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Entries in Debt Card Fees (1)

Wednesday
Oct052011

BofA Site Problems Persist; Customers Petition Company

Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- For six consecutive days, Bank of America's website has experienced disruptions, delaying customer access to its website and raising concerns that it may have been hacked.

The company has said the problem is not related to hacking or the announcement last week that it will charge a $5 monthly debit card purchase fee.

Cyber security experts counter the only explanation for outages on several consecutive days is a so-called denial of service attack.

Denial of service attacks occur when a site is inundated with an enormous number of apparently legitimate requests, which could explain why the site's home page alone seems to be suffering the brunt of the disruptions.

"The only reasonable conclusion is that they are under attack," Steve Gibson, internet security expert, said. "A site of that size should be expected to handle huge volume with no trouble at all…the only time we ever see anything like this is when some major site has upset a group of hackers."

Bank of America is dealing with sporadic site problems since Friday, including four business days, as well as backlash from the debit card fee announcement.

Molly Katchpole launched a petition against Bank of America, which was signed by more than 131,000 customers and counting, saying she would take her business elsewhere unless the company drops its plan to charge $5 for debit card purchases. She wants her message to ring loud and clear, especially to other banks.

She said the petitioners are not interested in hearing the bank's reasons for the proposed increase: regulation and economics.

The petition, called "Tell Bank of America: No $5 Debit Card Fees," states, "When the recession first hit, we gave Bank of America billions of dollars in bailout money. Our reward is higher fees for the same services. At some point, we've got to say enough is enough."

Bank of America was one of eight large banks that received an initial round of funding from the Treasury Department as a result of the financial crisis. The bank received $45 billion and returned the funds in December 2009.

Katchpole, 22, said she launched the petition after hearing about Bank of America's plan to add the $5 fee. She created an online petition, her first, on the free community campaign site Change.org because she'd signed previous petitions there.

Bank of America did not return a call from ABC requesting comment about the petition.

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