Wells Fargo Bank Complaint - Seniors and Small Depositors not welcome
I initially opened an account with Wachovia after leaving Chase, which has always been a forerunner in customer dissatisfaction. The account that I opened was designed for seniors with no fees, free checks, free bill pay and an automatic savings. Wells Fargo took over Wachovia a few months later, which Wachovia was very well aware of when they opened my account. To it's credit Wells Fargo kept my senior account going for a few months when my daughter and I went in to see about an account for her. She is a student and works for a large charitable organization. The Wells Fargo "Personal Banker" signed my daughter up for the top of the line account because she worked for the charitable organization. The account included no fees as long as there was a direct deposit and an automatic transfer to the linked savings account monthly. It included interest checking, free checks, free bill pay, free cashiers checks, free travelers checks, free notary service etc etc etc. At the same time she talked me into the account next down on the premium list that included virtually the same things with no fees as long as a direct deposit was made and automatic transfer to savings was made. We were told that the bank would pay 3% on the first $500 of savings for 11 months for opening the accounts. Two months later we received a change notification that in order to avoid fees on these premium accounts we would have to have a MINIMUM automatic deposit of $750, a minimum balance of $5,000, or have three linked Wells Fargo accounts including credit lines such as a mortgage with a total of $5,000. This would be in addition to the automatic transfer to a linked savings account. AND in my case, because I had already had a Wachovia account with an introductory rate, I would not be getting the 3% from Wells Fargo. My daughter had to go down to the bank and change her account to a Student account because her automatic deposit would not meet the minimum requirements and she certainly doesn't have $5,000 floating around. Fortunately for her, there was one available HOWEVER there is none of the perks promised with the original account that she opened just two months prior. I went in to talk to my "Personal Banker" (who seems to have aged substantially; probably because of the flack she is taking because of corporate decisions). I was told that I could take an account that has a lower fee but I would have to maintain an automatic deposit and an automatic transfer to savings in order to avoid fees. Their least expensive account does not include free bill pay. They no longer have accounts for seniors. But then neither do any of the other major banks in the state of California. I was also told this was a pilot program and they were going to see how it works out (how many depositors they lose). The next move will be to charge fees for use of ATM cards. I personally have decided to go to an online banking account with a highly rated online bank where everything is free and the customer service is good. They offer free checks, free bills and ATM transactions. When I spoke with the manager he said that with a bank with branches I could speak face to face with a customer service person (Personal Banker) but I couldn't online. I told him that I can yell just as well at an online CS representative as I can face to face with a Wells Fargo personal banker. He was just plain arrogant. I guess seniors and small depositors don't deserve respect and service from big banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase, US Bank etc.