Yesterday I received a refund from Bank of America in connection with identity-theft protection of my credit-monitoring services. The refund came in an envelope marked "Refund information enclosed. Do not discard" in red lettering. Inside, a letter explaining:
"Upon reviewing your account records with our service provider, we found that while you are now enjoying the full benefits of your services, there was a period of time during which you did not receive all of the benefits of this service. Please note that no additional action is required. We received the information we needed from you and are now delivering the full benefits of your identity theft protection service. The refund attached below is yours to keep."
Curious, due to the “we received the information we needed from you and are now delivering…” wording, I called the number included in the letter to confirm that the check was valid and to ask for further information. The greeting on the number was in effect, "if you are calling about the check that you received, yes it is valid and be sure to deposit it within 120 days".
I held for a CSR who had limited answers to my questions:
- what time period was involved?
- which services were not received?
- how was the problem detected (since I had not given anyone additional/new information at any time)?
- how was the refund calculated?
I specifically asked if the check was related to a class-action lawsuit for credit-protection services and was told firmly "No". The CSR had few answers, and eventually transferred me to another CSR whose responses, while also vague on details, pointed me in the right direction to find an answer.
Based on this July 2012 blog post from Ken
, this Bloomberg article from August of 2012
, as well as other posts in this forum
, it appears the refund was indeed based on a settlement reached with the CFPB by various credit-card issuers for deceptive marketing practices related to credit card services. From the Bloomberg article, with respect to BOA, it appeared to be limited to:
based on queries from regulators related to identity-theft protection services and that consumers may have paid for products without receiving certain benefits from third-party vendors.
Based on the vague time period quoted by the second CSR, I calculated that my refund check was a complete refund of the monthly fee paid for a 20-month period starting around the end of 2004. Nice surprise - thank you CFPB and please continue working on behalf of consumers!