Wells Fargo Tries To Predict The Future, Sucks At It

A few months before her wedding, Megan bought her bridesmaids’ dresses at J. Crew, and opened a store credit card account to get 20% off. She scheduled a payment through her bank, Wells Fargo, to pay off the balance, then panicked weeks later when she saw a large chunk of money leaving her bank account that she didn’t remember authorizing. She called to cancel, remembered what the payment was for, then canceled the cancellation. This led Wells Fargo’s fraud-flagging systems to believe that the next time Megan opened a store credit card and paid the bill, they should just go ahead and cancel the payment.

I wanted to issue a cautionary tale that recently happened to me due to Wells Fargo’s incompetence:

Last winter, I opened up a J. Crew credit card to get 20% off of bridesmaid’s dresses. I scheduled to pay off the card in one fell swoop on a random day in March.

Fast forward to March, I’m checking my bank account and I see $600 debited from my checking, from a name I didn’t recognize. Googling it did nothing so I panicked and called WF to do a stop payment. They were very prompt and helpful… and I realized 20 minutes after I called this $600 was for my J. Crew card. I called WF and we laughed about “wedding brain,” because at this point I was two months away from getting married and so over everything that my brain was fried. The woman cancels the stop payment, I write down the confirmation number and think, case closed.

Fast forward again to November, I see a few Limited sweaters I like on sale and go to purchase them online. My card is declined. I check my statement. The payment I made on my Limited card in October of $223.50 was returned to me, and then Limited tacked on an extra late fee. I call Limited, the guy gets my work number so they can nag me at work about my “non-payment,” he informs me my account has been closed and that WF has taken the liberty of doing a stop payment on the card.

I call WF, and the rep I get is rife with incompetence. He tells me that because J. Crew and Limited are through the same bank, WFNB, WF assumed I would want a stop payment on this… even though I cancelled the original stop payment. Apparently, I didn’t (even though the J. Crew bill was paid) and whoever I talked to didn’t remove the stop payment request from my account. He says if I have the 8 month old confirmation number he can help me over the phone. Clearly, I do not have it. I thank him for not helping me and head into my local branch.

The woman I worked with there managed to delete the stop payment request, write a letter to WFNB to reinstate my card and send me on my way in under 10 minutes. Why the rep on the phone couldn’t do that is baffling, but I suppose even in this day and age you still have to do things in person.

I now have to make sure that this doesn’t do anything to my credit or credit report, and that I can in fact use my Limited card again. From now on, I’ll be making payments in store. I just can’t trust Wells Fargo.

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