Wells Fargo account service for Direct Reinvestment Plans
For many years I had a Direct Reinvestment Plan with Merck. Some time ago this plan was taken over by shareowneronline.com which is Wells Fargo (much to my great horror). At that time I stopped getting any statements from them. So I called and it was quite a chore to get such a simple thing fixed, I ended up having to call multiple times to start receiving account statements again.
When I started getting them I found out, for the first time, that Merck had many years ago spun off Medco Health, and I had some shares of that of which I'd also never gotten any statement for from either the original company or Wells Fargo. That was a nice chunk of change I didn't even know I had.
About two years ago I told them to only send hard copy statements through the mail and to block all online access because of a keylogger trojan problem I had. Most companies like Vanguard immediately took care of the issue, but Wells Fargo it was the same problem all over again, they'd say they stopped online access and yet I could still log on. So once again it took multiple calls and finally speaking to the right person who fixed it for me.
So for the last six months, having solved my trojan problems, I asked them to give me access back to my account online. I did this with all the mutual fund companies, banks and my two brokerage accounts. Everything went fine except for Wells Fargo. Still to this day I do not have access to my account online. I just spoke with them again today, and they said "so-n-so in such and such department is working on it, but I'm not in that department, and they're gone for the day, so I can't see what the status of it is". I've had two supervisors promise me they'd look into it and fix it, and call me back. They never do.
I can't get over such a major bank as Wells Fargo being so terrible with their customer service but I'm not at all surprised by it. In the 1980's I had savings and checking at a Wells Fargo in Vallejo, CA, and later in Elko, Nevada and I found on several occasions where deposits had not been credited to my account OR that they had credited the incorrect amounts. Needless to say I quit doing business with them! When I moved to Visalia, CA the first bank we came to in town was a Wells Fargo, and as I had a bunch of gold coins with me that I carried in my car on the move, I went in, opened a free checking and then got a safe deposit box to put my gold in. I knew I was only anchoring the safe deposit with the checking, as at that time they told me I had to have an account there to have the safe box.
Each year we'd get a bill for the box and we'd pay it, but we never went to the branch anymore. When we first started banking in Visalia in 1989 we started an account at Wells Fargo just because it was the first bank we found, and I knew it was a mistake. Every single month our statement was fouled up! They had deposits wrong, always smaller than what we deposited. I never did hear an explanation of why this kept occurring. So after about six months of a checking nightmare with these bozos we switched over to Coast Savings and Loan which later was taken over by another bank, but with them we never had even one problem. So we didn't go to the branch much anymore. When we closed the account we asked about the Safe Box and they said it was OK, considering what they'd put us through, it was OK to keep the box there without an account.
One day I was downtown where the bank was, and I stopped in my tracks and stared in wonder at the vacant lot where the bank had been. There were some workmen there getting ready to build something and I asked them, "Where did Wells Fargo go?" And they kinda laughed at me and said "It's down the street a few blocks". And indeed there was the new location of my bank branch. I asked my wife and we had never received notice the branch was moving probably because we only had a safe deposit box.
I went in the bank and took my key to the safe deposit window, I was glad to see they had my card on file and we went in to the area with the boxes, and the girl took me to a box with the same number as mine only it was the smallest box you can get instead of the very large box I had. She then said that's all there is. I explained to her about my box and she didn't have a clue what could have happened to my box. I had to go sit down, I felt faint and ill. I didn't raise my voice or become angry at all. I was just over-whelmed and the stress of the situation was completely taken physically by me.
Then this woman comes over, she was elderly and wearing a crooked little wig. She was immediately hostile to me and at first it took me a second to realize what was happening, I was in a fog and still felt like I was going to fall over. She really woke me up when she said, "We don't need your kind of people in this bank". Now you must realize, I was very well dressed and clean shaven. I wasn't acting drunk or on drugs. I explained to her that I was upset because they didn't seem to have my safe deposit box. She wanted my account number and when I didn't have one as we no longer had accounts there, she was openly hostile and venomous toward me. I asked her if she had me confused with someone else, and she just mumbled something and sort of wandered away. I just sat there dumbfounded, and then she came back and renewed her attack, saying she was the assistant manager and if I didn't leave she would call the police. Perhaps my suit and tie clashed and that was what was upsetting her? About that time the original young woman came rushing over looking very concerned that Mrs. Whackjob was hassling me, and she pleaded with the woman that I was a customer and that they had misplaced my safe deposit box, but they had now found it! Relieved I followed her with Mrs. Whackjob following us mumbling things behind me, and they took me to my box and all was well. Yea! That's the most important part. They had two banks of boxes with duplicate numbers and the really big boxes didn't get used much so the girl didn't know.
After checking all my stuff and on the way out the assistant manager (who I've meanly called Mrs. Whackjob) stopped me, barring my way, and said as I didn't have an account in their bank I would have to remove my safe deposit box right away. I assured her that I would do so immediately and made sure I wrote down her name. I spent part of the afternoon on the phone to the corporate HQ of Wells Fargo explaining to them that they had a mental patient working as the assistant manager of their branch. I later received two letters of apology from the bank, carefully worded so as to avoid any admission of guilt. I swore I'd never deal with Wells Fargo Bank ever again, as they really sucked.
Then in 2009 my mom in Vallejo, California had a stroke in May and had passed away by October. Unfortunately for me, she had her checking account at Wells Fargo. I won't bore you with all the details but they put me and my mom through *** because she couldn't come into the bank, and even though I had full legal power of attorney which I provided them, they still made both our lives miserable just trying to cash a check or pay a few bills for her. What we had to do was, I just paid everything out of my checking and then she later would reimburse me, things like that because we couldn't get through to the *** at the Vallejo branch that I had all the legal paper work in order. My estate attorney told me they were famous for making it really hard to get the money in these cases, and in his opinion it wasn't because they were making sure relatives weren't ripping off elderly parents, but because of just stupidity and a desire to keep the money in their bank as long as possible. I'm not sure about that but they treated me and my mom both like ****.
Today, they finally resolved it and called me, before 8 in the morning! Did I expect any better? Here's what I wrote them: "Customer service, I have a problem. After trying for quite some time to get re-access to my account, you folks finally resolved it and called me back, at 7:40 AM my time.
I don't really like being woke up by phone calls from Wells Fargo, but my son is in the Mao Clinic in Scottsdale, and so I thought the phone call must be about him. It was upsetting to say the least.
Once again you've exceeded all expectations for incredibly poor customer service.
Thanks a whole *** lot!"
Then later today they responded with this:
"Thank you for your email.
We would like to apologize for the inconvenience and concern caused by the early morning call you received today from our office regarding online access to your account.
We value our opportunity to serve shareholders and our goal is to provide the highest level of courteous and efficient service. In this case, we fell short of our goal. Please be assured that we are committed to providing quality service and appreciate the additional time and effort on your part to bring this to our attention. Steps are being taken to prevent this from occurring again.
If you have questions or need further assistance accessing your account online, please call our office toll-free at 1-800-401-1957. Our Shareowner Relations Online Specialists are available to assist you Monday through Friday, from 7a.m. to 7p.m. Central Time.
Wells Fargo Shareowner Services
161 North Concord Exchange
South St. Paul, MN 55075
Toll Free 1-800-401-1957 or
Local (651) 450-4064
Fax (651) 450-4033
So then I called them to talk to them about this and another question I had, and guess what? In their effort to provide me with excellent customer service, they put me on hold for 28 minutes before someone came to assist me. And then they couldn't help me, they didn't know what to do, and tried to transfer me to another department, apologized when that department didn't answer their phone, tried again and then lost me, I ended up with a dial tone.
Wells Fargo's service is just so third world! I bet the banks are better in Uganda!
Product or Service Mentioned: Wells Fargo Savings Account.