed my social. He then asked if he could record what we were saying and if i agreed to do this. I said yes. He then proceeded to very quickly read some terms and notices. I halted him saying he was too fast and i did not understand most of it. He lied that its part of his job to read out and make sure i heard it. He was pretty glib and kept on talking. I halted him again and he was pretty irritated and kept on talking.

I immediately went online and monitored my credit card account for a couple of weeks. No credit reports were mailed to me. Today Aug 14th i seen my credit card statement and there is a charge $12.99 a couple of days back by Privacy Assist.

I called Privacy Assist to check what was going on. The lady on customer assist was trying to convince me that it was a good deal to have protection. I said i m not interested. For the last so many years I have been regularly solicited to buy credit protection, and i never brought it. I then proceeded to tell the lady that i did verify if the guy who called was selling and how the guy lied. She then offered to lower the monthly charge if it was too high. It was like she did not understand that i did not want the service period. After much annoyance and petty talk she finally said that she will discontinue.

I asked for her to refund the money charged and she point blank refused, saying it is my fault that i accepted and BofAmerica customers wer given 30 days...it was like she never heard anything i told her about the guy lying and conning me. I finally told her i will lodge complaints. I told her in the first instance i got the card from Wachovia and not BofA. Secondly i never agreed to the service and finally i never got any credit report too. On and on it went, i was really getting angry. I told her to verify the call made by her rep and she had no right to call me a liar. After much trauma she finally agreed to refund the money.

I agree with earlier comments that 1. They are deliberately scaring someone with a lie so they can steal from the average man and this is so wrong. 2. Giving thier dishonest affiliates my credit card number and asking to verify last four digits social security number is also wrong. 3. The customer assist person tried her dammest to hook me to the service and refused to refund $12.99.

It is sad to hear that the USA employees at customer assist have to work in such pitiable circumstances. My heart goes out to them and urge them to leave as soon as they get better oppurtunities. It will not be easy in this economy. But harassing clients or being a fraud is not the better alternative.

For the most part the majority of customer assists call centers are outsourced and the people there are least concerned about service to Americans. I sometimes am inclined to beleive that they take deliberate pleasure in stickin it to Americans. I hope to be wrong in this, as the only ones to blame are other greedy Americans who outsource in the first place just to fatten thier bonuses.

BTW I agree that "tigereyze" has a vested interest in the company. He probably is employed by the company as PR and his job is to discrediting the folks who are complaining.

Do not trust such Corporates to be honest, or act responsibly, when it comes to this scam. They don't really care and just want your money.
 15th of Sep, 2010 by   Karl123 0 Votes
I posted here before a while ago...
This is what happen since...
I complaint in writing to BOA and a month or two later I received a letter, that my money has been refunded to my credit card. Obviously in the mean time I got myself another credit card. Yet another month later, BOA sent me a check for the money in question... I cached this one ASAP.
Why am I not using my BOA credit card any longer? ... mess me around like you did and it takes a lot more than simply refunding my money before you get me back as a customer.

My advice FIGHT any which way you can.

 6th of Oct, 2010 by   Ivebeenmuggedtoo 0 Votes
With stories like this, this, and this, it's not hard to imagine why someone might need to kick their Bank of America problem all the way to the top of the dung heap . Here's some executive contact phone numbers:

Executive Customer Relations general line: 704-386-5687

Nancy M. Condos
VP/ Customer Advocate
Executive Customer Relations
Office of the Chairman
nancy.m.condos@bankofamerica.com(email is bouncing)

Martha Dominguez, Executive Customer Relations Specialist: 714-792-4264

Corporate Headquarters: 704-386-5972 / 704-386-5681
Operator: 800-900-9000 (press 0 twice)

Corporate Headquarters (Bank of America):
Bank of America Corporate Center
100 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28255

You can always write the CEO:
Mr. Brian Monahan

100 N. Tryon Street.
Mail Code NC-1-007-18-01
Charlotte, NC 28255

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