Thursday, December 7, 2017

Cutting ties with Wells

For a while, Tricia and I had accounts with Wells Fargo. It was not a business either of us would have dealt with if we had had a choice, even before the news reports about pervasive criminality and dishonesty -- not the main characteristic you want in a bank.

However, the administrator of an estate we were involved in used Wells, so we opened an account.

The estate was wound up, so I wrote -- real letter, on paper -- the branch where we had opened the account, instructing the manager to close the accounts.

I didn't hear anything back, so I assumed the accounts were closed. Today I got an email informing me I could view the latest statement.

Imagine  my surprise to see that the accounts were not closed and that Wells Fargo was assessing me fees on them. I had a negative balance.

So I called and got a nice lady who blandly informed me that at Wells you cannot close an account where you opened it. You do that online. Or, in my case, after some strong words, right on the spot over the phone.

Me: Are you telling me that the branch manager just threw my letter away?
Nice Lady: I cannot answer that.

So, not only is Wells Fargo criminal and dishonest, it is stupid.

But big. 


  1. Boy, you have it easy.

    Someone just stole 2500 reais (nearly $800) today from my bank account today, they somehow hacked it from within another bank (of the same branch) in another city.

    I need to do a police report now, and God knows what else, to make sure the bank will give me back my own money. Damn banks.

  2. I have not heard of anything like that before, but I am considering taking my principal account offline (if that is even possible) just because of the possibility.

    It would be inconvenient but not hugely so. The internet is a mixed blessing.

  3. How did you find out? Did you notice it, or the bank?

    A few months ago, a real estate office here was in a meltdown panic. It had instructed a Mainland client to transfer the purchase price of a house (over half a million ameros). But its email had been hacked, and a spoof email went to the client directing the payment to someplace in China.

    I'm mot sure how they spotted it; probably when the payment didn't show up at this end.

    The office contacted the FBI and the FBI was able to stop the transfer, but it took nearly a month for the client to recover his money.

    Since then. this office does all transfers by paper check and FedEx.

    My bank imposes a 3-day hold on all transfers that are larger than the typical -- even if I am transferring money from my savings account to my checking account.

    They got burned about 20 ears ago, covering an overdrawn check for $2,000.

    ME: There's never been more than $500 in that account, why would you pay a $2,000 overdraft without asking me? (I kept the balances low because I used it for international transfers and was concerned about fraud.)

    BANK: You've been a good customer so we covered it as a favor for you.

    The bank ate that one.