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ARLINGTON, Va. — Bank of America’s merger with MBNA has been drawing consumer ire because of technical problems related to the merging of their operating systems, according to an article on the ConsumerAffairs.com Web site. ConsumerAffairs.com is an independent consumer Web site. An article posted on the site on Nov. 8, Bank of America/MBNA Merger Produces More Problems, describes consumers who carry MBNA cards and suddenly find the cards turned off by Bank of America. Others complained that the new imaging ATMs that the bank put in place after the merger have taken the cards and their checks and then not credited their accounts. “I have been embarrassed by having my credit card denied in a restaurant and a doctor’s office,” he said. “Luckily they accepted American Express or I would be washing dishes now,” the article quoted a cardholder named Tom from Santa Clara, Calif. Tom called Bank of America, and they confirmed his card was good and he had available credit. “There is a system-wide problem with their credit card process and they have no idea when it will be fixed,” he said he was told. Another irate customer lost both his Bank of America debit card and several checks to hungry new ATMs put in place since the merger. “I put my debit card in a BofA ATM machine and it promptly ate it, refusing to regurgitate either card or money,” they wrote. “It was one of BofA’s new ATM machines, the ones that supposedly take check deposits. I have tried to deposit numerous checks using the new machines but with zero success.” The article reported that the problem stems, in part, from BofA issuing new Bank of America-brand cards to MBNA customers as their cards expire, a process that may account for the failure of some MBNA cards to process. The site also reported that Bank of America has chosen to use MBNA’s own account managing system, and take the process in-house, rather than outsource account management to third party companies as it has done in the past. The bank did not return calls for comment about the report, but Bank of America Card Services President Bruce Hammond has announced he will speak at a financial conference on Nov. 15 about the bank’s card issuing strategies. –[email protected]

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