Is What Wells Fargo Doing Legal?

Posted by Rena Sternfeld on September 15, 2011 in It makes me MAD |

Hello all,

I’m back. As promised here is my story with Wells Fargo.


For over 12 years, I had 3 accounts with the bank; a checking account, and two saving accounts, one for each child.

At some point throughout the years, I started banking with B. of A. but left the accounts open. In all three accounts we had a little over $200. In January 2010 I had $14 in my account, child A had $100.76, and child B had $ 92.54. Statements were arriving every 3 months because there was no activity, and after looking at some of them, I stopped checking.

In November 2010, without visiting the bank or touching any of our money, my account showed – $10, Child A -$6 and child B $22.17.

Within less than a year, while the money set at the bank, untouched, we have lost almost $200.

How did it happen?

Without letting us know – the children’s saving accounts started having a service charge of $3 each. The interest they were accruing per month on their savings was between $0.01 and $0.03.

My account started having a service charge of $8 a month, and was later raised to $10 without notice.

A Wells Fargo insurance which I have never signed with, posted a charge of $25 into my account. That was sheer fraud. But wasn’t what Wells Fargo did criminal as well?

Since there wasn’t enough money in the account to cover $25, the bank didn’t pay it. Instead they returned the payment request and charged me $35 for a returned transaction. That, they promptly covered with a transfer from one child’s linked account.
The next month they did it again; returned the payment request, charged me and covered it up with the overdraft protection. Why didn’t they cover the insurance this way? The bank manager didn’t know.

After 2 months, this exercise stopped.

When they finished all the money in the overdraft linked account, they dipped into the other child’s account without obtaining permission or authorization, and started transferring money to my account to cover different bookkeeping expenses.

When I came complaining to the branch manager he blamed me. He can’t access so many months ago, he said, I should have come sooner.

I came back with all the paper statements which I had a home. He was missing one page that had nothing on it, but he needed that page to make an assessment. I requested that page online and came back. For some reason he couldn’t do it from the bank…

It took getting really upset for him to admit that there was a mistake, and he agreed to reimburse me $116.

But he can’t so it right away. It has to come from the regional office.

In the meantime he suggested I should open another account with them. He can open it with the reimbursement check, he said.
Why would I want to bank with you? I thought and declined his offer. He tried to convince me it was for my protection so “they” won’t do it again. “They won’t” I said “I’ll close the account as soon as I get the money back.”

A few weeks later when I haven’t heard a thing, I called him again. “You didn’t get your money yet?” he asked. “I’ll call them right away.”
Maybe he did call them, but he didn’t call me back.

A few days later – he was on vacation for a week. When he got back, he said he will look into it again and call me back. He didn’t.

I felt stupid chasing $116 for so long, but the principle behind it drove me mad; we put our hard earned money in the bank for safe keeping. They use our money to make their deals. We get nothing back because the interest rate (which they set) is so low, and they slowly but surely chip away at our savings, moving money between accounts without authorization.

A few weeks later, when I checked with customer service to see if the money finally arrived to my account, they let me know that the account was closed.

“The account was at zero over a month with no activity so it is automatically closed.”

I drove to the bank fuming. Once the bank manager saw my face, he was less than delighted to see me. He ushered me into his office and himself talked with customer service. Yes, he said, the account is really closed. Now there is no way he can reimburse the money.

It was a day before Christmas so I didn’t want to hurt him.

Eventually he found a way, more illegal than the rest. He deposited money into my friend’s account, and she wrote me a check. Couldn’t he issue the same check to my account a month and a half earlier?!

Still banking with Wells Fargo?

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