So today I had to call Wells Fargo to follow-up on a mortgage escrow refund that they had promised me three weeks ago and never delivered on, and anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that the whole experience wasn’t exactly very pleasant. I’m trying to find a way to be more positive about the whole situation, so I thought I’d put together a little list of the places where I felt they had dropped the customer service ball and what instead they could’ve done differently…
1. Don’t treat me like a number.
This is a pretty common customer service missive, but when you literally answer the phone with, “Thank you for calling Wells Fargo – can I have your account number please?” that doesn’t really leave much room for formalities like introducing each other or whatnot. Sure, the argument can be made that it’s easier to have my account pulled up in the computer before interacting with me, but it’s also just plain rude! How much harder would it be to introduce yourself and ask for my name, and then pull up everything in your computer so that we can continue?
2. Address my issue first, and THEN ask to update your records.
Along the same lines as the first, but even worse in my book – remember, I called YOU!!! – hence it can be kinda frustrating to jump through five different levels of making sure that my mailing address, contact #, alternate contact #, and e-mail address are all up to date in your system before actually addressing the thing that I called in for! I get that it’s really important for your records to be accurate, but you don’t interrupt somebody and ask them a bunch of questions when they’re the one who sought you out to address an issue in the first place … let’s do my thing first, and then afterwards if you need anything from me, go for it…
3. Be more clear about the contact numbers you post online.
So when I logged into my Wells Fargo account online and clicked Call Us, here’s what I saw:
I called the first number because I figured I needed to manage my account, but low and behold it wasn’t until nearly 10 minutes into the call that I came to realize that apparently in Wells Fargo world, Account Management is actually slang for Collections. My suspicions started to go off when the rep insisted on “reading a couple of statements,” like, “This call is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained therein can be used against you in a court of law!”
We went back and forth for far longer than we should have, especially considering that I’ve never missed a payment and my next one isn’t due for another week, until finally she admitted that she had no idea about my actual issue and needed to transfer me over to Customer Service.
4. Do a better job of transferring my personal info when purchasing my loan.
During my exchange with the Collections agent where she tried to update my account info, one thing she noted was that the contact # she had down for me was wrong. Nevermind that despite my mortgage only being 6 months old, I’ve actually been a Wells Fargo customer since they acquired Wachovia almost two years ago … apparently they had my phone number off by a digit … even though they should have multiple numbers on-file for me.
My point is, for this particular loan me and my wife filed out approximately a zillion pieces of paperwork and I’m sure our phone numbers had to have been on that paperwork at least a dozen times! Call me crazy, but when part of your business is in buying millions of dollars in loans from smaller financial institutions, maybe it would be a good idea to transfer the customer information over for all of those loans correctly so that you can actually service them???
5. Follow through with what you had actually committed to in the first place.
And finally, the whole reason I had to go through this whirlwind phone call in the first place is because I spoke with someone at Wells Fargo back on 12/6, but that person never actually followed through with what they said they were going to do.
They also didn’t contact me to explain that there would be any issues. Sure, they may have tried with their wrong number, but again, there should be other contact #s listed on my account … they could’ve sent me an e-mail through my account … hell, in three weeks time they could’ve sent me a letter in the mail to let me know that they were having trouble getting in touch with me!
But instead according to the rep I spoke with, a case was opened and closed the same day with no indication why, and several attempts were made to call me on the wrong number, and that was it.
So in the end after speaking with two more reps in different departments, plus a supervisor, I think that my issue has now been resolved, though I honestly won’t really know for sure until the new check I’ve been promised shows up in my mailbox next week. It bugs me that I had to fight for it because whoever I talked to three weeks ago dropped the ball, whether in issuing my check or even offering to do so in the first place … I’m guessing the latter of the two because the supervisor I finally spoke to insisted on quoting me policy to correct the other rep before following through with what had been originally promised.
To be honest with you, throughout the entire ordeal the one thing the conversation was lacking was compassion – I think I did more apologizing “for coming off like a jerk” than they did for making me go through this whole song and dance in the first place. And yes, I know that working customer service usually sucks because people like me call in already pissed off and most of the time it wasn’t your fault in the slightest, but still, you’re serving as the face of the corporation and its your job to defuse the situation, calm me down, and make me feel better about the whole thing so that I don’t still feel like spouting off on the Internet about it later on that night.
Up until now I really haven’t had any major issues with Wells Fargo myself, but this wasn’t exactly an experience that I’d brag to others about. 🙁