Wells Fargo

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Wells Fargo is a rip-off

Aug 7, 2007 (Updated Aug 7, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Lots of locations in Midwest, good customer service

Cons:Too expensive, too many fees, too long to solve bank errors

The Bottom Line: DO NOT use this bank. They do not care about you as a customer. Take it from a former employee and ex-customer.


I have been a customer of Wells Fargo for over 8 years. For the most part, I'd say their customer service is pretty good, although the time frames to solve problems that are the fault of the bank are horrendously long.

I worked in the Phone bank, on the business side, for a year and a half. I took between 70-100 calls each day from small business owners who had accounts with Wells. I cringed each time I had to tell someone that the reason their account was overdrawn was because Wells Fargo had made an error. The level of communication between branches and phone banks, and between all other departments within the bank, are very poor. I'd often have to call other departments to get answers to questions to solve my customer's problems, and they would rarely be able to help me in a timely manner.

As a result, the customer would be irritated for having to wait on hold for so long, when if the departments were better at communicating with on another, the hold times would be much, much smaller.

I would get numerous calls each day about missing deposits. Some of these small business owners would have made, for example, a $4500 deposit two days ago, in the branch, and it wouldn't show in their account. They'd give me all of their receipt information (transaction number, branch number, exact time and date, teller's name, exact date when funds would post to account) and I would have to tell them "research can take up to 10 business days."

Two weeks to find a deposit with all of the receipt information? Then what's the point of the receipt? It’s insanity. There's no reason for that.

The breaking point was one day when my fiance wrote me a check for $380 to cover his share of rent for the month. I made the deposit in the ATM.

Two days later, I woke up and went to the store to make a $5 purchase with my check card, knowing I had around $25 left in my account. I came home and looked online to see my balance after I had made the purchase, and found that I was negative about $70. The ledger balance (meaning, the previous day's ending balance) was negative. Yet, my check card worked just fine to get me my $5 purchase. I received overdraft fees for whatever purchases went through the previous day, and now they were allowing me to use my check card even though I was negative on the previous day's close of business.

I looked to see what the error was, because I knew I should have had money in the account to cover these things, and it turned out that they had debited my account $80, citing a deposit error from my recent deposit of $380. I called the phone bank (remember, I worked in the phone bank, on the business side, at this time) and asked what the problem was. I knew that the check was $380, because I double-checked it before making the deposit. The agent put me on hold for a few minutes, and when he returned, he told me that while the numerical value of the check did say $380.00, the legal line read, "three hundred and 80/100."

Unfortunate error on my fiancÚ’s part, in writing the check, right? I asked the banker to please remove the two overdraft fees associated with this error, since it was obvious that it was an honest mistake, and not a lack of responsibility on my part. He said no, he was not able to do it. I asked to speak to a supervisor.

When I spoke with the supervisor, she told me no, she was not able to reverse any of the fees, and that I should consider Overdraft Protection. Now, as I do not have the ridiculously high credit score that Wells Fargo requires in order to get a credit card, and no extra money to put into a savings account, Overdraft Protection was to an option for me. Not to mention, it's a huge rip-off. You're charged a lot of money for those transfers.

I was so angry, in tears, that this woman would not reverse these two fees for me. I hung up on her. Here's the thing: Wells Fargo, like any bank, I am sure, has certain qualifications that you must meet in order to have fees of any kind reversed. Wells Fargo's are as follows: You may get up to $100 worth of fees on a checking account reversed if you have a) been a customer for one year or more, b) you have an average daily balance of $1000 or more, c) you have had no more than 3 overdraft fees in the past 12 months, and d) you have not had any prior "customer relations" reimbursements in the past 6 months.

In the business phone bank, if I were a business customer instead of a regular "consumer" customer, those two fees would have been reversed immediately. The business side follows the same guidelines, but what would have happened is the banker would have put the customer on hold to ask a supervisor to override the requirements and have the fees reversed, because of the nature of the error. And the supervisor, 99% of the time, would have agreed to it.

I was infuriated. I couldn't possibly feel morally okay working at a place that would do that to their customers any longer.

So I quit.

Also, there was one instance where, on the phone dealing with a business credit card customer, he had asked to have about $50 in finance charges reversed. His mailed-in payment has POSTED one day late, resulting in the fees. This happens so frequently that I am sure, just as my customers were, that if it arrives on the due date, they are simply held one extra day so that we can acquire the fees.

I called my supervisor to see if I could get the fee reversal approved, because finance charge fees are almost never supposed to be reversed unless it's a PROVEN bank error. I told my supervisor that this was obviously a good customer, he had had no prior late fees or finance charges, and he always paid his balance in full and on time, let's do him this favor. My supervisor said, "No, this is NOT a good customer, because of the reasons you said. This customer makes us no money."

So, there you have it. Wells will screw you over if you are responsible, and never cut you any slack if you are not. They are money-grubbing thieves.

I am glad to say I no longer work there.


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