San Francisco, California
1 comment

I tried to open a Wells Fargo Savings Account online. The final page included security questions including one asking what kind of unit is 1555 Sherman. The address meant nothing to me, but the options did not include a "does not apply," choice, so I didn't know how to proceed. I called the customer service number and spoke with K______. She had no idea why I'd been given a question that had no relevance to me and said the questions should all be ones I could easily answer. She put me on hold while she did some checking and finally decided to transfer me to R_____. While I was on hold, even though I did not press the SUBMIT button, my application got submitted. R___ didn't understand why that happened, nor could she shed any light on why I was given a security question which it was impossible for me to answer. She did however tell me that I should have called and applied over the phone rather than online since the over the phone process is faster and easier. She suggested I go ahead and do that, but did warn me that I could wind up with two opened savings accounts - the online one and the phone one. I told her I only needed one account, and that while we'd been talking I'd received an email from Wells Fargo indicating they'd received my application, provided me with an application reference number, but state my application was conditionally approved subject to verification of the information I'd provided.

Again, I had not submitted the application - Wells Fargo simply hijacked it and submitted it for me. I asked R_____ if she could cancel the online application since I now had an application reference number. She didn't know, but put me on hold to check. At this point I'd spent 20 minutes trying to open a savings account with Wells Fargo. After being on hold for another five minutes, R____ said she wasn't the right person for me to talk with, but she was connecting me with T____ who should be able to help me. According to T______ Wells Fargo randomly puts in irrelevant questions - perhaps this is a further layer of security along the lines of random searches at the airport. Who knows? In any case, he checked and said my application had not gone anywhere and wouldn't because I had left a question unanswered and that would trigger a phone call from a Wells Fargo representative. He had no explanation as to why the application went through even though I hadn't pressed the "submit" button except to assume the system had timed out. I told him that I'm familiar with systems timing out if the information isn't provided in a specified time, but had never heard of a system that automatically submits an incompleted order when the consumer hasn't requested the order be submitted. Again, he had no explanation for this. His suggestion was that I complete an over the phone application and that I shouldn't wind up with two opened savings accounts because the online order was incomplete. But he couldn't guarantee that wouldn't happen, could only state that if it did, I could close one of the savings accounts. I told him that I'd already spent more time online and on the phone than it would have taken me to drive to the local branch and open an account, and at this point, I wasn't feeling very confident about Wells Fargo's ability to track anything. First, they provided a bogus security verification question to trigger a call from Wells Fargo to the consumer (more likely so they could have an opportunity to pitch other products - something all their representatives l seemed to want to do more than resolve the problem at hand). Second, Wells Fargo took my incomplete application and submitted it for me without my authorization. Third, no one seemed to have any clear answers, only theories as to why the online application contained a bogus question, and why the application was submitted. T____assured me that all would be well, and it would only take me five minutes to complete an over the phone application - and suggested other services which I declined stating that before I consider giving Wells Fargo any additional business, let me see how they handle opening a savings account for me. He then said he'd transfer me to a new account representative, and I asked that he explain what had transpired so I would not have to go through everything again with someone knew. He put me on hold and a few minutes later, put me on the line with J_____.

J____ was the last straw. He apparently hadn't been told, or hadn't bothered to listen to what the previous representative told him. I explained again the problems I'd had with opening a savings account online, and that I'd like him to note the file that if I later discovered that the online application had been processed in addition to the over the phone application, I would close both savings accounts. He asked me for the online application reference number and I explained to him that T____ had looked it up and said it didn't exist yet in the system. J____ then told me he needed to put me on hold to check on it and I told him I'd been placed on hold by three other people and had already spent an inordinate amount of time trying to do something which should be relatively simple and appreciated - give Wells Fargo my money. Checking again could hardly yield a different result than it had in my conversation with T______, so why bother, we should just proceed with the over the phone application.

He then - and quite nastily - stated that if I wanted his help he would have to put me on hold - a very take it or leave it attitude. I told him I certainly didn't find his attitude in keeping with a company that wants my business, there were plenty of other banks to choose from, and I would go to one of them. I didn't even bother to listen to his false "thank you for choosing Wells Fargo" spiel, but simply hung up. Wells Fargo had wasted enough of my time already.

I only wished I'd first read the dozens of consumer complaints about Wells Fargo.

I will never open any accounts with them and encourage anyone else considering using Wells Fargo to find another bank - one where the people know their business and appreciate yours.

Product or Service Mentioned: Wells Fargo Checking Account.

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Just one question,. Wth is an application reference number! !!!!