Dear Wells Fargo,
The fragment of my Wells Fargo debit card taped to this letter attests to the fact I was your customer for 24 years. Today I closed my Wells Fargo accounts. Let me explain why you are losing customers like me. Who knows how many hundreds or thousands of other dissatisfied Wells Fargo customers simply switch away from your bank without even explaining. Like my brother did.
I closed my accounts due to the atrocious Wells Fargo banking experience. For example: one day, with neither warning nor explanation, my checking account just vanished from the Wells Fargo site. If that wasn't frustrating (and scary) enough, what should have been a simple fix with a single phone call was drawn into an agonizing month of repeatedly contacting various incompetent representatives. From my experience, it seemed like the representatives were paid by the number of cases they handled per hour. Their responses looked copy-pasted from generic boilerplate templates and often, in their rush, they didn't even answer the actual question I had asked. If you're going to force me to communicate with multiple representatives, perhaps you could save some time (and increase their efficiency!) by sharing information between representatives so I don't have to re-explain my situation over and over.
The problem of my vanishing checking account may be uncommon, but there were plenty of other regular, daily aggravations. One time, I got bit by overdraft fees. I think you called it "overdraft protection," but most people will agree it's just a form of high-interest usury. I didn't like all the hoops I had to jump through to avoid monthly maintenance fees. Furthermore, every time I logged in to the Wells Fargo site, I was forced to click through an advertisement screen peddling your value-added services I had no interest in. Equally annoying were the verbal upsells each time I contacted you by phone. Every single time. Especially after redundantly repeating my account verification information right after punching it into your automated phone tree.
In the short-term, these tactics may add to your bottom line. But degrading the banking experience and hemorrhaging customers is not a good long-term strategy.
I have switched my banking services to Simple.com. I suggest you study Simple.com to see how to create a blissful banking experience. Every time I contact Simple.com's superb customer service, I get a quick, direct answer from a representative who knows their facts well. No copy-pasted boiler-plate responses. Simple.com does not charge deceptive fees for overdraft protection or account maintenance. And both the Simple.com web site and mobile app are a pleasure to use. I can log in and immediately accomplish my tasks.
There are many more customers deciding to leave Wells Fargo due to poor service:
I currently bank with Wells Fargo, and am gradually making the switch over to Simple. Couple reasons why: – like most banks, WF have a ludicrously outdated web interface that makes doing the simplest thing inordinately painful. – like most banks, WF suck at providing a complete historical transaction history and search. Case in point – a couple weeks ago I wanted to query a transaction on an older account, after checking online and being transferred between at least four different customer service agents in different divisions, I was none the wiser. The best they could do was offer to send me printed statements, at a $100 cost. - like most banks, WF make obscene profits while engaging in shady practices - e.g., trying to upsell me every single time I call them, mailing me an offer for a "free" credit score service (that, if you read the small print, is actually a subscription) and not least discriminatory lending practices (c.f., recent settlement with Justice Dept) Bottom line, they don't deserve my business.
Once I called Wells Fargo to ask about a fee on my account that didn't make sense, and when I looked back later I noticed they had added a charge of $2 for the privilege of talking to them on the phone about the original suspicious fee. They are not trustworthy at all.
My parents still use Wells Fargo. My other brother is on the fence about continuing to use Wells Fargo. I suggest you start listening to feedback like this before they jump the Wells Fargo ship, too!
This open letter to Wells Fargo has been published at: http://goo.gl/QNvHS