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October 31, 2011

Keep signing online petitions, they really do work!

Score one for a customer rebellion & Online Petitions!

In less than one month, Bank of America went from announcing a new $5 monthly debit card fee, to reeling under huge pressure from the media, Congress, and Change.org members. Now, Chase and Wells Fargo -two of Bank of America's biggest consumer banking competitors - have promised not to levy debit card fees on customers, and Bank of America is suggesting they will 'soften' their fee.

It all started with one Change.org member, Molly Katchpole, who said enough was enough and started a campaign against Bank of America's $5 fee.

Friday night, ABC World News reported on the banking industry’s reaction to Molly’s campaign. Watch the video to learn how Molly and 300,000 Change.org petition signers made big banks listen up!

Here's how it all happened:

September 29: Bank of America announces a new $5 monthly debit card fee.

September 30: Molly creates her petition on Change.org; more than 150,000 people sign in the next 5 days.

October 5: The petition becomes a major national story. ABC News interviews Molly, then tracks down Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan and forces him to respond to it.

October 6: Molly delivers 153,000 petitions to Bank of America and closes her account. She appears on ABC World News again to discuss the petition. Local media in Charlotte (where Bank of America is based) openly speculate that the growing controversy could lead to the firing of Moynihan.

October 9: Molly is featured in a major article in the New York Times as an example of the public’s frustration with big banks.

October 10: Bank of America executive Andrew Plepler calls Molly Katchpole to discuss her petition.

October 13: Molly meets with Congressman Brad Miller to discuss a bill in Congress to make it easier to switch banks. The two later appear on CNN together.

October 18: Molly’s petition reaches 225,000, as Bank of America reports a $6 billion profit. The outrage continues to grow.

October 26: Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says he’s ‘incensed’ over recent criticism of the bank fees

October 27: JPMorgan Chase, the largest bank in America, and Wells Fargo announce they will stop testing $3 debit card fees and cancel any plans to charge customers to use their debit cards.

October 28: Bank of America begins a full-on retreat from the $5 debit card fee. An unnamed source at the bank says they will 'soften' the fee and allow more customers - including anyone with a direct deposit - to avoid the $5 fee. Molly appears on ABC World News for the fourth time to talk about her petition.

October 30: Molly's Change.org petition reaches 300,000 signatures, and customers continue to demand that Bank of America cancel the $5 fee for all of its customers.

Inspired? Then start your own petition, and make change happen.
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