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Zero One
Dec 30, 2004

Z is the new C

quote:

Wells Fargo branch manager Rita Murillo came to dread the phone calls.

Regional bosses required hourly conferences on her Florida branch's progress toward daily quotas for opening accounts and selling customers extras such as overdraft protection. Employees who lagged behind had to stay late and work weekends to meet goals, Murillo said.

Then came the threats: Anyone falling short after two months would be fired.

"We were constantly told we would end up working for McDonald's," said Murillo, who later resigned. "If we did not make the sales quotas … we had to stay for what felt like after-school detention, or report to a call session on Saturdays."

Wells Fargo & Co. is the nation's leader in selling add-on services to its customers. The giant San Francisco bank brags in earnings reports of its prowess in "cross-selling" financial products such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, mortgages and wealth management. In addition to generating fees and profits, those services keep customers tied to the bank and less likely to jump to competitors.

But that success has come at a cost. The relentless pressure to sell has battered employee morale and led to ethical breaches, customer complaints and labor lawsuits, a Times investigation has found.

To meet quotas, employees have opened unneeded accounts for customers, ordered credit cards without customers' permission and forged client signatures on paperwork. Some employees begged family members to open ghost accounts.

These conclusions emerge from a review of internal bank documents and court records, and from interviews with 28 former and seven current Wells Fargo employees who worked at bank branches in nine states, including California.

Erick Estrada, a former Wells Fargo personal banker and business specialist at a Canoga Park branch, said managers there coached workers on how to inflate sales numbers.

Employees opened duplicate accounts, sometimes without customers' knowledge, he said. Workers also used a bank database to identify customers who had been pre-approved for credit cards — then ordered the plastic without asking them, Estrada said.

"They'd just tell the customers: 'You're getting a credit card,'" Estrada said. He admitted to opening unneeded accounts, though never without a customer's knowledge, he said.

When customers complained about the unwanted credit cards, the branch manager would blame a computer glitch or say the card had been requested by someone with a similar name, Estrada said.

One former branch manager who worked in the Pacific Northwest described her dismay at discovering that employees had talked a homeless woman into opening six checking and savings accounts with fees totaling $39 a month.

"It's all manipulation. We are taught exactly how to sell multiple accounts," the former manager said. "It sounds good, but in reality it doesn't benefit most customers."

Like many other workers interviewed by The Times, she requested anonymity, citing a fear of retribution from Wells Fargo or difficulty finding employment at other financial institutions.

The former manager said she helped the homeless woman close all but one account, which was needed for direct deposit of her Social Security disability benefits. She said she reported the situation to her boss, but never heard of any action taken by the bank.

Wells Fargo officials said they make ethical conduct a priority and punish or fire employees who don't serve customers properly. They acknowledged the bank's strong focus on selling, but said it is intended to benefit customers by identifying their needs.

"I'm not aware of any overbearing sales culture," Chief Financial Officer Timothy Sloan said in an interview.

The company recently fired about 30 Southern California workers, including Estrada — employees the bank said cheated to hit their sales goals. Employees said other workers in the region were put on administrative leave or let go; the company declined to comment on any additional actions.

Wells Fargo spokesman Oscar Suris said the bank has security procedures to root out employees who violate laws or bank ethics policy.

"This is something we take very seriously," Suris said. "When we find lapses, we do something about it, including firing people."

The bank said this month that it is creating an Ethics Program Office to review standards for employees and handling of conflicts of interest. Spokeswoman Mary Eshet said Wells Fargo's 2008 takeover of Wachovia Bank created a giant with more than 80 lines of business, and Wells wants to ensure that its ethics policies are consistent.

Branch employees receive ethics training and are compensated mainly in salary, not bonuses, Suris said. Tellers earn about 3% in incentive pay linked to sales and customer service, he said, while personal bankers typically derive about 15% to 20% of total earnings from these payments.

The pressure to meet goals starts with supervisors, Wells Fargo staffers said. Branch managers in California have filed five related lawsuits alleging that the bank failed to pay them overtime. The extra hours were spent laboring to meet sales targets, said plaintiffs' attorney John J. Glugoski of San Francisco.

"Wells Fargo sets the goals so high for the sale of products — new accounts, loans, credit cards — that the managers don't have enough staff," he said.

So they regularly stayed late to finish their employees' work, Glugoski said. State law allows some supervisors to be paid fixed salaries, but only if they spend more than half their time managing. The suits are pending in Sacramento County Superior Court. They seek class-action status to represent all California branch managers as far back as 2007.

Wells Fargo has denied the allegations in court filings but declined to comment further.

Two other recent California lawsuits, filed separately by a Wells employee and a customer, allege that Wells Fargo employees opened accounts or credit lines for customers without their authorization. Other suits alleged the bank forced employees to work unpaid overtime, in some cases to meet sales targets. In answers to the complaints the bank has denied wrongdoing.

By some measures, Wells Fargo is the nation's biggest retail bank, with more than 6,300 offices and a market valuation of $237 billion.

In reporting a record $5.6-billion quarterly profit in October, Wells Fargo said it averages 6.15 financial products per household — nearly four times the industry average.

Wells Fargo "is the master at this," said Michael Moebs, an independent bank consultant in Lake Bluff, Ill. "No other bank can touch them."

Meeting those account quotas falls mainly to branch employees.

Bank manager Murillo, 41, now employed by another bank, said she resigned from her Wells Fargo branch in the Fort Myers, Fla., area in 2010, even though she had no other job lined up and her husband wasn't working full time. The couple ended up losing their home.

"It all seemed worth the chance and the risk, rather than to deal with the mental abuse," Murillo said. "Just thinking about it gives me palpitations and a stomachache."

In February, Becky Grimes, 57, quit Wells Fargo after 14 years as a branch manager in Victoria, Texas. She said she retired early because employees were expected to force "unneeded and unwanted" products on customers to satisfy sales targets.

"I could no longer do these unethical practices nor coach my team to do them either," Grimes said.

The bank expects staffers to sell at least four financial products to 80% of their customers, employees said. But top Wells Fargo executives exhort employees to shoot for the "Great 8" — an average of eight financial products per household.

The tracking starts each morning. Managers are asked not only to meet but to exceed daily quotas passed down by regional bosses. Branch managers are expected to commit to 120% of the daily quotas, according to the former Pacific Northwest branch manager, who said results were reviewed at day's end on a conference call with managers from across the region.

"If you do not make your goal, you are severely chastised and embarrassed in front of 60-plus managers in your area by the community banking president," the former branch manager said.

Longer-term quotas included a requirement that tellers generate at least 100 sales of financial services per quarter, either directly or by referring customers to personal bankers, the former manager said.

Internal documents obtained by The Times show how carefully Wells Fargo tracks account openings and lucrative add-ons.

The documents, dated from 2011 through October, include a 10-page report tracking sales of overdraft protection at more than 300 Southland branches from Ventura to Victorville; a spreadsheet of daily performance by personal bankers in 21 sales categories; and widely distributed emails urging laggard branches to boost sales and require employees to stay after hours for telemarketing sessions.

An email from a Southern California district manager in 2011 criticized a dozen branches for signing up only 5% to 38% of new checking accounts for overdraft protection — an opt-in service that charges customers $35 for each overdraft the bank covers.

"This has to come up dramatically," the email said. "We need to make a move toward 80%."

A report this spring from a district in the Southwest provided a count of direct-deposit accounts opened by each of 11 branches during a 15-day period, also with the percentage of customers who signed up for overdraft protection.

Tarzana retiree Bette Hirsh Levy closed her Wells Fargo checking account last year after discovering that a branch employee had approved her for an $8,200 line of credit without her permission.

"I have had a six-figure line of credit with Wells for several years," Levy said. "There was no reason for me to open another."

David Douglas made similar accusations against Wells Fargo in a lawsuit filed Sept. 11 in Los Angeles County Superior Court. He alleges that three Wells Fargo employees in Century City and Beverly Hills used his birth date and Social Security number to open accounts in his name and those of fictitious businesses. At least one employee forged his signature several times, said Douglas' lawyer, Michael P. Kade of Los Angeles.

"They put their own addresses on the accounts so he wouldn't know about it," Kade said. "It showed up on his credit report — that's how he found out."

Suris, the Wells Fargo spokesman, declined to comment on the suit. Court filings show that Wells Fargo asked for the dispute to be decided in private arbitration.

A lawsuit filed Oct. 3 by former bank employee Jahedeh Zarandian in San Mateo County Superior Court alleges that she was wrongfully fired after following her manager's directions to open accounts in the names of family members. Zarandian's lawyer, N. William Metke of San Francisco, declined to make his client available for comment. Wells Fargo filed a written response in court denying Zarandian's claims.

A Nevada lawsuit filed in 2009 by Amber Salazar, on behalf of Wells Fargo business bankers in the state, won certification as a class action. The suit claimed that Wells misclassified the bankers as managers, failed to pay overtime and required them to work unpaid "call nights" to solicit business.

Wells Fargo settled the case for $100,000 and did not admit wrongdoing.

Prior to his October firing, Wells Fargo business specialist Estrada worked at the Canoga Park branch at Roscoe and Topanga Canyon boulevards. He said the manager would greet the staff each morning with a daily quota for products such as credit cards or direct-deposit accounts. To fail meant staying after hours, begging friends and family to sign up for services, Estrada said.

"He would say: 'I don't care how you do it — but do it, or else you're not going home,'" Estrada recalled.

He said branch and district managers told him to falsify the phone numbers of angry customers so they couldn't be reached for the bank's satisfaction surveys.

Estrada said employees would open premium checking accounts for Latino immigrants, enabling them to send money across the border at no charge. Those accounts could be opened with just $50, but customers were supposed to have at least $25,000 on deposit at Wells Fargo within three months or pay a $30 monthly charge.

To get around those requirements — and keep earning credit toward their quotas — Estrada said employees would downgrade the original accounts and open new premium ones for the customers before the fees kicked in.

Levy, the customer surprised by the unrequested credit line, said she went to complain at the Tarzana branch, where the account was opened without her knowledge. Levy said a manager told her the person responsible was one of the branch's "best employees."

The bank closed the credit line but never gave Levy the apology she requested.

"I said: 'If that's one of your best employees, Wells Fargo is in trouble.'"

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-...y#ixzz2oLYf4Nzh

I never worked at Wells Fargo but I did work as a Personal Banker at Chase and I'm not surprised the see that the sales culture is so similar. Daily emails from the regional manager of how many accounts had been opened, staying late to cold-call (I did get paid overtime for that), and overdraft protection lists were all part of my daily life.

We also had the pushing of products on people. I worked in a lower income area where it was hard to find people who could spare the $25 minimum to open an account but we were always told to push credit cards and other products on them. I couldn't even count the number of credit card applications we submitted-after pressuring them into doing it-that were declined.

Even things that didn't seem like they would be bad for customers were corrupted by bankers desperate to add another product. Online Bill Pay would only generate a commission for a banker if they got a customer to make at least two payments of $25 or more. This resulted in a lot of things: telling people the minimum to open an account was $75 (two bills plus the real minimum), scheduling payments for them when you had no idea what their due date or bill was, or just scheduling payments when they had no extra money and they would overdraft. The worst I saw was an old lady who had come into the bank to cash her social security check and was talked into opening an account. The banker signed her up for direct deposit but she still wanted the check so he had most of it setup to go out as a bill pay check to her address every month after the deposit came in. The account wasn't used otherwise.

I couldn't take it and left after a little more than a year. Shortly after I left Chase fired some of the people I knew because of these ethics issues. Others got promoted, so the problems remain. When did simple retail banking become just like the rest of Wall Street?

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ReidRansom
Oct 25, 2004


Zero One posted:

When did simple retail banking become just like the rest of Wall Street?

On November 13, 1999.

VideoTapir
Oct 18, 2005

He'll tire eventually.


ReidRansom posted:

On November 13, 1999.

What happened on November 13th, 1999?

ReidRansom
Oct 25, 2004


VideoTapir posted:

What happened on November 13th, 1999?

Gramm Leach Bliley was enacted on November 12.

Mo_Steel
Mar 7, 2008

"We don't need a toilet. The pile of clothes in the hallway has worked fine for us for years, and it will continue to work."

Is this something that could spread to credit unions, or are they somewhat isolated from that sort of pressure by virtue of being owned by their account holders and not-for-profit? I had always gotten the feeling that Wells Fargo was pushing hard on this stuff from people who worked there / banked there, but I assumed it was more of a typical bank thing. I know the in-grocery store banks in my area are really pushing to try and get people to open accounts, suggesting (for example) that I should open a second checking account and third savings account because it's free / backup checking accounts are something everyone should have / look at all this cash you can get for referrals!

Mo_Steel fucked around with this message at Dec 24, 2013 around 03:05

on the left
Nov 2, 2013


ReidRansom posted:

Gramm Leach Bliley was enacted on November 12.

Yeah, im sure salespeople all around the world were suddenly expected to make numbers after Gramm–Leach–Bliley passed. What a fateful change for the telephone sales industry.

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010


Obtuse Cunt.
Please Do Not Engage.
Will bore you and everyone else with inane questions.




Mo_Steel posted:

Is this something that could spread to credit unions, or are they somewhat isolated from that sort of pressure by virtue of being owned by their account holders and not-for-profit? I had always gotten the feeling that Wells Fargo was pushing hard on this stuff from people who worked there / banked there, but I assumed it was more of a typical bank thing. I know the in-grocery store banks in my area are really pushing to try and get people to open accounts, suggesting (for example) that I should open a second checking account and third savings account because it's free / backup checking accounts are something everyone should have / look at all this cash you can get for referrals!

Most of that sounds like it's related to having fees for using your accounts, so as long as you don't have that you're probably okay.

TheQat
Oct 19, 2003



on the left posted:

Yeah, im sure salespeople all around the world were suddenly expected to make numbers after Gramm–Leach–Bliley passed. What a fateful change for the telephone sales industry.

Um, the question was when did retail banking become like Wall Street, which is what GLB explicitly allowed . . . so I'm not sure why you're getting snarky already

ReidRansom
Oct 25, 2004


on the left posted:

Yeah, im sure salespeople all around the world were suddenly expected to make numbers after Gramm–Leach–Bliley passed. What a fateful change for the telephone sales industry.

Obviously it's more complicated than just that, but when you tear down the walls quarantining Wall St's toxic sales culture such that the only remaining regulations are poo poo like "must have separate business cards indicating investment and retail banking duties", it's no surprise that the infection has spread. They're drawing from and are being run by the same pool of sociopaths. Retail banking was boring but solid before it got all incestuous again with investment banking and finance.

CitizenKain
May 27, 2001

That was Gary Cooper, asshole.


Mo_Steel posted:

Is this something that could spread to credit unions, or are they somewhat isolated from that sort of pressure by virtue of being owned by their account holders and not-for-profit? I had always gotten the feeling that Wells Fargo was pushing hard on this stuff from people who worked there / banked there, but I assumed it was more of a typical bank thing. I know the in-grocery store banks in my area are really pushing to try and get people to open accounts, suggesting (for example) that I should open a second checking account and third savings account because it's free / backup checking accounts are something everyone should have / look at all this cash you can get for referrals!

I would say credit unions are pretty safe, as pissing off your customer base is not good long term strategy with a small customer base. Wells/Chase/USBank have no qualms about that at all, because even if they lose a bunch of customers, they'll gain a bunch jumping ship from another bank. I work for a regional bank, and I haven't seen anyone pushing sales like Wells is doing in the article. There always is the incentives for referrals and opening extra lines of credit, but I've never seen anyone aggressively doing it. The one that is pushed that I find scummy is the NSF "protection" where you sign up to get dinged for 35 bucks instead of having your card declined. That being something you have to opt into has really upset banks, as NSF fees are a huge money maker.

BetterToRuleInHell
Jul 2, 2007


Ugh, I bank at Wells Fargo. Fortunately I've never experienced any harassing or pushed sales tactics, but it makes me wonder if the services I do use were actually unnecessary and forced on me even though they are helpful to me.

Overdraft protection has served its purpose in the past due to me not allocating money in the right account; I use their identity theft protection to keep track of my credit score which I need because I'm trying to rebuild my credit score; I have a credit card through them to help build my credit.

I know I don't want to support their practice by being a customer of theirs, though.

on the left
Nov 2, 2013


TheQat posted:

Um, the question was when did retail banking become like Wall Street, which is what GLB explicitly allowed . . . so I'm not sure why you're getting snarky already

This has nothing to do with the investment/retail banking split, and everything to do with high-pressure sales tactics for retail banking products. In other words, basically the same as any other situation in which high-pressure sales are used.

Gazpacho
Jun 18, 2004



Used to be when I went to the bank I would talk to someone mature who understood basic finance. In the last 8 years going to the bank branch has been increasingly like eating at McDonald's: young smiling faces who know how to sell and punch the buttons but that's it. That's not the tellers but the reps as well. "Interest calculations appear to be off you say?" *does blatant bullshit calculations right in front of me* "Nope, looks OK to me." Just today I had to go to a bank's regional office to get my mailing address updated after it was screwed up twice before.

(But no, credit union fanboys, I'm not switching. In spite of everything it still doesn't meet my needs.)

comes along bort
Sep 12, 2012



Mo_Steel posted:

Is this something that could spread to credit unions, or are they somewhat isolated from that sort of pressure by virtue of being owned by their account holders and not-for-profit?

Probably not unless they start paying credit union employees a hell of a lot more. Also CU accounts and products tend to be a lot less complex than what commercial banks offer, with the exception of investments.

Paper With Lines
Aug 21, 2013

The snozzberries taste like snozzberries!


This reminds me a lot of Liar's Poker except the investment banks are squeezing the customers instead of squeezing other banks.

skaboomizzy
Nov 12, 2003

I got somewhere I gotta be so... call it. Come on. Call it. Come on. Call it. Call it. Come on. Seriously. Call it.

I worked in retail banking for a couple of years (2003-4) and there was definitely pressure for us to get people to sign up for anything. CDs, mortgages, HELOCs... anything at all. It wasn't as intense as the Wells Fargo stuff outlined in the article, but some branches were notorious for pushing MORE PRODUCTS at the expense of nearly everything else. One branch I interviewed at, all they asked me about was sales skills.

Y-Hat
Feb 10, 2007

I'll get you, I'll burn you, I'll crush you, I'll flush you down, down
The toilet where you'll spiral around, round
Awwww tick... tick tick tick

What I'm reading here is that doing business at a big bank is almost no different than shopping at your average big-name retail store where corporate puts pressure on its employees to upsell poo poo that the customer doesn't need to everybody that shops there. Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Gamestop pop into my mind when I think of that, and I'm sure that there are many other examples. However, while upselling in retail culture is nothing more than a nuisance for the consumer (although it certainly is a job requirement for the employee), the stakes are much higher at Wells Fargo, Chase, and what have you, where their exotic financial bullshit can do a number on your money.

You just don't hear "the customer is always right" anywhere anymore.

BatteredFeltFedora
Apr 21, 2006

Mock not the ugly hat.

Gazpacho posted:

(But no, credit union fanboys, I'm not switching. In spite of everything it still doesn't meet my needs.)

Out of curiosity, what needs in particular? I don't know much about personal/business banking - don't have enough money to need to know - so I'd be interested to hear what needs wouldn't be met by a CU but would be by a bank.

Pyroxene Stigma
Nov 30, 2005

Hey,Larry!! Your alibi completely collapsed !!!



Y-Hat posted:

Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Gamestop pop into my mind when I think of that, and I'm sure that there are many other examples. However, while upselling in retail culture is nothing more than a nuisance for the consumer (although it certainly is a job requirement for the employee)

Let me make a small clarification here. At least one of those stores mentioned doesn't require you to sell add-ons, as you don't make any commission... You just won't get any hours and won't be considered for promotion. It's shady, but nothing on the level of Wells Fargo. Jesus, that sounds miserable.

Gazpacho
Jun 18, 2004



Also Best Buy doesn't tell me to go home and order online as soon as I walk in the door.

BatteredFeltFedora posted:

Out of curiosity, what needs in particular? I don't know much about personal/business banking - don't have enough money to need to know - so I'd be interested to hear what needs wouldn't be met by a CU but would be by a bank.
I'll probably regret answering but: I require an institution with branches on opposite sides of the country. Not ATMs, physical branches.

Gazpacho fucked around with this message at Dec 24, 2013 around 05:59

rkajdi
Sep 11, 2001


Gazpacho posted:

I'll probably regret answering but: I require an institution with branches on opposite sides of the country. Not ATMs, physical branches.

There are some sharing networks out there between credit unions. It might work for you, it might not. I do a lot of travel for my job, and maybe spend 25% of my time on the west coast right now (USMC work) and I've been able to do some branch transactions out there before. Home is east coast and I obviously don't have an issue getting access there. It is slightly annoying that I don't have a branch in my hometown, but considering I spend banking hours right next to a branch during the week it doesn't exactly feel like an imposition.

I like my credit unions, but I'm not a huge pusher. If you're happy with your service and fee structure, stay where you're at. I've personally found the credit unions I'm a part of offer better rates and lower fees so it's a no-brainer for me.

Eej
Jun 17, 2007

HEAVYARMS


Y-Hat posted:

What I'm reading here is that doing business at a big bank is almost no different than shopping at your average big-name retail store where corporate puts pressure on its employees to upsell poo poo that the customer doesn't need to everybody that shops there. Best Buy, Radio Shack, and Gamestop pop into my mind when I think of that, and I'm sure that there are many other examples. However, while upselling in retail culture is nothing more than a nuisance for the consumer (although it certainly is a job requirement for the employee), the stakes are much higher at Wells Fargo, Chase, and what have you, where their exotic financial bullshit can do a number on your money.

You just don't hear "the customer is always right" anywhere anymore.

Probably because a hundred years later everyone knows that the customer isn't always right.

comes along bort
Sep 12, 2012



BatteredFeltFedora posted:

Out of curiosity, what needs in particular? I don't know much about personal/business banking - don't have enough money to need to know - so I'd be interested to hear what needs wouldn't be met by a CU but would be by a bank.

Outside of Navy Fed very few have nationwide presence, and if they do it's one or two branches per state. The second largest CU is for government employees in North Carolina, and from there it's basically regional and local entities.

Crazy Joe Wilson
Jul 4, 2007

Justifiably Mad!


Mo_Steel posted:

Is this something that could spread to credit unions, or are they somewhat isolated from that sort of pressure by virtue of being owned by their account holders and not-for-profit? I had always gotten the feeling that Wells Fargo was pushing hard on this stuff from people who worked there / banked there, but I assumed it was more of a typical bank thing. I know the in-grocery store banks in my area are really pushing to try and get people to open accounts, suggesting (for example) that I should open a second checking account and third savings account because it's free / backup checking accounts are something everyone should have / look at all this cash you can get for referrals!

You better believe this can and does spread to Credit Unions. I have family members who work for a local, former Church Credit Union that over the past 15 or so years has tried to go regional, and it's had pretty disastrous results. The workers there are constantly pushed to get sales, open accounts, there are new fees every single year for members, and the execs of the Credit Union have even tried to open up a "qusip" within the branch so they can do some for-profit banking on the side. Most of the execs and people in charge of the Credit Union, as you can guess... are former bankers. They've even talked about trying to get rid of the religious face of the Credit Union (it started as a Catholic Parish Credit Union). The Board members who are supposed to watch out for this stuff meanwhile are letting everything get run into the ground. They already let the previous CEO basically fire every experienced worker there and rack up some $300,000 in debt on the union.

It's hard to watch an institution that used to do so well collapse in on itself because a bunch of bankers have gotten in who have no idea what a Credit Union is supposed to be about, and now your family members' jobs are on the chopping block because of it. Members are fleeing daily.

Y-Hat
Feb 10, 2007

I'll get you, I'll burn you, I'll crush you, I'll flush you down, down
The toilet where you'll spiral around, round
Awwww tick... tick tick tick

Pyroxene Stigma posted:

Let me make a small clarification here. At least one of those stores mentioned doesn't require you to sell add-ons, as you don't make any commission... You just won't get any hours and won't be considered for promotion. It's shady, but nothing on the level of Wells Fargo. Jesus, that sounds miserable.
Good clarification. I can't help but think that it branches from the same business philosophy- pressuring the customer to buy poo poo they don't need helps nothing except the bottom line. Another difference between retail stores and big banks doing this is that while the former makes a good amount of their money from these kinds of sales, I can't imagine the latter making a hell of a lot of difference in terms of money made for themselves. But I guess anything that makes you a single penny more in profit is something worth pursuing, no matter how many customers or employees you bother.

Eej posted:

Probably because a hundred years later everyone knows that the customer isn't always right.
It's a saying that appeals more to good customer service than it does to fact. However, customer service isn't even an afterthought at these retail stores and banks. In fact, it's usually counterproductive when it comes to making a profit. I saw some goon post about how one Best Buy converted a customer service desk into more space for Geek Squad. Colbert said it best: the free market has spoken, and it says "gently caress you."

I hate the practice of decoupling commission on top of salary/wages as a way of motivating employees to push poo poo they don't need. Again, it serves no good for anyone except for the company making a profit (but that's the point).

Bob Socko
Feb 20, 2001

Forum Oilman


Earlier today, my wife called Wells Fargo to order a new debit card due to the Target data breech. After that was completed, the operator transferred her to someone selling account upgrades, and did so without any warning. Now I know why.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


It was absolutely disgusting to watch the change in culture during the takeover of Wachovia by Wells Fargo. Wachovia was still a retail bank which tried to cross sell but drat did it increase by several orders of magnitude when the takeover was completed, and the truly friendly attitude of the staff and support seemed to shift to resemble a drat used car salesperson. The tellers that I had known as being at the nearby branch for a decade bolted too. What a shame.

But crap like this is why financial education is not a solution for personal finance woes. You have a very very powerful player that is leveraging it's industry's (personal banking) traditional association with financial prudence and their access to customers information to gently caress over its customers via fees.

comes along bort
Sep 12, 2012



Walk All Over Ya has always been poo poo.

pesty13480
Nov 13, 2002

Ask me about peasant etymology!

I don't think this is really limited to big banks, or just to those in the United States.

CIBC, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, has had a pretty bad reputation for this sort of thing too though it mostly falls under various kinds of "bonuses" for credit cards associated with their name. They're downright annoying. They have all the standard "legal" scams of questionable value, credit card insurance, hospital insurance, accident insurance, and about thirty different kinds of "upgrade" for everything on the table there. They used to be aggressively malicious about telemarketing that nonsense at people too, and God help you if you have a mortgage with them because you should expect to be bombarded by them for similar programs there and associated "upgrade" features too every couple of months. If you don't have a credit card through them but just a normal bank account, you can expect similar to be done. God help you if you call in because you have a question about sometimes or want to make a change because they are insane about cross-selling and upgrading standard banking features too.

Sooner or later I figure all financial institutions in North America will operate exactly the same way and be doing the same stuff.

ReidRansom
Oct 25, 2004


Which has me wondering, is it this bad anywhere outside of North America? My only experience with banking overseas was in Japan when I was living there and had to open an account for direct deposit of my modest stipend. But they seemed to treat it as very serious and solemn business with no extra bullshit involved. It all felt a bit quaint and antiquated, to be honest. Or maybe I just got the easy treatment because they assumed I wouldn't understand. I dunno. But is it this hosed up anywhere else?

WampaLord
Jan 14, 2010

Drink up, virgoons! Everybody's doin' it! You don't want everyone to think you're squares, do ya?

It was depressing to see the warm, friendly, and non-pushy customer service I got at Washington Mutual become the upselling fee-laden bullshit of Chase. I left Chase after they started instituting their $12/month fee for checking accounts for poor people who didn't have enough money or a direct deposit tied to their account. They also tried to talk me into opening business accounts constantly or pitch me a credit card offer every time I walked through the door.

But you know, Chase really needs that $12 a month for the privilege of hanging onto my money. I'm sure they're struggling, that's why they need to squeeze every nickle and dime out of their customers that they can.

Zero One
Dec 30, 2004

Z is the new C

When I was at Chase the commissions for bankers worked like this:

For each product sold you got "points" and depending on the number of total points you had in a month there was a multiplier (up to 2.5x) to convert the points to dollars.

Checking: 5
Savings : 15
Fee-rewards debit: 5
Direct deposit: 15
Credit card: 15
Online bill pay: 25

There were also points for business accounts that were similar.

You can see how much a banker cared about you if you just wanted a simple checking account.

Ardennes
May 12, 2002

It is always about people.


All of this sounds like actually an good argument for a nationwide public bank.

Dystram
May 30, 2013


Ardennes posted:

All of this sounds like actually an good argument for a nationwide public bank.

<paultard>NEVER! CENTRALIZED BANKING IS THEFT! END THE FED!</paultard>

ReidRansom
Oct 25, 2004


Yeah good luck with that. It'd be great if maybe the post office could start handling simple accounts like in many countries, but I can't envision that happening here.

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010


Obtuse Cunt.
Please Do Not Engage.
Will bore you and everyone else with inane questions.




Ardennes posted:

All of this sounds like actually an good argument for a nationwide public bank.

https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_logon...edirectjsp=true

you can't get credit cards or loans from there unless you are/were active military but for simple savings & checking it's usable.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


computer parts posted:

https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_logon...edirectjsp=true

you can't get credit cards or loans from there unless you are/were active military but for simple savings & checking it's usable.

Usaa is closed for any non military person now, unless you already have an account.

Shifty Pony
Dec 28, 2004

Up ta somethin'


Zero One posted:

When I was at Chase the commissions for bankers worked like this:

For each product sold you got "points" and depending on the number of total points you had in a month there was a multiplier (up to 2.5x) to convert the points to dollars.

Checking: 5
Savings : 15
Fee-rewards debit: 5
Direct deposit: 15
Credit card: 15
Online bill pay: 25

There were also points for business accounts that were similar.

You can see how much a banker cared about you if you just wanted a simple checking account.

This may be a stupid question by why is online bill pay so heavily pushed?

edit: doh meant to edit, not create a new reply.

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010


Obtuse Cunt.
Please Do Not Engage.
Will bore you and everyone else with inane questions.




Shifty Pony posted:

This may be a stupid question by why is online bill pay so heavily pushed?

edit: doh meant to edit, not create a new reply.

If they already have the online pay system setup then it's a lot cheaper than sending out paper bills each month.

Plus you can set new fees and it's less likely people will pay attention since the system is automated.

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duz
Jul 11, 2005

Excellent. The Arkham Asylum
shower cam is operational.

ReidRansom posted:

Yeah good luck with that. It'd be great if maybe the post office could start handling simple accounts like in many countries, but I can't envision that happening here.

Only because Congress told them to stop doing it.

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