Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Wells Fargo, one year later: How's it gone?

One year ago Monday, Wells Fargo took down the final temporary Wachovia banners at its branches, officially retiring the century-old North Carolina brand.

It marked the end of a three-year transition since Wells bought the Charlotte bank at the height of the financial crisis.

Over the next year, customers adapted to new online banking and bill pay, as well as the new color scheme. Employees learned new systems, new products and a new culture.

To both groups: How has the past year gone?

Feel free to post a comment, but what I'd really like is to hear from you directly. Please give me a call at 704-358-5235 or send an email, adunn@charlotteobserver.com.

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

As mergers go, it's been pretty smooth from a customer point of view (mine). I like their ATMs better than the Wachovia, and the on-line banking is good also.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, ask me as a former Wachovia stockholder how I feel...........

Anonymous said...

As a customer the service is worst, my branch no longer remembers who I am. The online banking is worst and I do not like the fact they take the money out of my account before the payment is due, so they can float the money and earn interest on my payment amount The other banks do not do this........worse than the bofa $5 fee.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm out of a job now, so...

linda dale said...

I think their ATM is better than anything.I don't have any other experience with them.Each next day comes with something new in banking sector to make this industry more and more easy and quick.Almost all banks are providing
online banking
services today.

etoleary said...

The time taken on this conversion shows how sensitive Wells is to the public relations debacle many years ago with the acquisition of First Interstate.

Anonymous said...

Mergers and change are always hard, there are bound to be issues... having been through a few in the past, this is, by far, the most organized and least impactful I've experienced. Wells Fargo has tried hard to keep it business as usual, for employees and customers, and that effort has been much appreciated by myself.

Spinnaker said...

As a Wachovia customer, the transition was smooth and while their ATMs are better, Wells Fargo's online banking is not very good. I do not use the branch all that often but the bank personnel changed and is not as friendly as the group I was used to working with. I can see why they invested heavily in their ATMs.

I was originally grandfathered in with a free checking account but that changed after about 6 months and was told my account would incur a $12/month fee. I already have my direct deposit going into my BofA account of more than 12 years and was not willing to move it to Wells to avoid the fee. I closed my Wells account and opened another free BofA checking account. It is free as long as I only use the ATM and not the branch. I have no problem with that and this is not something Wells offers.

I am a former First Citizens Bank employee that left the banking world more than 10 years ago. A lot of people complain about BofA but they have the best online banking system and offer free checking that everyone could take advantage of.

Do not let all the issues of Wall Street taint your perception of any of the big banks. Many of the big banks have a lot of people on the branch and customer service level taking care of the everyday common person. I am very happy with BofA so don't rule them out as a bank!

Anonymous said...

This is the worst bank I ever deal with. I would not recomended to nobody.

Anonymous said...

I'm a former Wachovia and WF personal banker. I can tell you that customer service is no longer a priority with WF as it was with Wachovia. WF wants to open up as many accounts as possible with every customer that walks in the door. Have your checkbook stolen? Too bad, we're going to try and open multiple accounts for you instead of canceling the checks.

Anonymous said...

WF stinks! Their online banking (specifically online billpay) is the WORSE I've ever seen. BOFA and Wachovia had the best ones.

When the merger was first starting, I spoke with a WF manager about the possibility of finding work..and her response was "We've been LEAN and MEAN for the past two years (this was said in 2009), I don't see that changing". Wow, was that ever a true remark?

Anonymous said...

I currently work as a personal banker at WF and it is a different world from wachovia. Nothing service wise is handled in the branch, you come in and either we call a 1800# or we give you the 1800#. people hate it but it really isn't the employees fault. our training does not cover how to fix problems just sales training on how to open more accounts. that is all they care about. The management is only judged by how many different widgets they can get opened. They count new debit cards, online banking sign ups, online bill pay enrollments, etc as their widgets. each banker must open 10 a day. that is why they always push you to open a way2save account or pay a bill with online banking. there is no care as to how much money you have in your account, it doesnt matter if you have a $100,000 in an account if you dont want to open a new account it is literally a waste of my time to help you, it hurts my end of day stats. if i dont hit my 10 a day i have to stay at the branch for at least an extra hour a day calling people at home on a list of leads that they produce for us trying to get those people to open accounts. their methods and motivation encourage poor customer service and unethical behavior. nothing carries over to the next day so if i get 30 "solutions as they call it" one day i still have to get the 10 the next day to stay out of trouble. they treat the employees terribly, to get vacation days approved the head of retail banking in Charlotte has to approve of the PTO, because his bonus is tied to how much we produce he will not allow us to take it when we want but when it is most convenient to him. The only reason i am still there is because they actually pay a little better than the other banks in the area.

they used to actually care about loan production but there is no time to take a loan application so as long as i can get 12 people a quarter to sign up for a credit card i will hit my loan goal. Wachovia used to measure performance by how much money you made the bank (measured in profit proxy, each solution has a numerical value of what the bank makes off it example free checking account is $20) which makes sense, the more money you make the bank the better you are doing, which made us more likely to get you into a better account for the amount of money you want. now i just put you into the base account because there is less to explain and i can move onto the next person to open an account.

Small business dont matter bc they dont give us any training on what accounts are best for small businesses and what their needs are.

the people over the 1800# (based off harris blvd) are a joke. there is no requirement of a high school diploma, most are only there for a couple months and quit. they only pay the $11 an hour and most dont know how a checking account works. while i worked there i know of a lot of people who would go out to the parking lot and smoke weed DURING their shift and more than one time people got caught having sex in the break rooms.

long story short this place is the devil. all they want is for you to open more accounts and incur as many fees as possible. they pay better than most to their employees but they treat them terrible. we are only a number, and when you dont meet the bonus thresh hold they fire you and replace you with someone who has just got out of a 3 week training class. a lot of the old wachovia people are gone because they fired them for one reason or another nothing to do with customer service

Anonymous said...

I agree with the posts rgarding the online bill pay. It's horrible. I have a due date of Friday, yet they require I submit the SEND BY date of Tuesday and they immediately take the money. Wachovia never did this. If I had a bill due Friday, I submitted my bill pay date of Thursday....sometimes even the day it was due and it was considered paid.

Anonymous said...

An interesting question for certain. I have to agree that, in general, Well Fargo simply does not really care about their customers, or for that matter, their employees...it seems they are completely focused on the number of accounts they can open. Case in point, Wells opened multiple accounts for a "customer" in California who was uing one of my children's Social Security number (from the East Coast). It took months to get that problem rectified. Unfortunately, Wells Fargo then opened more accounts for the same fraudulant customer AGAIN, and we had to go through the whole process AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Funny all the comments about ATM's .. Wachiva had a better ATM contract that updated their ATMs ever year and Wells fargo was ever 4. One of the reasons for the delay in switching the names was to allow Wachovia to finish upgrading all the ATMs before the Wells fargo ATM contract became the standard. Wachovia was light years ahead of wells in technology. Wellsfargo is horrible in online banking, customer service and pretty much everything. I still use them but most of my banking is at another bank.

Anonymous said...

I opened a business checking account 6 months ago and I was encouraged to sign up for a business credit card. Since it was a new business, I didn't even think it was worthwhile, but the sales rep in the branch said I should give it a try. Of course I was denied because it was a new business with no history, but I'm sure the branch rep got her sales credit at least. Oh, and I ended up moving my business accounts to another bank because even though I would swipe my business debit card in the branch, they would always take the money out of my personal account! Utterly ridiculous, apparently they cannot differentiate between a personal profile and a business profile even though my business has it's own tax ID.

Anonymous said...

I beg to differ with the person who said all the people at the CIC off Harris Blvd smoke pot and have sex at work. I have worked here 15 years and there are alot of good people here and if you are so unhappy with your job go find another one. People like you are part of the reason the bank employees have such a bad name.

Anonymous said...

"...all the people at the CIC off Harris Blvd smoke pot and have sex at work."


I must have missed that in the annual benefits update from HR.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there are some good people still off Harris on the 1800 # unfortunately, of 100 or so calls I have had to make since the conversion, I have had 1 of those good people and 99 of the others. I have had several issues I had to call about. For one in particular, I called 6 months in a row for the same issue, speaking to supervisors and being bounced between departments - finally gave up and paid money I didn't owe just to make it go away because 3 hours on the phone every month wasn't worth $35.

Anonymous said...

Hey...How much confidential business is being off-shored to India without the knowledge of the customers? They are sending a lot of confidential data overseas for processing and NOT letting the customers know who's doing it. Yes, it's common practice in many industries. But this is personal financial data.

Anonymous said...

Hey...How much confidential business is being off-shored to India without the knowledge of the customers? They are sending a lot of confidential data overseas for processing and NOT letting the customers know who's doing it. Yes, it's common practice in many industries. But this is personal financial data.

Anonymous said...

You are kidding me right ? From a technology standpoint we have taken a 10 year step back in time, if not more. Ask former Wachovia customers, really ask them if they have enjoyed their ride on the Stagecoach ? From an employee perspective, I ask again, are you kidding me ? Our medical benefits have all but evaporated, and we are stuck with an account based choice of worse or much worse. We're pretty sure if the current regime remains in power that are medical benefit will be history. I ask again, "Are you kidding me ?".

Anonymous said...

Worse place ever to work. I was legarcy First Union. Legacy Wachovia. WF doesn't believe in Customer Service. They have rode on Wachovia tail the past 3yrs. From other posts, it clearly shows. They don't appreaciate their employees either.

Anonymous said...

Guess what people? Wachovia was BOUGHT by Wells Fargo (and for $7 a share, when they could've paid $1 per share....or could've just let Citi buy them and there would be ZERO jobs in Charlotte with Citi). Wachovia FAILED. Wachovia is out of business, and several THOUSAND employees had their azzez saved by Wells Fargo. Sooooooo, anybody who wants to sit around and say how much better Wachovia was....is living in a fantasy world. Wake up and read the paper. Wells is MAKING MONEY for shareholders and employees. They play by the rules and continue to be a sound company. You just can't say that about alot of businesses (BofA included) these days. Bam.

Anonymous said...

As a former employee of WF, my health is a whole lot better now, and don't miss those exact start times. God really blessed me!!

Anonymous said...

The person who wrote the long comment about WF making the tellers and personal bankers sell everything to the customer, are pretty accurate. The part about the folks on Harris Blvd, are true to an extent. WF came in, and completely destroyed the customer service dynamic that Wachovia had painstakingly built over the years. There are no legacy Wachovia, or First Union folks there that are happy with things. WF does not care about its customers. The smart thing to do, is to remove your accounts there, if you have them, and join a credit union. And if I read the news correctly today, Wells is about to get hit with the biggest lawsuit, for mortgage fraud. Thank God they didnt pin that one on legacy Wachovia.

Anonymous said...

I can't speak to employees but in the branch i go to they seem pretty much to be the same ones as last year. I also like the ATM's. There are more fees but I suspect that even if Wachovia had stayed independent they would've had to do that anyway in this environment. It's a shame the employees are unhappy but it doesnt seem like there has been mass layoffs like BofA and they didnt even get bought out.

Anonymous said...

To the person that said Wachovia was failing and bought by Wells...Wachovia management made 1 BAD decision to buy a mortgage company right before the mortgage crisis. If that purchase had not happen, Wachovia would have survived another 100 years!

Anonymous said...

During the 3 years of conversions my accounts had multiple problems causing me numerous phone calls and visits to the branch...most were eventually fixed or addressed but only after LOTS of time on my part. After 35+ years I finally gave up and found a new bank. It took some time but I moved EVERY account, checking, savings, mortgage...all of them. I occassionally return to WF to handle a transaction for my Mom...even simple transactions seem to be a struggle for them...unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

To the person that said Wachovia management made 1 BAD decision to buy a mortgage company right before the mortgage crisis. If that purchase had not happen, Wachovia would have survived another 100 years.

If "ifs and buts" were candy and nuts....it'd be Christmas the whole year through!

You can pick a bunch of reasons why Wachovia failed...and that is a HUGE one. Bottom line: what was stated about Wachovia and Wells is accurate. Wachovia failed. Wells saved the bacon of thousands of employees. It also made $4billion profit last QUARTER.

Anonymous said...

Could of been a lot worse for customers and clients if Chase would of taken over. Overall, it has exceeded my expectations. Wells has to be applauded for sticking to their word and maintaining a large employee base in the Charlotte area.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line, when customers visit WF branches (now called stores), they will be pushed by tellers, bankers and managers every single time, to open MORE CHECKING ACCOUNTS. Even if they already have more than one, even if they don't have income and/or a true need, that's what they're being forced by management to do. Are you one of the numerous customers who found out you have a checking account or line of credit that you didn't even know you have? It happens all day, every day. Store employees are managed by daily threats of being replaced if they don't meet their goals. This kind of management is driving such unethical behaviors that even once upon a time -very good employees, are now caving on their personal and professional morals in order to keep their job and provide for their families. There are very serious and VERY REAL problems with Wells Fargo management. When leadership focuses on truly doing what's right for the customer...that's what customers experience and feel. On the other hand, when leadership focuses on meeting ridiculous goals to look good on a report and meet their bonus pay, customers are pushed to open accounts and services they don't want or need. Wells Fargo bankers are told not to spend time with a customer unless it will result in a sale.

Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of people who know how to do business the right way and recognize the destructive cycle we're in. It's a very difficult and heartbreaking environment to be in.