A customer says he never signed up for a service with automatic recurring payments. The bank says he did, by phone, but refuses to offer evidence.
60-year-old Craig Chatfelter told his bank he never authorized a $212.50 monthly charge for its Credit Protection Plus program. (It’s basically credit insurance, letting you cancel payments if you lose your job or end up in the hospital.)
Bank of America says he did. By phone. Chatfelter said: You record calls, so prove it. He remembered declining the service.
B of A said there was no need to prove anything, even though their correspondence during the dispute gave multiple dates for when he supposedly signed up. They gave a third of the money back, said they weren’t admitting anything, and that they were done talking about it.
The Los Angeles Times has written about it and interviewed a BofA spokeswoman, whose response was they stopped offering the program last year and that “We’re not going to dwell on past practices.”
Maybe they ended the program because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau slapped Discover with a $14 million fine and made them refund $200 million to customers for similar shenanigans. Then again, maybe not. But B of A has been known to reopen accounts consumers have closed and lose mortgage paperwork of dead people.
The mitigating factor for B of A is that Chatfelter didn’t dispute the monthly charges for more than a year and a half. If $4,000 is sucked out of your account over 19 months and you don’t notice or say anything, at some level that implies consent or negligence.
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