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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bank of America Rep Responds To No Linux Support

This isn't exactly fresh news but I think some of you might find this interesting.

Before we get into it, a couple of things to keep in mind:

1.  The Bank of America is a Silver member of The Linux Foundation.

2.  Tim Golden -- Senior vice president at Bank of America sits on the
     Linux Foundation Board of Directors.

You might want to take a look at what Mr. Golden has to say in the above link about Linux on the Desktop and in the racks before you go any further.

With that being said...

A couple of months back, Skip Guenter, our Director of System Engineering noticed some disturbing language in an email he received from his bank.

That would be Bank of America.

It dealt with his online banking and it concerned the "Electronic Disclosure Statement" online agreement to which he was being asked to agree.



In a nutshell, it is asking BOA online banking users to agree that they are using specific hardware and software to do said banking.  It isn't giving an option to opt-out...it is asking you to say you are using specific hardware and software...even if you are not.  

As you can see in the graphic above, Linux users are not included.

Go figure...

Skip wasn't comfortable in "agreeing" to this so he began the laborious task of trying to find the person who could change it.

Now, with legal issues in mind here, I am going to walk a fine line in reporting the back-and-forth between the BOA representative and Skip Guenter.  Some of the emails had confidentiality statements attached to them and some did not.

To protect ourselves, I will only post those communications that did not have such agreements.  They tell the story well enough.

Look, we all know that we use a less-common OS.  We can argue the numbers all day but whether we have 1 percent usage or 7 percent usage, we can all agree that some would consider the Linux Operating System "obscure".

Or not...

Skip finally contacted someone who deals with browser support strategy and compatibility.  I will post the text of the most important dialog below:

Guenter:  First off I want to thank you for taking the time to reply.  It's appreciated.

I understand the desktop user base issue (especially here in the US, maybe 1%) and I don't really need or expect you to "support" Linux in any direct manor since you are supporting the Firefox browser.

I am not having any problems using Firefox on Ubuntu to do my on-line banking nor have I over the years I've been doing biz with Bank of America.

My issue is purely that the electronic disclosure statement that I'm being required to sign in order to access my account (Hardware & Software Requirements, which, btw, seems to be completely software) says that I *AM* using the software listed.  Since I am not using this I don't feel right in signing it.  Is there any way some wording could be changed to say that I understand using anything else is "unsupported" instead of asking me to sign something saying that I 'am' using Windows or OS/X  (eg. opt out with... "Yes, I'm a demented geek and understand that BAC will not support issues arising from my use of the Linux OS")?

As it is now I can't even pay my upcoming payment due because I can't get past checking "I agree" to this.  I have talked to customer service and requested to be changed back to paper billing but certainly this can't be the direction you want to drive customers.
I also have an account with Chase.  They use a link to all the legalize at the bottom of each page.   The one that covers roughly the same topic is item #5 in the below.

(note we received the following message when clicking the above-noted url: 
Due to the presence of characters known to be used in Cross Site Scripting attacks, access is forbidden. This web site does not allow Urls which might include embedded HTML tags. )




The only Chase Bank requirements are below:
   
Hardware and Software Requirements. In order to access, view, and retain electronic Communications that we make available to you, you must have:
  • an up to date Internet browser that we support;
  • sufficient electronic storage capacity on your computer's hard drive or other data storage unit;
  • an e-mail account with an Internet service provider and e-mail software in order to participate in our electronic Communications programs;
  • a personal computer (for PC's: Pentium 120 Hhz or higher; for Macintosh, Power Mac 9500, Power PC 604 processor 120-MHz Base or higher), operating system and telecommunications connections to the Internet capable of receiving, accessing, displaying, and either printing or storing Communications received from us in electronic form via a plain text-formatted e-mail or by access to our web site using one of the browsers specified above.
  • software that enables you to view files in the Portable Document Format ("PDF").


In other words, I am not expecting you to support Firefox/Linux, just don't make me 'sign' saying I'm using Win/OS/x when I'm not, to continue using your on-line banking service.

Thank you very much for your time,

Skip


S. R. 'Skip' Guenter


The response from the BOA rep follows:

BOA Rep:  Mr. Guenter, I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. Our legal team reviewed the language of the disclosure and your concerns and here is what they had to say:


We are required by the Electronic Signatures and Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign) to disclose the hardware and software requirements a customer needs to access any legally required disclosures, such as our transfer and bill pay disclosures contained in the OLB Service Agreement.  The hardware and software requirements disclosed should be based on what the Bank actually tests against to make sure the information is accessible.


If we water down the language by making the hardware and software disclosures more generic or saying that the hardware and software is merely suggested/recommended, we risk a couple of things:

1.  You would be creating an obligation to test every single combination of browser, operating system, and PDF reader in use out there to make sure the information is accessible; and 2.  If you don't test every combination and a customer using an obscure combination can't access legally required disclosures, they could argue that the Bank didn't actually deliver these disclosures in compliance with law.


So, in the end, while we appreciate your concerns, we need to keep the language as stated in order to keep ourselves compliant with the E-Sign act. Basically, how we interpret the language is to say that in order for us to fully support any issues and the security of our customers, we require them to use only certain browser operating system combinations. However, if you CHOOSE to use a different browser or OS, you will not receive that full support and protection. Accepting the terms and conditions merely signifies that you understand and accept this risk. Does that clear things up for you?


To which Skip replied:

Guenter:  I do appreciate the fact that you took the time to respond.  I'm going to have to think about what I do now.

Funny thing -  Last night I was watching a show on Hulu.com and the primary sponsor was your company.  They had a good advert basically showing folks how they could do their banking from their mobile devices, mentioning by name the Android.  I thought, no kidding, I wonder if the legal guys know what "obscure" operating system runs on that!  I'm sure you do and I needn't elaborate my point here.  I wonder what OLB Service agreement the users of those devices are presented with.

Again, Thank you,

S. R. 'Skip' Guenter


So that brings up a number of questions.  Doesn't BOA offer an Android app for  phones and tablets?  This link states that they do.  Is there a different requirement for phones vs. computers? 

And I won't insult your intelligence by asking you what the Android platform is based on...Guenter alludes to that in his response.

And what part, if any will Canonical play in this?  They are the big dogs in the pit so to speak.  If anyone in the Linux or Open Source community has reason to interact with this effort then it would be them.  With their upcoming and somewhat abrupt switch to Unity vs Gnome...one would think.

So once again, we are seeing "Linux Foundation members" doing the same thing that Netflix did recently.  They lay the whole thing on "legal" issues....In the case of Netflix, intertwined with DRM and the DMCA.

It's been fairly evident that The Linux Foundation isn't really concerned with Desktop use...it wants membership from the Enterprise.  Those who use Linux more on the server side.  That's where the money is, at least according to a conversation Tom King and I had with Jim Zemlin at the 2008 Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit.

They want to play in the pool but they don't want to do any of the maintenance.  At least from a Desktop point of view.  Of course, as a Linux Desktop advocate, I would see such things through that filter.  That's not saying it's an accurate observation.

Maybe from a business standpoint, Bank of America is doing what they are legally responsible for...making stockholders happy?  Holding down costs?

I'm not going to make any further judgments...above are the facts.

We can sort it out in the comments.

All-Righty Then





45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't the Netflix issue because Moonlight doesn't have DRM support, which Netflix needs so that it can keep the companies supplying the video happy?

Anonymous said...

So once again, we are seeing "Linux Foundation members" doing the same thing that Netflix did recently. They lay the whole thing on "legal" issues.


And if I remember correctly, that "ruling" is based on points within the DCMA which is a law.

Jeff Gu said...

Netflix tells me that they contracted MS for the support (Silverlight)... I'm thinkinkg somebody might have been interested in providing similar support under Linux, and probably for a whole lot cheaper. However, they apparently never asked anyone. But, then, two calls to Netflix yielded two different answers, which is actually what I expected. I once got 17 different answers to one question in 17 calls to a cable provider.

Kevin (Whizard72) said...

Well with Netflix running on Android, I seriously doubt that it's not doable on Linux desktops.

The Linux Foundation isn't primarily concerned with desktop usage although they should be, companies like Adobe think it's relevant enough to adopt the VDPAU and crystal hd APIs for video acceleration. Their stage video presentation is going to change everything for Linux users in particular especially when they bring it to 64bit systems.

It's fortunate that Linux is relevant because of server/mobile/embedded applications because the desktop wouldn't stand a chance without that but again, we are seeing companies supporting the Linux desktop even if it's not directly.

Keep in mind that the PC world IS still extremely young yet,

lycan 762 said...

I find that funny that BOA say that, and so many thing having issues with the mainstream operating systems. I recently had similar talk with my local credit union, but it went so much better. I brought some interesting point about Linux. They were more curious about it, and then about 3 weeks later they changed recommended software/ hardware to online banking with them. They actually suggest Firefox as the first browser choice.

I think that's stupid that big companies are pushing people one way or another with that kind of crap. This is why we need to help people with Linux, and get all the FUD out of the way, and let people know there is options out there.

The best ideas in the world started as small seeds, and over time they grey into amazing accomplishments.

Joe said...

um, no...

Netflix happily streams content to my Roku box, which is - wait for it - Linux!

So that demolishes the lame argument that it's somehow not legally possible to support linux.

What's the real reason? Inquiring minds want to know!

Anonymous said...

"If we (the bank) don't test every combination and a customer using an obscure combination can't access legally required disclosures, they could argue that the Bank didn't actually deliver these disclosures in compliance with law."

Well, the fallacy is that they are *not* testing every device currently possible. Linux is becoming very prevalent these days, as is Android and iPad/iPhone I am seeing them more and more each day.

Gavin said...

The wording here is very interesting, but it looks to me like BoA does allow GNU/Linux and BSD and anything else to access their online banking services, from a legal perspective.

"While you may be able to access and retain the Communications using other hardware and software" - This looks like the standard legal cop-out as far as saying something like "it is possible that there exists another solution or approach other than what we are about to explicity list". Similar to "including but not limited to" in a contract or EULA.

"your personal computer needs to support the following requirements" - Here they just come out and say that something must be present and/or available. But if you look here:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/support

The definition of the second transitive verb form of support states: "To provide materials, effort, information or endorsement for a specific activity, ideal, or entity".

Thus, in the legal sense, the second part of that BoA sentence merely means that one's personal computer (and NOT the owner!) must be capable of running the listed software. In which case, as long as the system and/or the sum of its components are technically capable of running Windows or Mac OS X, the "personal computer" in question is fine as-is, regardless of whether or not that software is actually being used. So the listing of the OSes is just a suggestion, as you can infer by cross-referencing the two bullet points:

"An operating system, such as", which lists Windows NT, 2000, and ME, yet:

"Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 and higher" (also prefaced with the words "such as"), which does NOT run on WinXP SP1 or previous!:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/ie/ie7/sysreq.mspx

The browser requirements as a whole are much more useful in determining exactly what BoA's online banking requirements are, which is to say: "an Internet browser which supports HTML 4.0 and 128bit SSL encryption and Javascript". According to some brief online research, even Seamonkey meets these requirements.

Furthermore, BoA's legal obligations to the Electronic Signatures and Global and National Commerce Act, as paraphrased by them, requires them to test certain combinations of software IF they want to disclose those combinations as being fully capable of accessing the resources which they are legally obligated to provide to their customers. But the inverse is not true, namely that combinations of software NOT disclosed by them will not be capable of accessing said resources. This is a logical if, not iff.

In the case of Android and other such seemingly contradictory examples, BoA need only test the finite number of Android devices and software combinations IF they wish to disclose the Android platform as being capable of accessing said resources. Since they do not, they are merely saying that they will not provide support to such platforms as are not listed, such as Android. It would be far easier to test the Android platform, however, than it would be to test for GNU/Linux as a whole; although it would be far easier still to test only the LTS releases of Ubuntu.

In the end, I have to agree with the BoA representative. BoA is not explicity excluding GNU/Linux, which in the legal sense means GNU/Linux is allowed. The fact that GNU/Linux is not explicity included simply means BoA will not support it if a problem arises. While I would like to see BoA support Linux and/or BSD in some way (such as my previous mention of LTS releases of Ubuntu), they are at least not forcing us all to exclusively use pay-for software. In other words, this does not make me dislike BoA, but this does not make me like them, either. ;)

proletariat said...

This does not seem so much about Linux as DRM. Roko and Android although linux based are not as free. I would say its not a legal issue as much as a freedom one. If linux was willing to give up a degree of freedom I am sure this issue would be mute. I am for one will keep my freedom and live with consequences.

twitter said...

I doubt a too big to exist bank would let a trade organization or law push them around. You can see what the law means to them when it comes to fraudulent forclosures. Incompatibility with software freedom and user choice is a good reason to leave Bank of America but their bad attitude and lack of clue is shared with most other large banks. Credit unions will treat you better.

Anonymous said...

The market will sort this out. IF Google Chrome becomes a viable and well-used platform, Bank of America will accommodate those customers on laptop devices.

Until then, they will respond consistently with their stated policies.

Anonymous said...

Poor BOA. If they hired 10 linux guys for support, BOA annual profit would collapse from $12,500,000,000 to only $12,499,650,000 ! And only option then would be to close down the business.

Anonymous said...

We are required by the Electronic Signatures and Global and National Commerce Act (E-Sign) to disclose the hardware and software requirements a customer needs to access any legally required disclosures, such as our transfer and bill pay disclosures contained in the OLB Service Agreement.

That's a load of crap. Obviously, Chase bank isn't beholden to the same requirements and neither is my credit union. BOA CHOSE these requirements.

Obviously, BOA thought the bank customer a moron to think that this would "explain" their policy concerning online banking.

Dennis Robertson said...

I got the same notice and like Guenter, I did not click the agreement.

Bank of America got busted manipulating debit card charges to maximize their overdraft fees and many of their officers are pending at least civil charges for doing so.

This issue finally pushed me over the edge and last Monday, I closed my account with BOA and joined a local Federal Credit Union.

Like many people, I only stay in an uncomfortable environment until it becomes too uncomfortable.

I reached that discomfort level last Monday. And don't bother doing the teller's exit survey. They couldn't care less.

Anonymous said...

I learned a long time ago that if I want to be served deal with Credit Unions as they exist to serve the community. If however I want to be taken and manipulated deal with banks as they exist purely to make a profit. I prefer to be served.

kozmcrae said...

I haven't seen a "Linux Only" water fountain at my local library or a "Linux Only" restroom at my Town Hall, but I'm expecting them soon.

Plain and simple, this is Digital Discrimination. Our Rights to freedom of commerce are slowly evaporating. The worst part is, it's calculated and deliberate. No one has come out and declared that only Microsoft's OS should be used by everyone for everything. No, that wouldn't fly with a government founded in its citizens' freedoms. But we are losing our Digital Freedom, piecemeal. We can't stop this, only our Government can. There will be too many attacks like the BOA attack.

If a commercial entity does business on the Web, then their customers need only be compliant with Web standards. Do they want to know what color shorts I'm wearing while conduct my business on the Web? No, so what difference does it make what's on the other side of the browser?

Anonymous said...

Who followed the money?... I suspect BOA does some banking with Microsoft somewhere in a really big way and that complicates their business situation. Or Microsoft servers are employed that check browser & OS (local university here does that).

The reality and gravity of the situation should be telling for those poor bankers .. wouldn't they rather have virus free and more robustly secure operating systems accessing their systems?

Maybe require all their customers to download and burn a Linux liveCD to do their secure banking with? Or BOA sends customers a few liveCDs as a courtesy kit?

mpincpn said...

Credit Unions ARE better than banks.

Remember that a big bank's primary responsibility is to the investors... not their customers... to their investors. They call it their "fiduciary responsibility."

And as we have seen in this recent financial disaster (which by the way was brought on by banks engaging in risky behavior), banks are all about earnings and profit... not their customers... their earnings and profit.

However, for Credit Unions, their customers are their primary responsibility. They typically are focused on being a benefit to the local community not on providing a big bonus to some detached executive in a remote posh office in a tall glass building somewhere.

Re BoA's response, etc, this is legalese to cover their assets. For example, the big pharmaceuticals will never guarantee 100% efficacy of a drug. They will always have some very general way to protect themselves if they are sued. The statements they develop are meant to be as elastic or as pliable as possible so that the statement can be argued anyway possible in court.

So again, BoA has no interest in introducing another form of generalizing the statement for two reasons. One is it will not contribute anything to the benefit for the investors'. The second reason is their lawyers have reviewed their current statement. They feel that they have a very defensible position and they don't want to have to rethink their strategy.

Or maybe their IT staff is just ignorant.

BTW, I do not work for a credit union but we have been members of a credit union for over 35 years. While all our friends that used banks were paying a variety of service charges, we weren't paying anything. We got better loan rates, better returns on CDs, and more for cash in our checking accts.

Finally, you should know that the big banks have already tried shoving some legislation through congress to handicap the operations of credit unions. Their reason was that credit unions have an unfair advantage. Personally I was astonished but very relieved when this legislation was shot down, but I fully expect to see another attempt soon.

Big banks are huge, voracious parasites living off society. That fiduciary responsibility is always driving them to find new sources of profit. For example, remember the recent foreclosure debacle in addition to the derivatives disaster. There was never any thought given to the best interests of the customer.

David PCGuy said...

This is a response I got from the Nat West Bank here in the UK after I had a moan about them pushing I.E. on their on line banking website. I show this to people what I have convinced to use Linux in favour of other O.S.'.

Thank you for your patience whilst I have been investigating your query regarding the operating systems which the Bank supports.

I tried to contact you on 17 October to advise you of the outcome of my investigation. I have liaised with our technical support team who agree that the Linux operating system is extremely secure. They have advised that the majority of Linux customers would be able to access their Online Banking service via this operating system however it is currently not yet fully supported by the Bank. The reason for this is that our technical support unit would only be able to offer limited support to these customers and this would be done on a best endeavours basis.

The comments which you have submitted have been documented and will be taken forward as feedback.

I can confirm that no financial gain is received from Microsoft for supporting their product.

Although they say Linux is not fully supported, which comes as no surprise, I approve of their validation of Linux security.

Anonymous said...

Gavin,

Nice analysis. You've brought clarity to BOA's position and changed my opinion of them.

Thanks. Kind regards. Iestyn

Anonymous said...

@ Gavin

While you did a good job in dissecting the agreement, the fact remains that the language explicitly says that the user is agreeing to using Windows or Mac. "Such as" does not include Linux.

I don't know. This may be a tempest in a CPU cycle, but the fact remains that the language is shady. It's good that they "allow" other systems but asking someone to agree that they are using a particular system when they are not is poop.

Of course, we are dealing with an international bank here. Have we come to expect less. I can remember the day when I thought of my bank as my friend, not an institution to play "gotcha".

Rich

Eric said...

According to my recent tech writing refresher, "Such as" in a legal context is a non-inclusive list (same for e.g.), therefore, Linux, while not specifically included, is also not specifically EXCLUDED.

I am not a lawyer, but that is (and was) my take on the issue when I was presented with the same screen.

Anonymous said...

In general I agree with Gavin's post, but I would go quite a lot farther. I am a lawyer, and I suppose Gavin may be too. I spend most of a typical day drafting and reviewing contracts. The BoA terms refer to "an operating system, such as" and "an Internet browser which supports HTML 4.0 and 128bit SSL encryption and Javascript, such as." I think it is beyond dispute that the phrase "such as" in these two statements introduces a list of examples, and is not a limitation to the specific items listed. It's true that the phrase "an operating system, such as [Windows]; or [MacOS]" is somewhat ambiguous. However, "an Internet browser which supports HTML 4.0 and 128bit SSL encryption and Javascript" is quite specific, and most current Linux distributions are designed to support and furnish such a browser, or can easily be made to do so. Further, Linux can be made to support every one of the browsers listed in the examples of browsers, while (as Gavin noted), several of the versions of Windows that are supposedly acceptable cannot support every browser listed in the examples of browsers. It is a reasonable and natural inference that the required "operating system, such as" must be an OS that supports at least one browser that meets the explicit requirements ("supports HTML 4.0 and 128bit SSL encryption and Javascript"). Given that Linux can support every one of the browsers listed, I don't see how BoA can deny the conclusion that Linux is at least as much an operating system as the ones expressly listed for Windows that do not support one or more of the browsers expressly listed for Windows (i.e., Internet Explorer 7).

Anonymous said...

I had the same issue with this screen when I was presented with it when I went to use BoA's on-line banking a few weeks ago. I too was forced to click "I agree" since I would not be able to do any of my banking if I did not "agree"

As a long time Linux desktop user I was very disturbed by the language in this "agreement" since I would NEVER consider using any form of MS Windows insecure crap to access any of my bank accounts on-line. I feel BoA is putting their customer's financial well being at risk by forcing them to use MS Windows to access their on-line banking services.
--
Steve

kozmcrae said...

Coming soon to Bank of America: Faster drive-up service.

Bank of America wants you to know that we listen to our customers and work hard to give them the best service possible. To facilitate this new feature only cars manufactured by Chevrolet and Ford will receive service at the drive-up window.

Have a Nice Day,
Bank of America

EGeerardyn said...

I do agree with the anonymous lawyer. The text clearly says that you need a system that supports the requirements (but not that the system should actually use these!) and that "an operating system such as Windows or Mac" only means that you should run an OS, possibly Windows, possibly Mac, but something else is not excluded. These are examples given; as with the browsers.

So you need a system that can run an OS and run a browser with those technical features available. Sure, they won't include Linux because then they will have to test every distribution on the planet (we want Ubuntu, we want Fedora, we want RHEL, SuSe, Mint, Gentoo, Debian, ...). If they ommit it, they only hope to get away with it, and in most cases it will work that way; so no real harm done.

Anonymous said...

Chill out people. Read the document. It plainly says that you must have an OS "such as" yadda yadda. The examples listed are just that - examples. Agreeing to it does not indicate you use one of those examples, it merely indicates that you use an OS.

Overreacting over nonissues like this only harms our credibility.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, you need to learn what "such as" really means and how it's used. Your reading comprehension failure has wasted the time of BoA employees as well as everyone who visited to read this story, and has furthered the image of Linux users as a pathetic bunch of crybaby losers. (Ok, maybe it's a net gain after all.)

Michelle Minkin said...

@ anonymous

Ok pal. I have a laptop for sale on craigslist. I tell you it has a cpu such as a pentium M 2.13 gig processor.

You buy it and get it home to find out it is a 1.6 gig pentium 4.

It still performs pretty much the same duties, it still boots and runs an operating system.

So did you get ripped of...I mean such as?

Anonymous said...

@ Michelle

ZINNNNGGGGGGG

LOL. Exactly.

Chase said...

Support the issue on /.

Anonymous said...

Bank of America is supporting Linux. They're paying to run their website on F5 Big-IP, which runs Linux.

Anonymous said...

Nice try. Nobody says that a specific laptop, such as one they're selling, has a CPU *such as* something. That would be a useless statement implying that some laptops don't have CPUs.

If someone actually used wording like that, the person reading the auction should recognize it as a possible scam. eBay is full of scam auctions like that.

Learn English! Words don't just mean whatever you want them to mean.

Anonymous said...

I agree with a couple of other posters here in that being so nit-picky about things just fosters the notion that those who use Linux are geeky jerks who enjoy being a pain in the butt. I quit using BofA awhile ago because of the debit card issue as well as some other things, but never hesitate to "agree" to things such as this because generally those writing them haven't a clue. Also, it is hard to imagine any negative legal ramifications arising from such agreement other than calling for support and not being able to get it. However, most who use Linux would probably know more than anyone at tech support anyway!

So... we need to stop being such literalists where it doesn't matter so we don't make Linux look worse than it already does in the eyes of some.

Purple library guy said...

Imagine I tell you
"To stay healthy, you should eat plenty of fruit, such as apples, pears and kumquats."
Can't imagine why I would say something that asinine, but work with me.
Would my statement imply that you can't eat oranges or peaches to stay healthy, or that they are not fruits? No it would not.
The "such as" in the agreement clearly means Mr. Guenter would not be claiming not to use Linux by accepting the agreement. He has been worrying about nothing.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like an organization needs to be formed to fill in the gap that the Linux Foundation is leaving open.

Anonymous said...

I also had to sign this agreement with Bank of America. It upset me that the agreement suggested to the user of other operating systems (without the Apple or Microsoft brand) that they could use other operating systems to access their accounts online but they needed to go ahead and click on the Add Your Name to the Dotted Line that... [yes I have Microsoft or Apple OS] in order to continue using the system they already have in use.

As a result I emailed technical support and they basically told me to ask someone else and look up there number because I don't know what it is. Below is their response with names redacted:

Dear [myname]

Thank you for your inquiry dated 12/3/10 regarding the discloser. We will be happy to assist you.

We do understand your concerns about the issue you are experiencing. We value of your time and feel delighted to reciprocate to your queries.

We request you to kindly contact an Online Banking Specialist directly. The appropriate number may be found at www.bankofamerica.com in the Contact Us section located on the top right hand side of the page. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

We value you as a customer and appreciate your business. If we may be of further assistance, please contact us again by e-mail. Thank you for choosing Bank of America.

Sincerely,

-[their name]--
Bank of America

Anonymous said...

I quit using BofA awhile ago because of the debit card issue as well as some other things, but never hesitate to "agree" to things such as this because generally those writing them haven't a clue.

No, it's just the opposite. This is "legalize". This specific verbiage was worked on and edited by lawyers to avoid liability, not "to better serve" the customer, as the notice states. They most certainly do "have a clue"

I'm not sure I would have agreed to it either if I banked with BOA and I for one, it seems, applaude Mr. Guenter for his good sense. I use Windows at home and Linux at work but I am agnostic when it comes to operating systems. I use what is in front of me at the time.

All I see is a guy who wanted to insure the BOA knew he was being asked to agree to something that wasn't true.

You should never sign anything if it includes language that contradicts the reality of your situation. Advising someone to do otherwise is irresponsible at best.

Blogging around the Pacific Northwest said...

One point that I didn't see while doing a quick glance over all of the postings and a point that really just makes me lol.

How many servers in various colocations or server farms have routers, servers, power panels (embedded systems) and contrl systems that RUN on linux?

I mean that server that Skip uses to read that message from, how much do you want to guess it was from a linux box or server? or the front end of BoA is linux?

jejones3141 said...

I agree that any English speaker you read that to ought to say that the first thing BoA wants you to assert is that the computer you are using to access their bank runs _some_ operating system... but given their responses to the query, BoA itself doesn't seem to think that's what they're insisting you agree to.

Anonymous said...

Dear Linux community:

First of all, make a decent OS that people actually want to use. The support will come in time.

Either that, or you can keep making crappy software that no one wants to touch and whine about lack of support as you have been doing for the past 15 years.

As always, your choice.

Regards: ex-Linux user that ran out of patience.

Anonymous said...

to: ex-Linux user that ran out of patience.

What I am reading is someone who played around in a Linux environment for about 30 minutes and is now having a little snit because it didn't work exactly like his Windows system.

Waaa-waaa. I am personally glad to you went back to Windows. You are one less clueless user clogging the Linux forums with your inane complaints and obvious inability to adapt to something different.

Now run along and play in your pirated copy of Windows.

Mike Regan said...

I have to agree. This guy is a Windoze fanboi just getting his cheap anonymous licks in.

I also agree that Microsoft Windows, aside from being the most freedom-stealing software ever made, also wipes you a$$ for you. You don't learn anything by using Windows. Switching to Linux gave me the opportunity to actually learn how my computer works.

This guy obviously has no interest in that. there's a difference between a mouse clicker and computer user. I believe helios himself pointed out that distinction.

Anonymous said...

Obviously sometimes the "requirements" are fictitious listings of common software. The most disturbing I have encountered recently was the fafsa.gov website. Using a common Linux browser access was denied stating that the requirements had not been met. A change of the default user agent (using the same browser) and everything clapped flawlessly.

v said...

Unfortunately, this sort of activity is becoming more and more prominent in business and society as a whole. Business, and society is turning more and more toward release of personal responsibility, and trying to force focus on 'legal requirements' which were never meant for displacement of responsibility, but for accountability and security.