In February, law school grad and Consumerist reader Stephanie applied for a $5,000 loan to cover the cost of her bar exam and related review course. Should have been no big thing, considering that she’s been an account-holder at Wachovia, which Wells Fargo scooped up after it failed a few years back. Alas, it turned into a nightmare. But after several weeks of dead ends, one well-composed Executive E-mail Carpet Bomb to Wells Fargo got the mess cleared up.
Using these tips, Stephanie sent off an e-mail to over a dozen Wells Fargo execs, including CEO and president John Stumpf.
Here is some of what she wrote:
Unfortunately, your service has been inadequate. I am disappointed because as of the date of this writing I have not received my loan. First I was contacted on March 1, 2011 by customer service stating they could not process my loan because I was not a Wells Fargo customer. In fact, I have held Wachovia accounts for the past two years. After faxing supporting documents and signing the master promissory note, a disbursement date was set for March 21, 2011.
On April 1, I called customer support because I had not received the check. I spoke with a supervisor named Marcus, and he instructed me to call back on Monday, April 4 in order to put a stop order on the check. I explained that I was already late in paying my bar exam fees due to the missing check, and therefore Marcus said Wells Fargo would overnight the check to me at their expense.
I called back on April 5th per my discussion with Marcus and spoke with a supervisor named Erin. She talked me through a stop order on the check and told me a new check would be sent out that day and overnighted. She told me to call back after 5 pm Central Time in order to get a tracking number. When I called back, I was informed that there was no tracking number available but the check would be sent out that day.
I called back on April 6 at 3:00 pm Eastern time and spoke with Amir. I asked for the tracking number of my check, as I had been assured that the check would be sent out on Tuesday. Amir told me that there was no tracking number, and my check would not be sent out until Thursday.When I told him that I had been thus assured, he got a tracking number for me and said the check would go out today.
As of 10:00 PM Eastern time on April 6, UPS does not have my check (TRACKING NUMBER REDACTED). I am very upset at Wells Fargo’s handling of the situation. Because of the continued delay, I am late in payments to my bar review course, and I had to use my grocery shopping money to pay the exam fees. I joined Wachovia because I was frustrated with the customer service at my last bank, and I am even more frustrated that the exercise has been repeated here. To resolve the problem, I would like reimbursement of the late fees, $150.
That e-mail went out Wednesday night and Thursday morning, someone from Wells Fargo HQ was contacted her by phone and e-mail:
On behalf of Wells Fargo, please accept my sincere apologies that your disbursement check was not received in a timely manner. At Wells Fargo, our goal is to delight our customers, and clearly we fell short of that goal in this instance.
To confirm our conversation today, I will be researching your account to determine what caused the delay in receiving your disbursement check, and do everything in my power to ensure you receive your funds as soon as possible. We would also like to reimburse you for the late fees you incurred due to this delay.
Stephanie tells Consumerist that this same called her back later in the afternoon to arrange a wire transfer — for both the loan amount and reimbursement for her late fees — directly into her account.