BofA’s “$0 Liability Guarantee” – Is It As Good As it Sounds?

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By Consumers Union on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Bank of America has begun publicizing a new security policy – the$0 liability guarantee – which applies to all BofA credit and debit cards.

Under their policy, consumers who discover unauthorized transactions or billing errors are not liable for those charges so long as they report the problem within 60 days. If the consumer waits until after 60 days, then the consumer may be on the hook for any charges made after the 60th day and up until the consumer reports the problem. (To read the full service agreement, click here.)

But this is generally nothing new…it’s what BofA is already required to do under federal law. Federal laws give you the right to dispute, and not have to pay, unauthorized transactions or billing errors that you discover on your credit or debit card statements.
• Regulation E, which governs debit cards, states that a consumer has 60 days to report a billing error/unauthorized transaction and prevent any liability.
• Regulation Z, which governs credit cards, states that a consumer has 60 days to report a billing error/unauthorized transaction and prevent any liability.

BofA also claims that it will usually recredit your account by the next business day if you dispute a transaction. However, if you look at the fine print, it says that it may take up to 10 business days – again, this is just like the federal standard for debit transactions. In the case of credit cards, consumers cannot be charged for a transaction if they dispute it, at least while an investigation into the dispute is underway.

However, BofA does not make it clear whether their “$0 liability guarantee” would apply to instances where you lose your card or your card is stolen. Under federal law, you have the following protections:
• If you report a lost/stolen card within 2 business days, your liability for fraudulent charges is limited to $50. If you report it within 60 days, your liability is limited to $500.
• If you report a lost/stolen card, your liability is limited to $50.

For more information on credit and debit card protections, check out the tips in this past blogpost.

Have you tested out BofA’s “$0 liability” policy? If your credit/debit card was lost/stolen, did they extend their “$0 liability guarantee” to you? Submit your comments below.

3 responses to “BofA’s “$0 Liability Guarantee” – Is It As Good As it Sounds?”

  1. Rebecca A Brusseau says:

    I am embarrassed to post but I had an injury, head, and found out my caretaker friend signed for purchases and took out over 24k from my injury settlement. I called boa and got someone named Sophia. I explained my disability and she said I had to file claims it turned out to be a mess. I told her I had a hard time doing papers and no faxcimi machine.

    So the next day, some of it was in account while investigating is done.. I started getting notices that clame was over and dnt give any reports. The caretaker lady haf a crime and drugs history so I told Sophia I was scared of her. She said they will help me.

    Bank said all clames were fine..Each clame had many charges which I don’t understand.

    I kept trying to get Sophia and they don’t care or know her so I quit and don’t care what they do. Too many different phone calls and I really after my injury talking slow and idiotic having to explain all over soany time. If I made this charges then please show proof. They’d cant. I hate boa

  2. Toni Thornton says:

    I bought Xmas gifts, online, but the next day, I received am email, from the company stating that my order was canceled! I was confused since I didn’t cancel my order, so I immediately contacted the business, only to find out, that this business, in the UK, didn’t have Phone number, only way to contact them Was through email! My first response, took a couple of days, but didn’t give me any clear understanding as why order was canceled! The next day, I noticed that $260.00 was processing, out of my checking account from this business! I email them again, explaining what is happening, I wait a couple of days for a response and the email stated, that they did not Take out money account from my account! I check account and $260.00 was paid to this company! I finally call B of A, I knew that give you a temp credit, while they investigate the problem! Now, I have another problem, B of A told me, that I must wait 10,business for any credit to be placed in my account! At this point it’s only 7 days to Xmas, I’m out $260.00, no gift, and my bank(who has said they give immediate credit), didn’t help me! These were gifts I could Have replaced, but not without the money taken illegally from me! Bank of America promises a service, then lies to you about it! After 10 business days, Xmas is over and I Have to live with the disappointed from children (no gift) and my own anger of being cheated out of my hard earned money! Guess, B of A doesn’t value me as a customer…I’m sure another bank would!

  3. Denise Vance says:

    My purse along with my id & debit card was stolen and I reported it the same day over $800 BofA did NOT credit me 1 single dollar. So BofA’s $0 liability policy is a lie. There reason they gave me was because of geographic area! All of the fraudulent charges were made 35 miles from were I live. It doesn’t make any sense, one of the merchants I contacted credited me back $76. I am closing my account with them. B of A is a fraud!!

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