With Hurricane Sandy absolutely battering the East Coast, big banks including Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) stepped up to waive ATM, overdraft, and other fees for affected customers. Imagine that!
Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was also among the big banks to announce breaks for Sandy-affected customers ... with a catch. When it first announced the fee breaks, it said that customers could qualify for those waivers by calling an 800 number. Considering that the customs most in need of the break were likely without power and phone service, it was, to say the least, a "duh" moment for the bank that made it seem pretty tone-deaf.
But not to fear, B of A fans! The bank did eventually get it right, announcing late yesterday that customers would not have to call in after all to get fees waived. Instead, it's providing an automatic break for many customers on fees like over overdrafts and late payments between October 29 and November 5.
This scenario is a bit reminiscent of the bank's plans to introduce a $5 debit-card charge, only to walk back those plans a short time later after a huge outcry. It's another instance of B of A getting it right ... after a little nudge.
Notably, it's not just fee waivers that Bank of America is providing for those in Sandy's wake. This morning, the bank tweeted the following:
#Sandy Update: 25 branches in Manhattan are open w/charging stations & refreshments.
You can see the full tweet here for a list of locations.
Considering the amount of government cheese B of A was given in its time of need, it only seems right that it'd return the favor with some refreshments in the storm-battered Northeast.