Wells Fargo is More Focused on THEIR Process than Serving ME

I have yet to be convinced that the default process being used by banks put into place to protect our accounts is reasonable. Today reminded me of how frustrating it is to deal with Wells Fargo in particular.

My client wanted me to step in as POA to help on her accounts, so we went to the bank and set it up so I could easily act on her behalf. She was with me and we used the Wells Fargo form to set it up and the whole process took an hour–it should have taken 10 minutes. The first banker had no idea how to even do it, so we waited for the “senior banker”.  The “senior banker” had to call the “back office” to be walked through the process.

My client has estate plans and a trust in place, but her son is not in the area. I was stepping in to help while she was transitioning from her home into a life care community.  We are on the other side of the transition and now that Wells Fargo has the Trust and all the beneficiaries is in alignment with her plans, I wanted to step down as POA.

I visited the bank to resign thinking it would be relatively easy. The first appointment took over an hour as I first had to wait for the “senior banker”, and then we sat on the phone as he called the “back office” to get tutored on what to do. I was told I had to bring in a letter formally resigning. They didn’t have a form, or any further instructions.

wells_fargo_realityWhen I returned with my “resignation letter” I was working with a different banker.  While thankfully, I was attended to right away, we then had to wait on hold in the queue for the “back office” for 25 minutes. This time the “back office” tells us there are specific things that had to be included in the resignation. My typed up letter put her name in the header, not in the sentence, so that letter didn’t work. After 45 minutes, I am really annoyed since the “letter requirements” were not provided to me on my first visit.

This banker understands my frustration and grabs a piece of paper and asks me to hand write the resignation.

Ummmm, you mean I could have done that on the first visit?

Yes, I could have. He is now talking with a contact at “document review” to finish the process to complete what Wells Fargo needs to complete the resignation.

Prompts to the banker who helped me on this last visit. He is the kind of banker you want, but the Wells Fargo systems are a hindrance to building a positive relationship with CUSTOMERS.

I am frustrated. Wells Fargo is doing this for THEM, not for my CLIENT, or for ME. We are both customers. For the millions of caregivers who are going to have to go through this laborious process, be forewarned and do it before you need it. It only gets harder.

I miss the smaller bank I used to work with. I came first. I’ve also seen this with my clients and colleagues. The big name banks prioritize their interests and procedure before customer service.  Totally Annoyed. 

** I left my smaller bank because their online banking was very difficult to use and unreliable. Open to recommendations for banks in the NoVA!

4 thoughts on “Wells Fargo is More Focused on THEIR Process than Serving ME

  1. Oh my goodness, nothing but trouble with Wells Fargo when trying to help my folks. I was even kicked out of one when my frustrations got the better of me and I went off on the completely incompetent person there. I have a colleague who also helps care for his folks and the only bank they had trouble with is WF. I will never wilingly bank there after my experiences, I have a long list of things they screwed up which caused problems for us for years.

  2. Same for me. Only trouble with Wells Fargo. My mom placed in memory care and when I took my Invoked DPOA they would not accept. 6 months earlier I had spoken with my our local WF who reviewed the POA with WF legal and told me what I needed and stated my brother who was joint could sign a WF wiaiver and allow me to make decisions. Fast forward when mom was placed and they refused my POA stating they needed theirs of which my mom no longer able to sign. Then they stated that any transactions my brother and I tried to do including writing checks for moms residential care, paying bills etc would require both of our signatures every time. Impossible as we live opposite sides of country. The bank mgr tried to help as she knew my mom well, had met me and was sympathetic as they had Assisted mom many times over the year because of her dementia. No dice. Corporate was uncooperative. We begged to just have them debit moms account directly to the residential care facility but they refused. It was a traumatic experience. There was over a years worth of moms care tied up in WF! I have cried in their office so frustrated. Then when I tried to go online and transfer money to pay residential care facility the account was frozen. I spent more hours at my mothers branch with bank mgrs trying to straighten out and nothing could be done.

    WHY DONT THEY TELL THEIR CUSTOMERS PARTICULARLY ELDER CUSTOMERS ABOUT THEIR PROPRietary POA?! This is critical to families left holding the bag when their loved one can no longer make decisions and think they’ve got all their papers in order and legal—only to learn that their savings, checking and other isn’t accessible. Yes…mom should have put me or brother on her account…but she wouldn’t because she Always thought she didn’t need that. She was on the account and we were listed as beneficiaries so she didn’t understand there was a difference or we would face such difficulty.

    I had no such issues with our POA with any other bank (and there were 3 others) nor realtors.

    So shame on WF and BOA. A thank god we didn’t need that money and found other ways.

    I have told all my friends and my in laws to be sure they check their bank policies. And my friends have done just that with their parents and have been shocked to learn their banks have similar policies.

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