Wells Fargo: Good For All Of Your Banking And Personal Printing Needs

Nick was giving a presentation at a conference in Albuquerque, and needed to print out a revised version of his notes. He didn’t count on the printers in the business center of his hotel being out of order, and the downtown devoid of life, retail, and even Kinko’s outlets. Lacking transportation away from the hotel, he tried to think of alternate ways to meet his printing needs. That was when he saw the shimmering green Wells Fargo office tower… and formulated a wacky plan to put his bank to work for him.

I had recently attended the South West Texas PCA/ACA conference in Albuquerque to give a presentation in one of the popular culture panels. Before leaving our home state and traveling to New Mexico, my girlfriend and I had printed off our presentations, but alas upon arriving at our hotel, the ol’ laptop was fired up and edits and revisions were made. The day of our presentation was upon us and we needed to print out our revised notes.

Now if anyone has ever been to Albuquerque knows the downtown area is nearly empty. The 7/11s close at 9pm, there is no shopping, and the streets are deserted. There is activity on the rejuvenated Route 66 area, but unless you have wheels or want to public transportation to somewhere else, downtown is eerily empty.

It is also devoid of any sort of printing shops. The hotel had a business center, but it was usually cluttered with other presenters, and some were saying it was a buck a page to print. The Services Book for the hotel in our room that lists all the commodities says there is a “nominal fee” for pages printed, and judging by the $5.00 water on the stand in our room, I don’t doubt a $1.00 a page. But when I looked the printers looked to be out of service anyways.

Because the hotel wasn’t letting us get a good cell signal, and because the wifi we bought can only be used by one device at a time (perhaps this write up should’ve been about our hotel!), I stepped outside the hotel into a giant plaza that the Gerard Butler movie Gamer was filmed at so I could use the iPhone and Google maps up a printing place. There is seriously nothing downtown at all. I could hoof it to the university for a FedEx Kinkos, but that would’ve been quite the trip. There was a public library, but according to their page I would need a card, and I am not sure they are going to give a library card to an out of state person.

So it was time for creative solutions. I looked up from the plaza and just a block away was a Wells Fargo tower that at night lights up with green lights to look like an Incredible Hulk of midget skyscrapers. I bank with Wells Fargo, and have since 2000 when my parents gave me the boot to college. I asked myself “Let’s see what my bank can do for me”.

So I Googled up the building and called the first number that popped up. Turns out it was Home Mortgages.

I told the man on the other end of the line that I “had a weird request” and “was a customer who needed a favour”. I can only imagine him in Mortgages was expecting a really weird sob story about a house being foreclosed on because they robosigned it away. I told him I had a presentation in the afternoon, there are no printers in the downtown, and I wanted to see if my bank would go above and beyond and let me print mine and my girlfriend’s presentations out at their office.

He said yes!

So off I trotted to the Wells Fargo building, met the man in Mortgages, who hooked me up with another man on the banking floor proper. Their computers would not take flash drives, you know for security purposes, but my girlfriend mailed over our word docs and they printed them out.

Of course while this was all happening, the person helping me asked “sooo…. what kind of account do you have with us again?”

And that was that. Wells Fargo came through for me when I needed them. Sure it wasn’t for a mortgage or a loan, or anything like that. They could’ve said no, we are not printing your stuff, you’re crazy – and they would’ve been right. But hey, they did it anyways and I’m grateful.

I just hope they are this flexible when I do decide to buy a house!

Okay, this isn’t a normal customer perk at Wells Fargo or any bank. But it’s nice to hear that for the cost of a few minutes of their time and a bit of toner and paper, the nice people of Wells Fargo came through for a customer in his time of need.

Comments

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  1. CubeRat says:

    WF is feeling out the market, soon, we’ll hear that they’ve bought Kinkos from FedEx :-)

  2. nbs2 says:

    I think this was less WF and more ABQ. NM is a strange state full of many strange people, but in my many travels there (in-laws live there), I can’t remember anybody who was rude or impolite – people really seemed to care about being respectful.

    Well, except for TSA. But, they’re freaks who I wouldn’t waste my urine on if they or their clothing were to ignite.

    • JennQPublic says:

      I have a friend who has been doing daily business at a WF branch for over a year now, and has developed a friendly relationship with the staff there. When they learned he was leaving his job and moving, they personally vouched for him and got him a no-fee credit card with 0% APR as a going-away present, knowing that he wanted to build up his nearly non-existent credit. There’s no way he could have gotten it on his credit history, it was incredibly thoughtful of them. I had no idea they could do that though.

    • missy070203 says:

      actually it’s more the individual he spoke with at the bank…. as long as it doesn’t require a customer hooking up a flashdrive or other electronics that would breach the banks security policy there is no specific policy that says you can’t make copies for customers- (there is no policy encouraging it either) I’ve worked for 4 different banks and it was the same at all 4 – all depends on how nice the person is your making the request to-

  3. categorically says:

    Cute story but the wall of text caused me to give up halfway through. I’m guessing the gist of it is he got his Big Gulp at Wells Fargo because 7/11 closes at 9pm?

    • Sneeje says:

      For me, it wasn’t so much a wall of text as it was an exploration of just how many extraneous details they could cram in before the reader gives up.

    • Coffee says:

      It turns out that the OP was a ghost the entire time. Oops…ruined it for everyone else.

    • axhandler1 says:

      That blew my mind. The 7/11 there closes at 9pm?!? What a travesty! The ones around here are open 24/7. All of them.

  4. MeowMaximus says:

    And now they will bill his account for 5$ per page – plus a “convenience” fee.

  5. TheBear says:

    Your Taxpayer Bailout Dollars At Work, America!

  6. IWanaGoFishing says:

    This almost makes up for lowering the interest rate on our Way-to-Save account without telling us, and for charging us $12.50 to pull money from our savings to our checking, something that had been free for 10 years under Wachovia. See ya Wells Fargo!

  7. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    More detail, please.

  8. Traveller says:

    When businesses, be they banks or cable companies, empower their employees to make rational decisions, they tend make good ones like this. When they don’t and they come up with crazy metrics like average call handle time, then they don’t deal well with people.

    In my experience with Well Fargo Mortgage the people on the ground are very friendly and have a lot of leeway (too much sometimes, but that is a post in itself). They are in many cases a sales organization so helping someone in need goes a long way and they know it.

  9. Bent Rooney says:

    I’m sure these kind employees will soon be fired for violating security policy, or some such nonsense. No good deed goes unpunished.

  10. jasvll says:

    You’re allowed to edit reader submitted emails. I checked.

    • Jane_Gage says:

      Edit is to Consumerist blog as whoremongering is to church bulletin.

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        From the SAT’s Analogy section:

        Edit : Consumerist::

        a) Whoremongering : Church Bulletin
        b) Butter : Paula Deen
        c) No : Republican Policy Position
        d) Non Sequitor : Dadaism
        e) Dickishness : Objectivism

  11. zandar says:

    That is a nifty story, but as a person who worked in a public library for over a decade, I am 99% sure someone would have printed his stuff if the only barrier was a library card. I helped many, many people who were not official patrons of the library during my time there.

    • pgh9fan1 says:

      I agree. I wanted to use a computer at a library in Ephrata, PA, but I only have a card from my home library in Pittsburgh. Of course they took it. If OP had a library card from anywhere (and probably even if he didn’t), I’m betting the library would have helped him out.

  12. framitz says:

    This is one person helping another person.

    Like the security guard where I used to work. He let a couple go up and down in the elevator for a while… It had nothing to do with our business, he was just helping a horny couple.

  13. maxamus2 says:

    If I need last minute printing or copying, I usually find some hotel, they usually do it without even asking if I am a guest. And while I wait I drink their free coffee and eat that cookie they put out.

    Has worked for me every time I have tried, which has been 5 or 6 times.

    Plus, if you are out and about early in the morning and are hungry, just swing in to a hotel, most have breakfasts out and in my life I have never seen one ask for ID or a room key when you go up to get food.

  14. Vermont2US says:

    Just a few things, first let me make it clear that I agree WF did a very nice favor for the guy. I don’t normally like to blame the OP, but let’s look at the guy’s reasons for going to WF:

    1. “…some were saying it was a buck a page to print…” It could’ve been 10 cents a page, but he never asked anyone in charge, so this statement is just hearsay.

    2. “…the printers looked to be out of service anyways…” The printers LOOKED to be out of service. What does that mean? Were they or weren’t they? They’re ALL out of service? In other words, he never asked anyone in charge, so they may have been working and he was too lazy to ask.

    3. “… I am not sure they are going to give a library card to an out of state person…” Again, he never asked, he assumed they wouldn’t. What, he can’t pick up the phone and call them, but he CAN call WF?

    So, in other words, he’s cheap (won’t pay for printing, won’t pay for a cab to Kinkos) AND he’s lazy (won’t ask the hotel staff how much printing is or if the printers are out of service, and he won’t call the library to find out if he could get printing done there).

  15. kranky says:

    Glad the OP found an innovative solution. I’ve been in a similar situation twice. First time I just asked the hotel desk clerk if she would print out a document if I emailed it to her, and she agreed.

    The other time the clerk shrugged me off saying it was not allowed. I had to use VPN to connect to my company network, and use the network fax software (to the PC, it looks like another printer) to fax the document to the hotel. Incoming faxes were free. When I went back to the desk to pick up my “fax” I got a nasty look and a request to not do it again from the same clerk who denied me earlier.

  16. Lisa W says:

    Hi, Lisa W. here from Wells Fargo. Thanks for the kind words Nick! You’re right, printing and making copies is not a normal service we offer. ;-) Glad one of our team members in New Mexico was there to help.

  17. SabreDC says:

    On the flip side, I went to my previous bank (PNC) a year or so ago to deposit a check. In that same trip, I was going to stop at the UPS Store next door and make a handful of copies of some form that I had to fill out. After depositing my check, the teller asked if there was anything else he could do for me. So I thought “What the hell?” and asked him if he would be nice enough to make 3 or 4 photocopies of the form I was carrying. He said no because other places typically charge for that service. I responded “Well, other places don’t also get tens of thousands of dollars of my money to invest and profit from.” He obliged.

    A few months later, I ended up closing my account with them anyway because of other customer service issues.

  18. scoosdad says:

    It would be great if a big bank’s frontline customer service people were always as great as this single employee seemed to be.

  19. baristabrawl says:

    “Anyways” drives me nuts.

  20. faislebonchoix says:

    I would be angry to find out that someone at my bank had done this. What if there had been malicious software embedded in the file? I don’t have a problem with gestures of goodwill but this is a security breach.

  21. Keith is checking the Best Buy receipt of a breastfeeding mother (for tips!) says:

    Um… are the people who arranged your conference aware that Albuquerque is not in south, west, or southwest Texas?

  22. BurtReynolds says:

    I’m actually surprised they were able to bring the OP up into their office space without some supervisor asking questions. Nevermind opening up an attachment from someone they don’t know or trying to use the flash drive.