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BofA calls debit card customer

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Friday, October 14, 2011
Posted: 12 pm ET

A Bank of America executive has responded to a woman who started an online petition to protest the bank's new debit card fee.

Andrew Plepler, who has the long double-barreled title of global corporate social responsibility executive and consumer policy executive at Bank of America, earlier this week called Molly Katchpole, a 22-year-old Bank of America customer, who started the petition on Change.org, a do-it-yourself petitions website.

According to the website, Plepler told Katchpole that the bank understands the people who signed her petition are "very frustrated," that it would be "premature" to say whether the fee might be reversed and that the bank constantly listens to customer feedback.

Plepler is in charge of BofA's philanthropic grants, community development lending and investing goals, Community Reinvestment Act compliance, associate volunteer programs, partnerships with nonprofit organizations, arts and culture programming, and environmental initiative, according to a biography published by American Banker, a banking industry news organization. He is also responsible for interfacing with consumer and community groups and representing the bank's positions on consumer issues.

Katchpole is struggling financially and doesn't want to pay to use her debit card, according to a Change.org statement.

"I can barely afford to make ends meet," Katchpole said in the statement. "Now I'm expected to hand over money to Bank of America each month just for using my own debit card?"

For the record, any money in Katchpole's bank account belongs to her, but the debit card is a bank product, not a personal possession.

The $5 monthly debit card fee is waived for Bank of America customers who have a substantial bank balance or utilize other bank products and services. Other large banks have also introduced monthly debit card fees on a trial basis in some states.

The media campaign to promote Katchpole's petition, which has collected more than 200,000 signatures, is being organized by Change.org.

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff

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297 Comments
Cecil Sayer
December 03, 2011 at 4:04 pm

If the money in the account belongs to the customer, how can the bank deduct fees from the account without the customer signing a new contract??

maggie tamulis
December 02, 2011 at 11:35 pm

I recently started closing my accounts with Bank of America because I heard they were in financial trouble...I now live in a small town in northern Iowa and I'm in the process of moving my accounts to a small town bank where they will know me as a person not just a number and they won't charge me outrageous fees for ridiculous services...I have automatic deposits and automatic bill payments and it is taking time to change them all over but it's worth it for the peace of mind to be able to trust the bank I'm dealing with...I'm almost finished with the transactions and soon will be free of the "Big Bad Bank of America" who think they can treat us the way they want...NOT ME...!!!

pete
December 01, 2011 at 2:54 pm

this is old news and old arguments. yeah yeah boycott BofA... move to a credit union... use cash...blah blah blah. get over it...

next?

kateslate
December 01, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I do not understand why anybody banks with BoA. I closed accounts there years ago and never looked back. When queried as to how and why they feel a need to charge this fee, a bank branch manager was heard to say, "Well, we have a right to make a profit." Yes, and we have a right to not put our money in your bank. People, you have more power than you know. Use it. Don't willingly give your money to the greedy corporations. Patronize smaller local businesses and make do with less. That is the only way this economy will change to the benefit of the great 99%.

sally
December 01, 2011 at 6:38 am

Here are some ideas! Use cash instead of a debit card. Pay your bills by mail with a check. Take your money out of BofA or any giant bank, and use a local bank or credit union. They can't charge you a fee if you are not a customer. So! It's called voting with your wallet, or boycott, and it works.

carlos inquida
December 01, 2011 at 12:15 am

Here's an idea: USE A CREDIT CARD. Not only can You get back 1-5% of what you charge each month, there is usually no monthly fee. And no interest if you pay it all off each month.And you also have leverage if you receive a defective product or service. This seems like an absolute no-brainer. I will go to my grave not understanding why people use debit cards.

D Yale
November 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm

I heard a rumor they're going to charge you a fee for breathing their air while you're in a branch doing your banking. If you want to bring your own air, I heard they'll charge you a decanting fee.

C. Moakler (Louisville, KY)
November 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm

B of A needed some more bad immage to show what vermin they are.

m mayer
November 29, 2011 at 2:23 am

Another fee?!! BofA needs to let up. They charge enough already. Mafia... its extortion. BofA charges a fee for this and a fee for that. It charges more than any other bank anywhere. That is one greedy institution. Get together people and sign that petition. Bank of America sucks, bigtime. Force that bank to close its doors that bank needs to lose. Just like they have caused so many to pay, right out the nose. Eat it BofA. You deserve to lose.

ctl
November 28, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Its un-ethical. Bofa misapproiated securities, the scheme fails, they are bailed out with taxpayer money and then bofa says they need to charge the same taxpayers $5 a month so they can turn a profit, then the same bank pays millions in bonus to the same executives that lost billions ???? ---- That sounds like the mafia ???