The cruising life isn’t easy. I mean, it’s not where you simply pick up and take off. We prepared for our departure 7 years before we actually left. Most of the time spent was in refurbishing our boat; however, the last 2 years we also spent a great deal of time “Making our Butts Smaller” We made sure all the magazine subscriptions ended, we sold all our stuff and we made sure we had a reliable person to oversee what was left.
In the midst of our labors I had asked on a Cruising Bulletin Board what to do with all our “stuff”, sell everything or keep stuff and the most profound answer was: “Stuff has gravity, where ever your stuff is you’ll orbit it”! We did quite well with reducing the gravitational attraction to almost zero but we never quite gained weightlessness.
As most people who have traveled life’s trails a considerable amount we had acquired some items that didn’t fit well into a financial statement, we needed a Safe Deposit Box. A Safe Deposit box can be an oxymoron depending on the bank or institution you have secured one at. We had used a box before at a smaller bank near our residence but the bank changed hands and closed. Fortunately we were still living nearby and could easily move what we had in the box to another location. This time we chose a bank that had been in our town for as long as we had; almost 30 years. We went and purchased a box and put our “stuff” in it. Paid for a year and went cruising. Every year when the bill came due we paid for another year and last year when we were back in the states visiting family we paid for two years ensuring that we would be traveling back to the states by then and could easily pay forward again.
In this time period Bank of America had bought the bank where our safe deposit box was. A month ago we were in Sapzurro, Colombia, no airport, no roads, no cars thus no taxi’s, but Sapzurro did have phone service and internet. Our reliable agent in the US contacted us and said that Bank of America (BOA) sent a mailing (not even certified) indicating they were going to close our bank where we had the Safe Deposit Box at and we had 3 months to come retrieve the contents of the box or they would have the box drilled and our agent said this is what a Bank of America (BOA) representative told her, “put the contents in a folder and we could pick them up at a later date”!
IMHO a folder isn’t quite the same as a Safe Deposit Box in which we had paid for and I wasn’t interested in taking the risk of someone borrowing (permanently) anything from our folder. We had a big conundrum on our hands. We had paid for two years of a box at this bank and obviously Bank of America (BOA) wasn’t interested in honoring their side of the contract! Had I been Donald Trump I would have sent a squad of lawyers down on them simply because what they did IMHO isn’t morally or ethically right and doesn’t meet fair practice in any contract. However; I’m quite sure if I was Donald they would have used Brinks to move the contents to another Bank of America branch, secured another box, and sent me a limo when I was back in the area to retrieve my contents. But I’m not Donald. Thankfully.
Luckily our agent has a Power of Attorney for me and was able to secure with our keys access to the box and move the contents to another Safe Deposit Box. Luckily the individual our agent spoke with at Bank of America was friendly and understanding. That’s right now the only good thing I can say about Bank of America (BOA), they had one conscientious employee that has a heart. My agent was able to move the contents to a Safe Deposit Box to our Credit Union (thankfully IMHO the credit union will not play these games). and we’re all secure again.
I’m reminded of the classic saying “Fool me once, Shame on You; fool me twice, Shame on Me”! Bank of America will not get a chance; to the best of my abilities, to fool me twice. I hope to NEVER use their banks again for any service longer than the time it takes me to enter and exit. Bank of America (BOA) lost a costumer this year and hopefully any individuals reading this blog will take my experience into account in any of their dealings with Bank of America (BOA).