Oh, Bank of America -- it's like a black hole of banking ... right now especially, because the huge corporate institution's online banking is down on March 1, when a bunch of us have bills to pay! Customers from New Jersey, Georgia, Washington, D.C., and California have contacted the social media news site Mashable to say they can't access their accounts.
I can just see it now. Annie Smith from Sherman Oaks, California is going to have to call up her landlord tonight and say, "Sorry! I couldn't pay my rent on time, because Bank of America's site was down." Landlord hears: "I can't pay my rent on time, because the dog ate my check." If Annie is slapped with a late fee, BOFA should foot the damn bill!
You know, it seems like it was a long time ago when people would make a conscious decision to sign up for an account at a particular bank. Now, we might have signed up with one bank, but then it's bought out by a bigger one, and you go from Fleet to Bank of America or Wachovia to Wells Fargo overnight.
By then, you might have gotten too comfy with your bank ... your direct deposit is set up there, your savings are in a neat and tidy money market account there, your credit card is linked up, too ... So, even if it is bought out by Super WALMARTARGET Big Box Wall Street Thieves, Inc. Bank, you just stay, year after year, like someone in a not-that-satisfying marriage.
This site snafu (which is being attributed to "routine updates over the weekend" and not "the result of a cyberattack," oh, wheeeew) is just another sign that we need to put these too-big-for-their-britches banks in their place. What would happen if ALL of the customers who can't access their accounts said tomorrow, "THAT'S IT! I am closing out my account and opening a checking/savings with Random Main Street Bank"?
I don't think anyone's really going to do that, but I'm just wondering here. We're always kvetching that these banks don't have good customer service, their CEOs are criminals, their top execs are being cut checks for bonuses that have more zeroes than most of us ever see in five years' worth of salary, etc. But we have yet to stand up collectively and say, "Enough already!"
I want to stand up to BOFA and the other big box banks I'm a not-so-proud customer of. I want my move away from them to mean something. But I'm not really prepared to let go. The reason: The little local community banks I'd consider switching to ... well, they have even crappier online banking! Isn't it ironic ... doncha think?
Have you been frustrated by today's BOFA online banking slow-down?
Image via David Neubert/Flickr