Charlotte, NC – Bank of America confirmed a major online glitch on the morning of Wednesday, August 5, 2020, when many of its customers saw $0 on their online account balances.
“Some of our clients may currently see an inaccurate account balance in online or mobile banking. There is no impact on their accounts and their information remains secure. We are working to address it as quickly as possible,” Bank of America said in a written statement Wednesday. Despite this statement, the bank feared “panic” while not knowing how many of its customers were impacted by this glitch.
Instead of issuing a public apology or generic online disclaimer for customers, the bank simply recommended that customers use other avenues to review their balances and conduct business. Since the online balance was inaccurate and reflected $0, customers were not able to complete online transactions, including transferring money from their checking accounts to savings accounts.
Additionally, several departments at Bank of America have not explained the cause of this glitch. The bank’s legal team has failed to not only acknowledge the liabilities, but the technical team has neither disclosed what caused the glitch, nor what preventive measures are being taken for the future.
The Current Affairs Times interviewed a few of the bank’s once-loyal customers, who are now switching to rivals like Chase and PNC. One anonymous customer from New Jersey claims “the bank not only took a lot of money from me in terms of fees but also misappropriated a lot of my funds without proper accounting.”
“I have been a customer for over 20 years with Bank of America. However, lately, I have moved to Chase simply because the customer service was rude — not answering my concerns, negligent while taking a look at my accounts, and not aware of many of the bank’s policies. I have also noticed that different supervisors and customer service reps give me contradictory answers,” the customer said.
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The Current Affairs Times also interviewed one of the bank’s employees, who will remain anonymous. They asserted the state of big banks in America is “overcrowded and the teams do not coordinate well. One team does not know what the other team does. These banks are too big to fail but too big to manage.”
“The work culture is more factory-oriented and less skills-based. Many employees secure jobs at Bank of America, using these positions as the first rungs on ladders to gain better experience…some employees continue working purely out of insecurity,” the employee said.
On Wednesday, Bank of America tried to reassure customers that their information was secure, but many customers resorted to social media and addressed their frustrations with the glitch. Customers echoed their fears, that their banking data was compromised. Customers believe the technical glitch was negatively impacting their autonomy in conducting their own private banking.
Mark Pipitone, spokesperson for Bank of America, responded to a news agency email many hours after the glitch, confirming “the issue is fixed and account balances are restored.” He failed to clarify the exact meaning of “balances are restored” as well as the status of those account balances.
In October, 2019 a similar outbreak happened within the bank and consumers were in a state of panic over the outage. A number of customers claimed that they lost access to their accounts. This outage occurred across the country. 73 % of those issues were related to online banking. There were over 9000 registered complaints.
Since 2019, what is Bank of America doing to address “technical defects?” How is the bank protecting its 66 million customers?
Image credit: Lippincott, official creator of BOA logo