Speed Reads

consumer alert

Bank of America to pay $772 million for deceiving customers

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If you paid Bank of America for credit monitoring and credit reporting services and never received them, you might be entitled to part of a massive settlement.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Wednesday that Bank of America had used "illegal tactics" on customers from 2000 to 2011, including misleading marketing and billing practices. B of A has been ordered to pay close to $772 million in refunds to customers and fines to federal regulators — $20 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, $25 million to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the rest to more than one million customers who often unwittingly purchased the additional products.

Regulators charge that Bank of America telemarketers would routinely tell customers that these services were free for 30 days, when they were being charged right away. They also used phrases that led customers to believe that they were agreeing to receive more information about the services, not actually enrolling in a program.

"Bank of America both deceived the customers and unfairly billed consumers for services not performed," Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said. "We will not tolerate such practices and will continue to be vigilant in our pursuit of companies who wrong consumers in this market." Read more about the case at The New York Times.