Tag Archives: Bank of America

“Barclaycard” Is An Insult To British Banking; Their Call Center Is An Insult To Humanity.

by Anura Guruge

In over 40-years of using credit cards I have never, ever, experienced such atrocious customer service as that I got (or more to the point did NOT get) from Barclaycard’s moronic Call Center in the Philippines.

Wow. Wow. Wow.

Yes, it took Amazon ten-years to perfect it, but Amazon’s Call Centers in the Philippines (and I think they have three locations) are outstanding.

Not so Barclaycard’s. Theirs is worse than a nightmare. The representatives are barely literate. I kid you not. They have no idea what you are talking about. I don’t think they have ever used a credit card themselves. All they can do is read a script. I feel sorry for them.

As a proud and patriotic Brit, I am ASHAMED that Barclaycard is British. Barclaycard is a sad affront to the long and mainly distinguished legacy of British banking. I, as a teenager, had my very first bank account at Barclays. I was chuffed to be a Barclays’ customer.

Not anymore. I closed my damn Barclaycard account.

Their Filipino Call Center. I don’t want to be TOO RUDE, but ‘Boy of Boy’. Talk about incompetence. Talk about rank stupidity. But, not their fault. Barclaycard has NOT trained them.

Barclaycard really has let the side down with this Call Center. I can’t tell you how BAD they were. It was that bad.

Take my word. I never mislead you. Do NOT deal with Barclaycard. IF you do, YOU will live to regret it.

Close your Barclaycard account. Burn your Barclaycard.

In my experience you cannot go wrong with a ‘Bank of America’ credit card. You get to deal with Americans not folks whose English is marginal.

So, ditch Barclaycard, get a BofA Credit Card. You will THANK ME for this advice.

Related Posts:
Search ‘credit cards.

by Anura Guruge

Google Pixel 2 (Oreo) — 6 APPs I Installed Disappeared, UNINSTALLED by System!

by Anura Guruge

I posted at “Android Central”. Click image to access my post … thread.

As some of you know (from all the posts on this blog) I got myself 128GB Google Pixel 2 phone for Christmas 2017 — my first real smartphone.

I got it mainly for the camera, but I am glad to have a decent phone — though I still prefer to use my ASUS ZenPad 10.1″ running Android 7.0 for most of the APPs because I like the bigger screen.

Between Christmas and Friday I installed 8 APPs from the Play Store. They are APPs that I also have on my ASUS ZenPad.

These 8 APPs were:

1. Garmin Connect

  2. Samsung Gear

  3. FAST (speed test from NetFlix)

  4. Amazon Kindle

  5. Bank of America

  6. Fidelity Investments

  7. Project Fi

  8. NVMS7000 (security camera app).

Configured them all with account numbers, passwords etc. AND used them all. Took me 20 minutes to set up NSMS7000.

This evening, i.e., Saturday, December 30, 2017, I went to use FAST.

It was NOT there!

Then realized other APPs were missing. Home screen nearly empty. See above image.

From the 8 installed ONLY Project FI and Samsung GEAR remained.

Others gone. Not in APP tray. Not in APPs.

Appears in the Play Store Library — but not as INSTALLED.

I did NOT uninstall them.

Just disappeared.

NOT good.

I just reinstalled and configured them — with the exception of NVMS7000. That takes time and I need my tablet to serve as crib sheet for the settings.

The missing APPS REINSTALLED. Yes, reinstalled. Now I have a screenshot record. Click to ENLARGE.

Called up Google Support. Got the Manila (Philippines) Call Center. That is a frigging JOKE. They are doing ‘ganja’. It is so strong you can smell it over the phone!


Related posts:
Search ‘Pixel 2’.

by Anura Guruge

Barclaycard US & A Fraudulent $194 Charge From Best Buy.

by Anura Guruge

A sample image found on the Web. {SMILE}

I got a Barclaycard Mastercard in February of this year. The last thing I needed was another credit card (to the dozen or more I already had) BUT I would have been an even bigger fool than normal to turn down the generous, one-time $250 Cash Back Reward — given that the 90-day spend requirement to get that was beyond easy to meet. {SMILE}. Yes, I got the $250, as a statement credit, within six weeks and that made me happy.

Given my British antecedents I am fond of Barclays. A good British institution.

I don’t use the Barclaycard as much as I probably should — preferring instead, for reasons I am not truly sure as to why, to use my Bank of America (BofA), Fidelity or Discover.

Anywho …

I check transaction activity on all my cards, online, irrespective of the frequency of use, on a regular basis.

Last week I checked the Barclaycard account and was SURPRISED to see a PENDING charge for $194.40 from Best Buy. I certainly had not bought anything from Best Buy in a month — though it was very true that I had been browsing the Best Buy Website that week looking for a new tablet. But, I was pretty certain I had not accidently bought one. Checked my Best Buy account. Nothing, and I would NOT have bought anything outside of the account because I would have wanted my Best Buy points. Checked around. Nope, nobody in the house had bought anything from Best Buy — of late.

In reality we had only bought two things from Best Buy THIS year: the new refrigerator in early April and an Android phone (later returned) in late April. I had paid for the refrigerator on a Best Buy credit card. However, I had bought the phone using the Barclaycard and that transaction was properly listed — as was the RETURN a week later.

So this was a mystery and semi-scary.

A $194.40 charge, albeit still pending, on my card.

I called them. They answered fairly quickly.

They were SLICK and wonderful.

No hassle, no grief. Just a few questions and then it was BANG, BANG, BANG.

They cancelled my card. They voided the transaction and it was GONE — totally gone — by the next day.

FedEx delivered a new card next morning by 10am! Wow.

I am impressed. I am glad I got a Barclaycard.

But, a heads up.

This is scary. So who stole my card information — since I still had the card in my possession.

I wonder whether Barclaycard will be able to find out. 

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘credit cards’ for many other related posts from past years >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Are The “Bank Of America” ‘Says The Llama’ Cleverly Parodying The ‘Dalai Lama’?

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE. Search the Web for more or swing by a “Bank of America” branch.

The basis of these ads, for the “Bank of America” mobile APP, is the notion of a Llama as a sage provider of wisdom.

When I saw a 5.5′ stand-up display ad at a “BofA” branch yesterday, which ended with a ‘punchline’ along the lines of “Says the Llama”, I was immediately struck that you could easily take that to be ‘Says the (Dalai) Lama‘.

Clever and cute.

I have no problems with it. I do not consider the Dalai Lama has infallible or even the nominal head of all the Buddhists around the World. Of late he has been saying some very strange things.

Just wondered whether YOU saw the Llama/Lama connection?


Related posts:
Check Categories ‘investments’ & ‘humor’ for related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

“RBC Wealth Management”: Incompetent, Disgustingly Expensive & Duplicitous!

by Anura Guruge

I have nothing but total utter contempt for this company and for the world of me cannot understand why an American, living in America, would ever think of investing with RBC. from what I have seen they have NOTHING, but nothing, going for them. They are desperate to cling on, at any and all costs, to the assets they hold and will go to extremes, including outright duplicity, to try and prevent you from withdrawing assets.

I would never have invested with RBC. I am partial to good ol’ American and British institutions, in particular Fidelity Investments, Barclays, Bank of AMERICA and TD Ameritrade.

I only had to deal with this miserable outfit because an elderly relative of Devanee’s had set up two 529 College Funds for her. He died last year and towards the latter part of the year I had to become the Custodian of these accounts since she, at 15, is still a minor. One of the accounts was with Blackrock and the other with bloody RBC.

Blackrock was a delight to deal with. Kudos and thank you. I was very impressed. IF I ever seriously thought of leaving Fidelity (and recently they informed me that I had been a customer for 30 years) I would consider Blackrock.

RBC was the polar opposite to Blackrock.

In December 2015 I had to first start the process of having the Custodianship transferred over to me. That is fairly involved and required ‘Medallion Guarantees‘ (which I had never heard of before in 40-years of financial dealings), death certificates and letters of intent. But finally got it done. Blackrock, on my very first call to them, went about setting up an online account for me so that I would have immediate access to the 529 account as soon as they received and processed the paperwork. Given that I am so used to doing my financial transactions online, that was neat and v. helpful. Not so with RBC. All the time I was with them I never had online access. I, nonetheless, managed to get everything transferred and set up with RBC.

After I took over the accounts my immediate druthers, quite naturally, was to have the 2 accounts transferred to Fidelity. Devanee already had an account at Fidelity and I, as some of you know, have a Fidelity tab open on this PC for 12-14 hours a day. It was just more convenient for me to have everything at Fidelity PLUS Fidelity doesn’t charge exorbitant fees and commissions.

So I set about trying to Rollover the two 529s using the Standard Rollover Form provided by Fidelity. And yes Fidelity helped me, over the phone, fill them in and get them correct.

In addition to the Rollover form Fidelity (quite rightly) requires a current statement of the account being rolled over so that they can make sure all is in order.

Getting a statement from Blackrock was no problem. I just logged on and printed one.

With RBC, as with all my dealings with them, I had to call them. I called them in February 2016 to ask for a statement. They said that they would be sending one to be, automatically, in April, for the first quarter — and that I should wait for that. I waited until the 3rd week in April. Called again. They said my statement was going out that week. I waited two weeks Nothing. Called again. They said they mailed me a statement. So I asked them what address they mailed it to. They gave me the address of the now deceased, previous custodian! I asked them whether that was the name and address they had for the account. They admitted that it was NOT and that this was in error. They also volunteered that this happens quite often. INCOMPETENCE.

They sent me a statement. I forwarded it to Fidelity, along with the 529 Rollover form in early May. A couple of weeks later, mid-May, I had a letter from Fidelity saying that they had sent to Rollover form to RBC and that they expected the proceeds to sent over within a couple of weeks.

Here are extracts from the Rollover form sent to RBC. Fidelity helped me, as they did with the Blackrock form, to fill this in and they, OBVIOUSLY, checked it, diligently, before they sent it over to RBC. Fidelity does not screw up often.

Click to ENLARGE and see …
(Sorry I wiped out account numbers etc.)


I waited, patiently, until June 20 before I called up Fidelity to ask why the funds had not arrived. They asked me to call RBC. I did.

RBC said that on May 19th they had REJECTED the Rollover because the Rollover form did not contain Devanee’s name!

That is a bold face lie. See the proof above. Plus Fidelity has copies of what they sent. Devanee’s name and social were on the Form, in the right place.

They just did NOT want to execute the Rollover because they didn’t want to lose the assets.

They claim that they sent a rejection letter to Fidelity on May 19th. Well Fidelity never got it.


I was beyond livid my now. Told them to liquidate the assets and send me a check. Said they couldn’t because there was a BLOCK on my account! Why was there a BLOCK on my account. Because they had received mail saying undeliverable. And why was that? Because they sent it to the P.O. Box of a deceased person! INCOMPETENCE.

I finally got a check. They charged $149.94 to sell 148 shares of a U.S. company! In totally this SCUMMY company charged me $351.94 to sell 184 shares! In essence they exploited a 15-year old child. Their commission came to 6.15% of the proceeds. That is disgusting.

So BE WARNED. RBC is scum. Stay clear of them. Why an American would want to deal with this outfit when WE have world class institutions — like Fidelity and Blackrock — defies comprehension.

That is it. Nothing more that needs to be said.


From ‘MarketWatch.com’. Click to ENLARGE.


Well RBC was recently DOWNGRADED to ‘negative’ by S&P. Click on image to access the full original.

Related posts:
++++ Check Category
 ‘Investments’ for related posts >>>>

by Anura Guruge

Fidelity BillPay & Cash Management Flawed.

by Anura Guruge


I am a huge fan of Fidelity Investments. I have been a customer for over 24 years and they are very nice to me, at least 99% of the time. In general I have nothing but GOOD to say about them. They do try.

But recently I discovered, to my cost, that their cash management policies, that have always been suspect, can lead to SERIOUS problems when it comes to Bill Pay.

Fidelity, of late, has been enticing all of their customers to partake in their Fidelity BillPay — and even offering incentives.

Well, be careful. Very careful.

A very nice lady representative (and 99.9% of Fidelity’s reps are OUTSTANDING) summed it up yesterday, very pithily as such: “However hard we (i.e., Fidelity) try in the end we are NOT a bank and continue to be a traditional brokerage house”. And that is the issue. Though they like to act and quack like a bank, in the end they are not.

Their cash management has always given me pause — though after all these years I have kind of come to terms with it. But it still bothers me.

If you buy stock (or equivalent) at Fidelity they IMMEDIATELY take your cash. Bang. Actually you can’t complete the transaction unless you have the cash or margins (and I don’t deal in margins (since I know I will be tempted)). That is OK.

But when I sell any stocks (or equivalents), HELD at Fidelity (and as such known to be liquid and beyond reproach) they don’t let me have cash to WITHDRAW till 3 days later. The old, traditional brokerage house 3-days to settle. That is duplicitous and disingenuous. But they get away with it because you have no choice. IF you trade with Fidelity those are THEIR rules.

Well Fidelity BillPay sometimes falls foul of their Brokerage House mentality and rules. You may have cash in your account and their system will tell you that you have cash BUT when it comes to BillPay that cash might not be accessible. It is crazy.

Best to do your bill pay through a band and just transfer funds from Fidelity to the bank. That is what I am now doing — via Bank of America.

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘Fidelity‘ for other related posts from past years >>>>

by Anura Guruge

A Picture Of GMTX 3105 GATX EMD GP 40 Locomotive In Concord, Sandwiched BETWEEN Concrete Freight Cars.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

This is was quick shot. We had to stop at Bank of America in Concord. We were on the way to Concord Hospital for an appointment. So Deanna wouldn’t let me run up to the train to get a proper picture.

What cracked me up was that the engine was sandwiched between concrete freight cars to the front and back. It works. It was cute. It was just doing shunting stuff.


Click to ENLARGE.

Alton (NH) ‘Meredith Village Savings Bank’, Next To Hannaford’s, Robbed At Gunpoint On 10/10. Wow.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘Alton‘ for the myriad of other related posts >>>>

Click to access WMUR coverage.

Click to access WMUR coverage.


From Google Earth.


We have an account there though we don’t use it much at all. We bank with ‘Bank of America‘. Meredith Village Savings Bank (MVSB) is ‘very nice’ but it is pretty basic. It is but a local bank.

This is a shame. I guess lot of people get paid, my check, on Thursday.

In 2007 or 2008 we were driving by when a bank in Farmington was getting robbed — and ‘dozens’ of police cars swooped in and all these armed policeman jumped out. It was pretty spectacular. There were no shots fired. We drove off after awhile without waiting to see how it ended. The kids were small and they were getting agitated.

I feel bad for the bank employees. Very nice, helpful, pleasant bunch. 

Unstinted Kudos & HUGE THANK YOU To Bank Of America.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

Anura Guruge


Over the last 16 days, ever since my disastrous, nightmarish move to DirecTV, I have just felt abused, raped and degraded by DirecTV and TDS Telecom (who handle my DISH billing) — though to be fair during that same period I had service from DISH (yes, DISH), Google (on one of our 3 Nexus 7 pads) and Direct Sat (who refunded me my whole payment) that exceed expectations.

But, I had still been feeling battered and bruised — and mentally exhausted.

A wonderful company with great values. I love interacting with Fidelity. It is the ONLY phone call I enjoy making and even look forward to!

This morning as month end approaches I had to do some financial transactions. I first called up Fidelity. I had been saving this call till today. Dealing with Fidelity is ALWAYS a pleasure. They are so nice. So helpful. So pleasant. I am not a phone person. Never have been. But, I enjoy calling Fidelity. So, I called them up. As ever, piece of cake. Smooth as can be. No hassle. No aggravation. Just pure unadulterated ‘service with a smile’. I like Fidelity.

Then I called up Bank of America. I often see folks, especially on CraigsList (Boston & NH), ranting, foaming at the mouth, about BofA. I have been with them for a long time. I really have never had any problems with them. I have always found that they do their very best to help you out. I have multiple credit cards with them and we have a checking out with them — since they were the only bank in the U.S. that was able to accept, electronically, my very small pension from the U.K.! I enjoy dealing with BofA too — except that with them I also get to interact with them in person if I visit one of their local branches in Concord, Manchester or Rochester.

So this morning I called them. As nice as they can be. Answered all my questions. Then out of the blue, this rep says something along the lines of: ‘You have been a good customer for a long time. You have an excellent record with your credit cards. Let us do YOU A FAVOR and help you out even more …‘. No, I am not stupid enough to tell you the details. But, I was staggered and it takes a lot to stagger me. This was way beyond anything I had expected. It was like winning the lottery! Wow. I am impressed, and humbled. There was absolutely no reason that BofA had to do what they did. I had not asked for anything. I was just going through some numbers.

Suffice to say I am delighted. Yes, it was a big, unexpected favor. Of late I am totally jaundiced. I expect nothing from people. As I pointed out the other day, of late I can empathize with this squirrel and TDS and DirecTV have a lot to do with that sentiment. So, this was really great. Made my day. Actually it has made my year!

TDS Broadband (Fiber) Internet: Long Outage Last Night In The Lakes Region, NH.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

by Anura Guruge

Last post about TDS:
>> Talk About Absurd. TDS Is Making Me Pay $6.89 Tax For A Telephone Line I Do NOT HAVE! — Oct. 4, 2012.

Bang! Right at midnight I lost my TDS Internet connection.

TDS does this to me quite often; twice a month. It is always between midnight and 12:20. I am still working. Yesterday, I was just about to access this blog. Nothing.

Now, anytime after midnight, even if there is even the faintest flicker, I automatically glance down at my Windows 7 icon tray — bottom right. Sure enough, the DREADED Internet down Yellow Triangle. That is the Yellow Triangle of death for me.

Usually they are back within 20 minutes. Not so last night. I am sure they will claim it was related to the earthquake — which was 4 hours 45 minutes earlier.

Basically they are doing maintenance and I appreciate the need for that. I am cool with that.

I have, however, repeatedly asked for but two things, both of which I think are reasonable:

1/ Any chance you can DELAY the maintenance till later in the morning 3am to 4am. I am sure MOST folks really are a sleep by then.

2/ Any chance you can send us an e-mail saying scheduled maintenance tonight.

Nada. Very strange company. I would say the strangest I deal with. The people CANNOT be nicer. It is as if they are trained and trained again to be polite, courteous and helpful. [I have only ever had one TDS rep. who was testy and rude and basically told me I was an idiot.] But, the faceless corporate, i.e., the amalgamation of all those really nice people, does not seem to care about me. I dread getting anything from TDS. It is never good news.

It is funny. I interact with Fidelity, GoDaddy and Bank of America, as much as I do with TDS. With those companies there seems to be a correlation between the folks you talk to and the faceless corporate. Fidelity is a prime example. I have been dealing with them for decades. Invariably the person you are on the phone with represents Fidelity; i.e., there is no disconnect between the rep and the company the rep. works for. Take for example my local TDS techie. Cannot be nicer or more helpful. I sing his praises. But, in this perverse way, he is NOT TDS. TDS is the company that charges taxes on a phone line I don’t have or refuses to listen to me about scheduled maintenance. He can’t fix it and neither can anybody in TDS. It is that faceless corporate.

C’set la vie.