If you have an account with Merrill Lynch or one of its subsidiaries, I advise you to move them elsewhere before the acquisition by Bank of America becomes official. BofA uses the same sort of lying and delay tactics health insurance companies do in attempts to keep you from getting your own money from them.
In a period of two weeks I have been lied to no fewer than three times by tellers and customer service people at their 1-800 line regarding how to close a money market account. I have wasted time, money, and gas. If you already have high blood pressure, don't attempt to do something similar unless you have tranquilizers available.
The account was originally set up with MBNA, which was taken over by BofA a couple of years ago. I should have closed the account at the time, but my life was complicated by other issues, so it was low on my priority list. BofA never sent me new checks for the account, making it more difficult to make withdrawals without going to a branch.
Two weeks ago I decided to finally close the account. Went to a branch, where the teller and manager told me they couldn't close the account from there because they didn't have access to current interest calculations (Lie #1.) They told me I'd have to contact the customer service number.
So I drive home, call the 1-800 line. That person says the teller was incorrect, they should have been able to close the account at the branch. Further they tell me they can not close the account either (Lie #2), that I'll have to send a letter to their office in Florida. (Lie #3)
The next day, Thursday, I go to another branch to withdraw a large amount, leaving only the minimum to (hopefully) prevent any fees charged on the account. That day I also mail (certified mail) a letter to the Florida address requesting the account be closed.
The following Monday, the Florida office receives the letter (per the certified receipt.)
One week passes, check for the balance in the account still not received.
This morning, two weeks after I first tried to close the account at a branch, I call customer service to find out when I might expect a check. Person tells me that 1) yes, customer services could have closed the account when I called previously, they just couldn't close it with the higher balance. Ie. the first person I talked to never informed me the reason they weren't authorized to close the account was because of the amount in the account at the time, and that all I'd have to do is decrease it to some balance where they were authorized to do so. 2) they don't know the status of processing my request at the Florida office,and sending the letter basically did nothing. 3) It will take another 3-5 "business days" for me to get my money.
To recap: First I was told the branch couldn't close the account, then I was told they could. Then I was told customer service couldn't close the account, then I was told they could. Then I was told to send a letter, then I was told sending a letter did nothing.
I've wasted 1)several hours of my time dealing with this in person and on the phone, 2)gas to drive to a branch twice, 3) $5.32 in postage to mail a letter that most likely ended up in limbo or someone's round file.
By the time I receive a check it will have been nearly three weeks from when I first tried to close the account. BofA lied, delayed, and obfuscated every step of the way to prevent me from getting my own money.
Now I'll soon have to start the process all over again, because I have another account with a subsidiary bank of Merrill Lynch. When I opened that account several years ago I did so because it was a regional bank, not one of the giants that treat their customers like POS. Then a couple of years ago it merged with ML. And with the demise of ML, it will fall by the wayside.
Deja vu all over again.