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