Monday, December 30, 2013

Wells Fargo's sales culture pressures workers, irks customers

Under pressure to meet quotas on new credit cards issued or checking accounts opened, Wells Fargo employees have sometimes resorted to fraudulently signing paperwork or creating unneeded accounts, a Los Angeles Times investigation finds. In one case, a homeless woman was talked into opening six new accounts that brought fees of $39 a month.

It all stems from Wells Fargo's pride in "cross-selling," or trying to get as many of the bank's products as it can into each customer's hands. Executives have repeatedly said that they only do what is best for the customer. But the current and former employees the Times spoke to said that they felt pressure to juice the numbers because if quotas weren't met, they'd be forced to stay for late-night or weekend call sessions -- and ultimately be fired.

There is some evidence that complaints like these have eroded Wells Fargo's customer service rankings. The bank fell from the top spot in two prime measures of customer satisfaction in the past year. Former employees have told the Observer that the bank often placed sales goals over personal service.

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Anonymous said...

After working at Wachovia for many years and dealing with the sales culture of wells this is very, very true. They really don't care as much about the clients as much as themselves. Now working for a competitor we are hearing and capitalizing on thus daily.
And, all of the good bankers are gone and wells is left with retail sales folks. Not bankers.
Good luck wells.

Anonymous said...

The Wells Fargo customer service and branch employees are good; they are just managed by the idiots which run this bank.

Anonymous said...

What sales job does not have pressure? Not every salesperson at WF is out to prey on the consumer. Don't paint everyone with the same brush. As for the former "banker" in this comments area, maybe you have more of a work ethic issue when it comes to sales.

Shamash said...

Isn't this true of just about any bank or even business nowadays?

It seems that just about everyone is trying to cross-sell or up-sell you once you set a foot in their door.

And, yes, it disgusts me as well.

I'm not above cancelling whatever "services" I receive from companies which do that too much.

I recommend that everyone do that and send a message to the marketers.

Shamash said...

What kind of "work ethic" are you talking about?

I never thought that fleecing customers or being rude was part of the normal work ethic.

I just hung up the phone on some stooges working for Toyota for trying to sell me an extended warranty for the third time in just the last week.

I told this one several times that I'm not interested, just as I have told the countless others who called before him, but he kept talking, so I hung up.

And, yes, this has put a damper on my enthusiasm for Toyota, even though this person probably doesn't work directly for Toyota.

And I know I'll never buy another "extended" warranty from any automobile dealer.

My wife insisted on this last one, but never again.

birdman said...

do what a lot of people have done. move your accts to smaller local banks that do give customer service.

Anonymous said...

When I walked into a wfc bankers office for specific assistance, it was like going into a suprise time-share sales pitch. It was WFCs agenda first and then, and only then, did my agenda surface. Yes, it was vertainly "irksome" and I brought it to his attention more than once but he knew he had a captive audience that day.

Anonymous said...

Wells ruined Wachovia's customer service in every way possible. All they know is cutting costs and treat employees as an expendable resource. I lived/worked through the transition and I hope I never have another experience like that in my life. Hire/fire. Train new people. They were fired in 6 months. Train some more... etc. Over and over.

Anonymous said...

Everything in the article is true. I have seen it first hand.

That is the direct result of CEO pay being tied to company growth and the bottom line.

They are also finding reasons to purge full time employees and replacing them with part time employees.

Anonymous said...

Ask any wells emplolyy about jump into janurary, which they are expected to show up january 2nd ready to open 20 accounts each or else! These employees have been asked to sandbag as many accounts as possible for this week. As for the " ethical" comments above there is tremendous pressure to provide above and beyond what you can imagine.

Shamash said...

Anon 4:14pm

Thanks for the warning.

I'll be ready.

Zon said...

Mega-Bank is like working for, and doing business with, a programmed, unfeeling, inflexible machine. There are better places to associate, community banks and non-profits can to the same things they can for a fraction of the cost and better rates to boot.

Shamash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I am a branch manager and can attest this is all true.I was reprimanded today for taking off last Saturday.i have worked 5 in a row but because my current regional president and DM are close to hitting their commission i get punished for not working Saturday. I have to work about 55 hours a week and field about 5 chastising phone calls a day. Wells fargo is shady and treats its employees like dirt. U dont profit 6billion dollars a quarter without doing something shady..

Anonymous said...

I was a banker at WF for 2.5 years with incredibly high goals. I was able to meet those goals ethically but not morally. 25 DDA accounts per week for one banker in an office of 4 and I personally had 90 solutions per week as my goal. I found another job and would never go back to that sales environment again. I have been in sales 35 years and have always prided myself but working in this culture is just over the top to make seniors look good on the books. they stay out of hot water and we get burned if we don't keep it tepid.

Anonymous said...

I am a private banker in the retail segment. I can say I have NEVER offered a product to any client that I did not determine WITH them was a need. I BUILD relationships and care very much about the clients I work with. TRUST and HONESTY are at the core.
What I am most sad about is us Private Bankers are being thrown into this pool of issues.
There are some really good bankers at this institution and the delivery we offer is incredible.
I will stand strong in every single thing I have done at Wells Fargo - my employer.
If you are a retail banker and manager and you are doing things unethically you should leave or be fired.