Bank of America Drops Debit-Fee Charge

Dollars & Sense on 11.02.11
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Photo: declanjewell/Creative Commons

After launching a fee-based debit program last month, Bank of America announced it would drop plans to charge customers a $5 monthly fee for using its debit cards. "In response to customer concerns and the changing competitive marketplace," it said in a statement, "Bank of America no longer intends to implement a debit usage fee."

It's the latest in a line of banks that have acted on the knowledge that consumers were unhappy with certain fees. And while some charges are understandable (whether we like them or not), a fee for writing a certain number of checks per month or using another bank's ATM, for example, is something we can control if we choose to avoid it. But a fee for accessing money by use of a debit card is one that many customers were unhappy with. When the bank's website experienced outtages and delays at the beginning of October and complaints on their Facebook page went unanswered, some customers were further vexed. Bank of America's CEO Brian Moynihan, however, argues that the bank provides "great service" and that most customers were satisfied with the new fees "once they are informed what's going on." 

Although I was one of only a few customers (or so it seems) who wasn't bothered by Netflix's recent planned changes and fee increase, it was heartening to see that in the end they listened to what their customers want and adjusted accordingly. It's good to see that banks are getting the hint, too. 


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