I was pretty irritated, but the issue was more or less understandable. After struggling my way through a conversation with the rep I reached on the phone, I was issued a temporary credit in the amount of the check ($77) and was told I'd be contacted when they came to a resolution.
A few weeks later, they told me they'd retreived the check and the matter was resolved. I got a letter shortly afterwards, stating that my temporary credit had become a "permanent credit" and the issue was now "resolved." Stupidly, I assumed that this letter meant I now had a permanent credit, and that the issue was resolved.
Obviously I didn't know Bank of America too well at the time.
Now, weeks later, a mysterious -$77 debit hold shows up on my online banking. It's still listed as "processing," and as anyone who's ever had issue with a transaction at their bank is likely well aware, any processing transaction is pretty much shrouded in mystery. I wasn't very hopeful that I'd get anywhere, but I figured it was worth a shot to call them and ask WTF.
Once again, the rep was very difficult to communicate with (sounded distracted and kept trailing off sentences etc. - this has been a HUGE issue every time I call BoA lately), but I did manage to make her understand my problem. She said the check had been returned by the issuing bank, so not only were they taking my $77 back, I might be charged a $12 returned check fee. It's worth noting at this point that the check came from a long-time client, who is very reliable with his payments, so I immediately suspected that it had something to do with the check being physically damaged by the rain and/or the wet ATM itself. She said this might be the case, and that I wouldn't be charged the $12 if it was indeed an issue of a damaged check. (A small comfort.) She wasn't able to shed any light on why or how BoA justifies revoking a so-called "permanent credit" on a "resolved" dispute, but I didn't really push it because I suspect she doesn't have any more answers than I do.
The rep recommended that I contact the issuer of the check, which I immediately did. Upon doing so, I learned some interesting information:
1. Despite BoA's squawking about a returned check, the $77 was in fact withdrawn from his account.
2. The original check was, in fact, drawn on a Bank of America account. (I'd gotten so many checks from him at this point that I'd really stopped looking at them closely, so had forgotten that we actually used the same bank. AMAZING.)
I have no idea what sort of hijinks are going on here. My client is re-issuing the check and pursuing the issue with BoA, but I'm afraid I'm still going to get stuck with that $12 fee for some bullshit reason. I'm already in the process of leaving BoA because of another major issue I had with them last month, but this is just the icing on the cake.
tl;dr Bank of America is just the worst. [/brand new information]
EDIT: Some actual brand new information - they are, in fact, attempting to charge me a $12 returned item fee. Looking at the check image, I can see that it is wrinkled and the routing number can't be read easily, but it's impossible to tell if the actual check could just be unfolded to reveal the number, or if there's some greater damage involved. Either way, there is no earthly reason why I should be charged a $12 fee because their ATM ate the check. Also THEY TOOK THE MONEY ANYWAY warflegarbleraaaaaaaaaaaaage. I foresee spending my evening on the phone when I get off work tonight.