sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
[personal profile] sarah_sensei
Let me start off by saying that the ONLY reason I even have an account with Wells Fargo is because of a series of life-changing events:

1) I got married and joined my husband's account.
2) Said account was with Wachovia before they were bought by Wells Fargo.

I was taught a harsh lesson at a young age about the evils of large banks. My parents used to have their money with Mellon Bank. Mellon decided somewhere along the way that they no longer cared about the little guy, and wanted to focus on their larger, corporate accounts. So, they began instituting policies that were a hardship on working middle-class families. The policy that did my parents in was that the bank would not recognize their deposited paychecks until a full week after they cleared. As a result, bills were coming, the money WAS there but the bank was artificially creating a situation where they were overdrawn nearly every week. My parents looked for a solution and found one in Tri-Point Federal Credit Union through my father's previous employer.

I remember my parents fighting about the money that WAS there but inaccessible with Mellon. They told me that banks didn't care about regular people. Tri-Point was good to them and had no such policies. When I got my first job, they became my very first financial institution.

When I graduated college and moved overseas, I needed something that I would have better access to. At the time, Pentagon Federal Credit Union had a branch on the base I worked at. I still was wary of banks, and I immediately joined them instead. I still have an account with them (for emergency funds only) and they have mostly been good to me over the years. They have only instituted one policy that I wasn't fond of, but it was nothing like what Wells Fargo has done in the last month.

In the last 30 days they have announced two policies that I feel are a direct attack on the middle class. First, they decided to change a policy in our "Essential Checking" account. The policy from their website reads as follows:

"Effective September 12, 2011, a $7 monthly service fee will apply, which can be waived with the following:

- Maintain a $1,500 minimum daily balance, or
- The total amount of qualifying direct deposits each statement cycle into this account must be $500 or more"

The first option is ridiculous. Keeping large sums of money in checking at all times becomes more of a liability when it comes to loss of your card or theft. On any given day we are likely to have about $500-$700 in our checking account, but rarely do we have over $1,000 unless it is payday or we are paying rent. Who has $1,500 to leave in their checking account at all times? Any normal person would put that in savings so they can receive that paltry .05% Wells Fargo calls interest.

The second option actually makes us exempt from this fee. Basically, as long as our direct deposit checks from our employers are greater than $500 a month, the fee is waived. But what I find insulting about this policy is how it negatively affects those who do not have regular income, are working part-time, working minimum wage, or are currently out of work. Any working person could lose their job at any given moment due to layoffs, illness, injury or other misfortunes. This could be you, me, or anyone, and just because it does not affect me directly, it does not mean that I am "ok" with it.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back came today when I heard on the news that Wells Fargo is planning on "testing" a new fee for the use of your debit or ATM card for purchases. Essentially, they are going to charge me $3 a month, so I can access my OWN MONEY.

Bullshit.

So, let's do a little 3rd grade math: $3 x 12 months = $36 a year.

Wells Fargo just created an annual fee for my ATM/Debit card.

Do I seriously look stupid? I know for a FACT that I don't have to take this kind of abuse from them. If this is an attempt to force out all of Wachovia's former, working class customers so that they can focus on big money and corporate accounts, it sure is an efficient way of doing it! After hearing that I was living in one of the states that will be part of the test group in October, I set straight to work on voicing my displeasure with them. I promptly wrote them an e-mail through my account, and I composed a letter that I sent to their corporate headquarters announcing my intent to take my money elsewhere if this policy is to go into effect.

Although I made it sound like I might reconsider in the letter, I already know my mind is made up. I want out. I want out NOW before I give them any more opportunities to screw me. They ruined this business relationship by instituting too many ridiculous polices in a short period of time. There is no loyalty or trust here.

It took me less than an hour to find TWO viable alternatives in the area. There are at least TWO credit unions that I qualify for within the city. One has a worldwide presence and offers .30% dividends on savings.

That's not an error in the placement of the decimal:
Wells Fargo: .05% interest, Federal Credit Union equivalent: .30% dividends

Gee, I wonder which number is bigger?

Wells Fargo not only will lose our checking, savings and credit card business, but I will also not use them as a mortgage broker when I go to buy a home. I'm fairly certain that I will get better rates from a Federal Credit Union anyhow.

If there are any Wells Fargo customers out there reading this, I strongly suggest that you tell them where to stick it and seek a different financial institution with which to do your business. Just a couple years ago, we Americans bailed their sorry asses out. It seems that they have not learned from this and are continuing their poor business practices. I say they are undeserving of the second chance we gave them and I have no reason to continue doing business with them.
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sarah_sensei: Midna: LoZ Twilight Princess (Default)
sarah_sensei

January 2015

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