Kid Get $120 In Wells Fargo Overdrafts Refunded After Rich Dad Calls VP

DM reports that he was able to get Wells Fargo to reverse all his overdrafts… because his dad has a big Wells Fargo account and was able to call up some company Vice President. Ahem. Three cheers for the power of escalating issues outside of the customer service line, we suppose.

After he got off the phone, DM’s dad gave him a stern lecture on financial responsibility. DM says he is now keeping track of his transactions in Excel and using to monitor his accounts. We also made him download our budget.

Amazing that people can make so much money (his mother also apparently has the ultra exclusive AmEx Centurion card…) and not teach their kids a damn thing about overdrafts.

PREVIOUSLY: College Student Learns How Overdrafts Work


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  1. Buran says:

    How exactly does whining until you get your way actually teach a lesson?

  2. wring says:

    anticlimactic but good for him i guess :P

  3. 82300sd says:

    The lesson for Wells Fargo is:
    Is it worth losing a big account over $120?
    Of course not. Chase on the other hand could care less. They lost my business over $15. I typically spend $15k a month on one of their cards for my business, not anymore and they don’t care.
    I wonder how big of an account his dad has, that they would care about losing his business? 6 figures? 7 figures?

  4. not_seth_brundle says:

    It’s good that he’s tracking in Excel, but what will Mint do for him that Excel won’t? It’s my understanding that Mint only finds the transactions that have already hit your account, so it won’t help keep you from overdrafting if you’ve written a check that hasn’t cleared, for example.

  5. garf12 says:

    Back in my college days (3-4 years ago) I would always overdraft and my officer would always waive the NSF charges. All because my family has around $20 million in loans withe bank. I know I know fiscal responsiblity and all that, I have it now, but hey I didnt care then I was in college.

  6. Leiterfluid says:

    So, the lesson here is “If you come from a wealthy family, the rules and penalties don’t need to apply to you.”


  7. wonderlic says:

    I gotta say that kinda cheap on dad’s part. I mean plenty of people work their connections for a better rate, better service, free stuff, what have you, and plenty of people work their parents connections (or their parents work them) for the same sort of stuff. But $150 in overdraft charges? You think if you were a “rich dad” who knew a BoA VP you’d tell your kid to eat it, or cut him a check for $150 rather than calling up your friend and asking him to cut your kid a break since doing so for $150 bones in VALID charges may be a little embarrassing. Oh well, guess not.

  8. cccdude says:

    Like other fees, penalties, and taxes – it’s just another case of “Those who are the most able to afford it are the least likely to pay it”

  9. bluegus32 says:

    Ben, I currently have a dispute with Wells Fargo and can’t get through to any human being with any real authority to help. Any possibility we can get that number for the VP?

  10. Amazing that people can make so much money and not teach their kids a damn thing about overdrafts.

    When Daddy’s always there to bail you out, why on earth should you ever bother to learn about such trivial things?

  11. Lordstrom says:

    The tone of this article and thread is ridiculous. If this were some poor irresponsible schmuck who managed to wrench $120 away from the bank, everyone would be cheering.

  12. castlecraver says:

    There is perhaps no amount of stupidity that enough money and name-dropping can’t overcome.

  13. miborovsky says:

    What is this anti-rich madness? Isn’t this the American Dream? Be so rich, that you can boss banks around? America is fast becoming another Soviet Union…

  14. dollywould says:

    This has been driving me crazy ever since I read the first post about it. ING could not make it any more clear that it will take a few days to transfer your money over. I don’t get how he didn’t know.

    I am so glad I was raised to save and budget my money…

  15. azntg says:

    @Leiterfluid: Indeed. The rest of us can get treated as second-class customers and free of charge… for now. After all, what are the regular customers going to go? Close the account to go to another bank? Ha!

  16. adambadam says:

    This is very reasonable. This is a simple economic choice for this bank. It knows that it can make significantly more money by keeping dads money in the bank than it can by charing the kid a $120. This is not special treatment because the dad called a VP, any reasonable CS would see it is in the best interest, ooh bad pun, of their institution.

  17. Scooter says:

    … I had more than that in overdrafts refunded by just going into the local branch.

  18. hals000 says:

    I actually had 12 overdrafts reversed by calling up Dick who is a close personal friend of my father’s. My account was assessed 14 fees due to what was admittedly mostly my fault. Knowing the right people is key. I mentioned this in the previous post on WElls Fargo.

  19. hals000 says:

    @lorddave: amen, people should be smart consumers and do what they can no matter what their income bracket. wealthy people stay wealthy by not paying fees when they don’t have to.

  20. sibertater says:

    When I as a bank teller it was common to waive fees for things like a cashier’s check for people with large accounts. For poorer people, we always charged. I always thought that was one of the stupidest, mean perks that we had.

  21. sibertater says:


    *blank look*

  22. JasonDJ says:

    I lost $250 to overdrafts one day because my freaking paycheck’s direct deposit was a day late. Couldn’t even reason with BoA enough to take off one of the one that was admittidly my fault, the one where i mis-calculated a tip on the Domino’s I had for lunch.

    Friggin $50 pizza.

    So good for you, spoiled little brat, for being able to get your dad to weasel $120 back in your pocket, whereas working-folk like myself are out half a paycheck for no real reason.

    (Needless to say, I no longer bank with BoA)

  23. ViperBorg says:

    @miborovsky: Share the wealth, then I’ll shut up.

  24. Mr. Cynical says:

    If the poster isn’t going to share the info of the VP, this almost seems like gloating. Nothing against rich people, but spread the wealth.

    Ok, and I hate Wells Fargo, too.

  25. shades_of_blue says:

    Hurray for hand jobs in the stalls… wait, I mean in closed office rooms.

    Well done, making them pay for your mistakes. That’s a great way to learn money management.

  26. mrearly2 says:

    Daddy didn’t teach him any sense of responsibility, then bailed him out when he incurred penalties…typical.

  27. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    Hey…..if you can’t get to a human, sue them. Humans tend to show up once you start firing off subpoenas. And if the judge asks you why you sued, tell the judge “Because they won’t pay attention to me, your honor. I have to make them pay attention to my account, I as a customer am entitled to have someone pay attention to my complaints.”

  28. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    My mom didn’t even bail me out when I incurred $90 in overdraft fees….turns out it was a case of fraud and I got $150 back. But I had to go through the dispute process myself. Actually, I do account disputes like that for HER.

  29. Qender says:

    Actually, I’ve had wells fargo for a while now, and anytime I have a somewhat decent complaint about an overcharge, they take it off. often when I don’t even have that much money. I don’t think this is a case of them catering to the wealthy. I think they make a lot of money on these fees but they don’t want to fight with customers over them, and if you complain they’ll remove the charges!

  30. StevieD says:


    $15k on a business card per month?

    I routinely place $15K transactions on my card. And in the world of “big business” I don’t even qualify for an assigned account representative. The assigned account reps start at $1 million or more annual transactions. God only knows what it takes to have the bank server ya cookies and tea or to be allowed to enter through the “private banking” door.

  31. Redan says:

    Speaking based on insider familiarity, I can say that banks routinely do offer greater fee-reversing leniency to customers who do bigger amounts of business with them. And yes, that’s a sensible economic decision on the bank’s part, considering the cost of attracting comparable new business to replace a lost customer. But also, the bankers get tracked on and penalized for excessive overdraft fee-reversals. Typically, first thing every morning they get a report showing which of their customers is overdrawn, and they’re required to contact those customers about that before working on anything else. It’s a pain for the bankers; some of their higher-end customers can’t be bothered to keep track of when the account balance is nearing zero, and they take for granted that the banker will clean up each next overdraft mess. A common example would be a well-to-do couple with a joint account that they’re each using quite a bit, without being aware of how much the other is spending. Most overdrawing customers do eventually get with the program, from getting tired of the banker calling them each day they’re overdrawn.

  32. Redan says:

    In recent years, at one example I’m familiar with, the threshold for qualifying for Private-Banking-level services and privileges went up from 100K to 250K. All assets counted toward that, including investments via the bank’s sister investment company. And loans counted too, though at much less than a one-for-one, dollar-for-dollar, rate. The next threshold was at one million, the entry point for Private Client Services. An awkward thing about stratifying customers into such tiers was that there wasn’t a customer-friendly way of communicating about the customers dropping below the threshold. Typically without getting notified at all about it, the customers would no longer receive the privileges they were used to. The bankers, being sales people with revenue quotas to meet and too many customers and too little time, would usually just not even notify those customers. And so eventually those customers would be understandably ticked, and especially likely to take their banking business elsewhere. Costly to the bank, to lose, and have to replace, declining but still valuable pieces of business.

  33. Ramses says:

    The best part is that DM is really learning something about consequences by having his daddy whine and fix the problem for him.

  34. schnoodle says:

    Guess that’s what I need to do. I recently availed myself of a 0% balance transfer offer at Wells Fargo. Now one would assume “balance transfer” means exactly that – you list the amount of the balance from card “a” that you want transferred to Wells Fargo’s card “b”. I’d successfully done this the year before transferring a Lowe’s card (where my 12-mos no interest was coming due) then socked away the $$ I had in my WF account to pay that off into a 6-mos CD. This time I was looking to do that with my Home Depot card. Except, WF transferred the requested Home Depot balance minus $100. That way they could still get their $75 xfer fee without pushing me over my limit. Unfortunately, this resulted in a $1200 finance charge on the Home Depot end (which hurray – Home Depot has kindly WAIVED because I’ve done a ton of business with them) But I digress. I have MORE business and a substantial amount of ca$h on deposit with Wells Fargo. Would they do anything? Oh let’s see, DAYS ago they said they’d forwarded an email to their Executive office. Tick-tock Wells Fargo. Your “personal banker” already blew me off and my fingers are doing a financial comparison between other institutes. I want to be a patron of a bank that gives a crap. Are there any out there?