BofA and the checking account fee that wouldn't die

Rubber band around rolled up money

You know the old saying: "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

What do you say when a bank fools you three times?

I say, "Good riddance, Bank of America."

In 2008, I made the mistake of opening a BofA checking account.

Like almost all my checking accounts, I didn’t open it to write checks on it or for ATM or debit card privileges.

I opened it to temporarily deposit interest paid on two BofA CDs.

Although it had a $20 monthly maintenance fee, the branch representative assured me it would be "linked" with the CDs, and the combined balance would eliminate the fee.

She apparently didn’t know that simple payment of CD interest into the account wasn’t a sufficient "linking" for bank headquarters.

She had to check some box -- and didn’t.

When BofA tried to impose the $20 fee, I wrote a nasty email.

The bank backed off, refunded the fee and advised me that all my accounts would thereafter be officially linked.

The CDs eventually matured. Meanwhile, in 2009 I’d opened two other certificates of deposit, maturing about 10 days apart this August.

When I opened the first, I explained to the branch rep the critical importance of proper linking.

When I opened the second, I dropped the explanatory spiel but nevertheless asked that the new CD be linked with the checking account.

No maintenance fee materialized for the next two years.

Then, I closed the first CD at maturity, and BofA promptly docked me $25 (the rate had gone up) for the checking account.

The first CD had been properly linked, not the second. The rep had again failed to check the right box!

I stalked into the branch and harangued the manager, a customer rep and a teller (to their credit, they remained remarkably pleasant throughout my tirade). They arranged to refund the $25 and close both the second CD and the checking account.

At least, they thought they’d closed the checking account. But headquarters said no, it was still open.

It seems another box had to be checked and wasn’t, and I’d have to visit the branch once more.

Teeth clenched, face red, I trekked to the branch and killed the account.

Its epithet will read: "HERE LIES A FEE-LADEN CHECKING ACCOUNT THAT ONLY TRIED TO DO ITS JOB OF FRUSTRATING THE CUSTOMER AS BEST IT COULD."

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