Woman Boycotts Bank of America, Wins

Calif. woman boycotts her credit card bills after rate hike; bank backs down.

ByABC News via GMA logo
September 27, 2009, 6:32 PM

Sept. 28, 2009 — -- A California woman is being praised online as a modern-day folk hero after she led a successful one-woman boycott against one of the nation's biggest banks over what she called an unfair interest rate hike.

Ann Minch said in a YouTube video Sept. 6 that she was starting a debtors' revolt and refused to pay any more credit card bills after Bank of America raised her 12.99 percent interest rate to 30 percent.

In an impassioned online declaration, Minch said a victory in her fight was the proverbial first shot of a debtors' revolution against major banking institutions who she said are abusing the U.S. middle class. Minch said she has been a Bank of America customer for 14 years, was not over the limit on her balances and was not behind on any payments.

The video quickly went viral and, as of this report, has had more than 300,000 views.

Two weeks later, on Sept. 19, Minch posted another YouTube video, this time claiming she was contacted by a Bank of America senior official and, after a discussion about her account and the abuses of big banks in general, the bank agreed to reduce her rate back to the original 12.99 percent. Minch only had time to purposefully miss one payment before the bank called her, she said.

In the same video, Minch said an online statement from Bank of America showed her rate as 23.99 percent, rather than the 12.99 percent she thought she had agreed upon with the bank.

"So, I don't know what B of A's doing," she said. "I don't know if they know if the right hand knows what the left hand is doing."

In a statement, Bank of America appeared to confirm Minch's story, saying that "based on additional information we received about her situation, we reached a mutually agreeable resolution." The bank did not divulge the new rate.