(I sent the following missive today via snail mail to Wells Fargo's corporate offices and via email to its Wells Fargo -- Wachovia Blog at http://blog.wellsfargo.com/wachovia)
Dear Wells Fargo:
I just wanted to share with you my befuddlement and anger at a situation with Wells Fargo that is going to cause me to close my accounts with you. I've been a loyal customer for more than a decade but have been forced to take my business elsewhere for reasons that remain both troubling and frustrating.
On July 13, I deposited into my checking account a check for $7,500.00 that was written to me by Crown Media Holdings, Inc., a multibillion-dollar company that owns Hallmark Cards, the Hallmark Channel and many other entertainment subsidiaries. It is an amount I have received from them monthly since January '09, as I am a monthly contracted employee of theirs. There has never been -- nor would there ever be -- a problem with any of their checks. And indeed, each month through June, my check payment sailed straight on through and funds were available the day following deposit at one of your ATMs.
So imagine my shock when I discover that not only are the funds from the $7,500.00 check not going to be available the following day; they wouldn't be available in full until July 28, or more than two weeks later! All except for $100 credited immediately, of course.
Why the sudden arbitrary hold? Suddenly, you have a "policy" wherein any check over $5,000 deposited to an ATM carries an automatic hold. Not only that, but no doubt this was electronically triggered by the fact I had submitted several checks the previous week that were paid despite insufficient funds in the account -- a leading "risk factor."
Here is why the "risk factor" doesn't apply: the checks were written against funds I had assumed would be there based on a check written to me -- by a private individual, NOT Crown Holdings -- that bounced. A check for $2,000.00. I obviously didn't know that check would be returned due to insufficient funds. And indeed, this clearly was factored in to the decision to waive the overdraft fees based on the paid/insufficient funds checks, an acknowledgement that the overdrafts were due not to irresponsibility but circumstances beyond my control.
And yet, suddenly you guys penalize me for this non-offense by putting an arbitrary, unreasonable and borderline illegal hold on a check from a party whose funds I have deposited without issue every month six times previously. I ask: Does this make a lot of sense to you? It surely doesn't to me.
So I called and appealed the decision to TWO different supervisors at Wells Fargo, only to be assured I was out of luck. Sorry, buddy, you're our Loser of the Month!!!!
Now I don't know about you, but I have to pay bills. Every week. On time, The people whom I pay them to aren't real understanding about being told they'd just have to wait two extra weeks because Wells Fargo was holding my money hostage. And make no mistake, that is PRECISELY what you are doing. You are earning interest off of my hard-earned funds while they sit in limbo and remain unavailable to me. This is entirely unacceptable and triggered my consumer fraud reactor.
Were this really simply about a concern as to whether the $7,500.00 check would be honored or not, you would make the funds available to me in their entirety on the day it clears. Instead, you are doling it out in the most befuddling, random manner imaginable: $4,900.00 on July 20, $2,500.00 on July 28. What are you saying? That two-thirds of my check will clear one week and the last third eight days later? Huh?
The word for this is, if you'll pardon the expression, bullshit.
So the upshot is you're forcing me to leave you as a good, longtime customer for the competition. I hope it's worth it to you. I'll be pulling my money as soon as it clears, assuming it's sometime this century (clearly no guarantee when dealing with you guys). I'll also be dedicating a disproportionate amount of my free time -- say, oh, 15-18% -- to disparaging Wells Fargo as an institution, urging friends and acquaintances not to do business with you, and possibly even launching an attack Website spelling it all out. How does www.wellsfargoripspeopleoff.com sound? Works for me. And the URL is even available! Right on. I'm also a journalist and plan to submit an op/ed piece to several newspapers and Websites about this experience.
If that sounds like a threat, then good. It should. You have only yourselves to blame for driving a great and loyal customer into the arms of your rivals.
In the meantime, enjoy all the interest you'll be making off of my imprisoned money. You all ought to be ashamed. But seeing how the bank bailout has played out, clearly shame isn't part of this equation -- is it?
Raphael S. (Ray)
Studio City, California
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Wells Fargo Bank