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Wells Fargo strikes again

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If there was another bank with a branch anywhere near my house, I’d have switched banks by now.

A month ago while we were camping amongst the redwoods, my wife used her ATM card to buy some things at a small grocery store near the camp. She somehow left without her card and didn’t realize it until we’d arrived home.

No problem, just cancel the card and order a new one. Wells Fargo informs her that it would take 7-10 business days for the new one.

Two weeks pass and no card arrives. So she calls back in and discovers that Wells Fargo never sent a card, and there’s no indication that it was even ordered. Perturbed, she orders another one. No, they can’t expedite the card, so we need to wait another 7-10 days.

That brings us Friday. Once again, two weeks have passed and no card has arrived. So my wife called in again, and you guessed it, there’s no indication that a new card was ever ordered. Once again, she asked them to send it again.

Friday night, I tried to use my card and find it was declined. I fear the worst and call Wells Fargo. My fears are confirmed—when my wife called in, the clever people at Wells Fargo cancelled my card and I’ll have a new one. In 7 to 10 days.

This comes on the heels of Wells Fargo randomly deciding to send me a new card last March.

I picked up a temporary card Saturday at the local branch. Although I was promised that it would to act just like a regular card, it doesn’t. I can’t use it at the gas station. I can’t use it in the grocery store. I can’t use it anywhere that I’d normally do a PIN-based transaction. And it’s not a debit card, so I can’t use it as a credit card. All I can do with it, apparently is withdraw cash. And that’s limited to $69 each day, despite all promises to the contrary.

I called Wells Fargo to have them change that limit, but they can’t. I have to go into my local branch between 9am and 6pm and plead with a branch manager to have it changed. With such brilliant office hours apparently Wells Fargo is only interested in having the unemployed and the retired as customers.

It seems there’s one other thing my card is unable to do, again despite promizes to the contrary—deposit money. I deposited a sizable sum into my account last night. It’s not there. And the terribly helpful people at Wells Fargo don’t have any idea what happened to it. But they’ll find out and fix it for me. In 7 to 10 days. Sure, I’ve heard that one before.

September 6, 2006 11:45 PM

As bad as it sounds, your experience resonates with what I have gone through before at Wells Fargo. In fact, I have only ever had one good experience with them my entire life. I can feel your pain and frustration.

September 7, 2006 5:11 AM

Everything you're saying here reminds me of why I fled from Wells Fargo shortly after college (two years ago) when I could easily access an account at a credit union. Wells Fargo always killed me with little fees and their customer service, as you've experienced, is not good. I'd offer suggestions if I could, but it depends where you're at and what's available. If you can get into a credit union through any means, I'd recommend that. Mine has treated me well ever since I got a savings account as a teenager.

September 7, 2006 6:51 AM

There are numerous reasons to not use nor even carry a debit card (card linked to your checking/savings account with a Visa/MasterCard logo) and this was one of them. Get a real credit card and pay it off every month, collecting reward points/cashback in the process. You carry no liability, pay no interest and you would've received a replacement promptly. AmEx probably would've sent you a new card overnight.

September 7, 2006 7:31 AM

So what do you need a bank near your house for? Do you actually need to visit them that often? I'm guessing you probably do most of your transactions by card and internet anyway, like I do. I can't even remember when I visited my banks local branch last.

September 7, 2006 8:07 AM

Believe or not, U.S. Bank is worse.

September 26, 2006 7:02 AM

Sound as bad as my faceless incounters with wellfargo, and I did switch banks even though I have to drive anther 7 miles to get to my new cretit union that treats me like a person and not a number

September 27, 2006 5:35 PM

I had a similar experience with ordering checks from Wells Fargo. I ordered checks that were supposed to be there within the usual 7-10 day range and I never got them. I went in after 3 weeks and they gave me the same answer you got, they had never been ordered! So I reordered them and after another 3 weeks (I'm using my girlfriend's checks to pay rent by now), I go in to talk to them about a completely unrelated but equally ridiculous fee reversal and the manager I was talking with says the checks were never ordered. I walked out on her, I was afraid I was going to go ape-wild and hurt someone. I switched to a credit union and then got my checks (and the $25 fee for them) about 10 days after the whole ordeal. Leave Wells Fargo as soon as possible.

gerald brock
October 29, 2007 7:39 PM

have been reading your site and I can relate. I made a deposit of 1,187.00 which was posted then taken out of my account. I called the bank and they told me that because the check was written to you and your wife I could not deposit by ATM. This was due to me be the only one on the account. They then told me that I could have cashed it at the teller with no problem. Once the check was cashed I could redeposit the cash in my account. Because of this I was overdrawn 400 plus dollars. They made me transfer from another account of mine to cover the overdraft. Then I find out via online banking that they charged me 70.00 for being overdrawn for two transactions. I callled them to reverse charges and they will not.My check however is still missing yet to come by first class mail as promissed. By the way in regards to you atm problem the same exact thing happened to a good friend of mine. I am going to refer him to your web page.

June 28, 2008 5:53 AM

The same exact thing happend to me and my wife. We get tour tax refund and i deposit on my way to work and the atm, we think we have money so we pay bills and things, and then 5 days later the full ammount of the check comes out and dissapears and no one knows what happened to it I get hit with all of the over draft charges plus im now negative about $2000 and my pay check just kind of gets eaten also a few days later. no explanation no check no nothing just a negative account.

Lee Wiseman
November 13, 2008 8:35 PM

A comment to Gerald B and other bloggers. I had a similar problem with Wells Fargo. I'm very unhappy with the whole ordeal. Wells Fargo, graciously honored two separate small transaction totaling $10.00. Unfortuately, this caused a overdraft in my account. I immediately transfered monies to cover the cost however, Wells Fargo charged my account 70.00 dollars for that a small amount. And they refused to reverse aleast one charge. This is absurd banking and customer service. People are already struggling, but to have a bank steal from you because it can!!!! Insane.

Pat McGill
April 18, 2009 6:18 PM

Wells Fargo takes advantage of their customers, even when you have proof it was their error! Who can you report them to? Surely they can't get away with literly stealing peoples money. -

Rodney P. Barbati
July 6, 2009 10:02 AM

Exactly - theft, stealing! Within the last month, I went from a near 700 FICO score on my credit report to a 580. They have hit me with at least 650 dollars worth of overdraft protection and overdraft fees, winding up with my entire paycheck being eaten 2 days after it was deposited. The Customer service drone tried to argue with me stating that "those are all legitimate charges!!" I asked him if he knew, for example, that a payday loan company can only charge a MAXIMUM of around $35 dollars for total late fees, and around 20-25% interest tops. I told him that for the $100 dollars in overdrafts that were made on my account, W.F. charged me 200% interest DAILY - making a 400% profit on me in 2 days. This behavior is illegal for pay day loans, why is it not illegal for wells fargo. And to really bring it home, you should research what percentage of the big banks profits are now coming from fees - its over 60% and climbing. That's right - they are surviving primarily on revenue from fees. I bet it was the big banks lobbyists that made the regulations controlling the pay day loan companies fee and interest caps.

Sharon LaFleur
November 19, 2009 2:23 AM

What is the Expiration Date on Human Decency? My husband and I just welcomed our sweet little boy into the world. His coming was not an easy one. He was born blue and needed resuscitation after almost 36 hours of labor that ended in an emergency C-section. Four minutes later he took his first breath. The next two weeks in NICU were not easy. There was significant trauma to the head and he experienced sometimes up to 24 seizures per day. There were times he stopped breathing completely and had to be resuscitated. My husband and I were told that the home we were in the process of remodeling would have to be completed before the doctors would allow him to come home. My sweet parents, living forty-five minutes away, opened their doors to my son and me until the project was completed. My husband, family members, and neighbors rallied together in a herculean effort that touched me deeply. Employers were extremely supportive and let my husband have more than a month off work. He would wake up at eight and work nonstop until midnight every day, sacrificing spending the first six weeks of his new son’s life with his new family. My husband’s stress was compounded by the financial strain of finishing our home so his family could come home. As a result, things slipped through the cracks on occasion, no matter how hard he juggled. During this time we accrued over $1200 in overdraft fees from Wells Fargo Bank, all of which we made good on within a week. In the past Wells Fargo had always been fair to us. We had no qualms with them. We thought the overdraft fee of $35 a bit steep but took our losses as they came. Many times they did forgive us our fees and we were grateful. We believed in human decency because they forgave us our mistakes. Not always, but enough that we still believed. Apparently, there is an expiration date on decency. Not one of the $1200 in fees was forgiven during our family ordeal. We were instructed to call employees higher up the employment chain to see what could be done, if anything. To our shock and surprise, our requests were not only denied, but we were treated with disdain and scorn. How sad to learn, amongst all the wonderful people who rallied for our son, and us, that the almighty dollar won out to the great Wells Fargo Bank. Enjoy your $1200; I hope the 5-course dinner you went to last night was worth it.

This discussion has been closed.

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