Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I recently relocated from CA back to PA to take care of my 92 year old mother. Upon opening a checking and savings account at Wells Fargo in Lehighton PA, it was suggested I speak with the bank's financial adviser/broker who could discuss beneficial investments since interest rates for savings accounts are so deplorable. I agreed but having only one year investment experience with a very small investment years ago, I let the WF adviser take control of my savings at his request and put into securities investments.
The adviser cherry picked companies to invest my money while we were making small talk. It took him about 10 minutes to shove my money into what he termed tax free investments. He never explained any of the investments, if they were stocks or bonds and all he kept saying was "I am buying you COMPANIES"! He did not want to discuss with me any further about my new investments, so I simply trusted his so called expertise? Only after I closed the brokerage account (after three months of losing money) I learned the WF adviser/broker put my money into high risk C Class bonds with high fees. The broker told me there were no fees, no charges!
Though the stock and bond market were doing quite well with only a 2 percent loss overall, my portfolio continued to hemorrhage money right from the beginning showing a 7 percent LOSS. Everyday I checked and my accounts were always in the red!! ALL of the investments all RED! All T.M. ** kept saying to me when challenged is "they will go up"!
After losing money everyday for three months, in the first two weeks of the third month my portfolio lost 14K! $14,000.00 loss in two weeks while my financial adviser was visiting the wine vineyards in Napa Valley and during the same two weeks of the huge drop in my money, my Wells Fargo adviser bought his second investment property in St. Augustine, Fla. I have nothing good to say about this so called financial "adviser" or Wells Fargo who lied to me and would not even listen to my pathetically rotten experience with their institution!
For 5 months I have been attempting to transfer an inherited IRA from Wells Fargo to Fidelity. On at least 6 occasions, WFA indicated all paperwork had been completed. On each transfer attempt, Fidelity is advised that something else is required. Having other Wells Fargo accounts I requested a local WF bank representative to assist on the last couple of attempts. Now he is so frustrated, he is not returning my calls. Cannot find another way to contact WF management, and not sure anything less than a court order will get their attention or my money.
Trying to cash out bonds my grandparents bought for me when I was younger now for college and their customer service is a DISASTER. I have been on the phone with them every night since last week and they still have not been able to send me the correct paperwork to even verify that I own the account. I have been sent 3 different forms, all of which coincidentally get "lost" or "misfiled". This company is the biggest joke in financial servicing I have ever seen. I had my financial advisor call them to see if he could make heads or tails of what they needed and he sent the forms over himself. Still no difference.
1 week and counting just to step one of liquidating this account. No one there knows what they are talking about and they will not let you speak to supervisors... Probably because they also have no idea what's going on. Company is a prime example of why brick and mortar banks need to go. Side note: Liquidate your funds if there is no serious tax consequence! Their charge to transfer accounts are beyond insane.
For many years, my wife and I had our investment portfolio managed by Senior VP Michael ** at Wells Fargo Advisors in Laguna Beach, CA. We left that company because of his dishonest and insensitive actions, ultimately resulting in lies and investment fraud. Mr. ** managed all purchases and sales of stocks and other financial products in our portfolio. However, regarding on stock that was our personal choice... because we knew owners of the company... ** sold that stock without our knowledge or permission. The stock continued to rise and we suffered financial loss as a result.
However, our main complaint and grievance involves a Lincoln Financial Annuity strongly recommended by **. He explained the annuity features but I made it crystal clear that we were not interested in the long term features, including taking payments from the annuity "over time" as a retirement vehicle. I made it very clear that we were only interested in the feature he described whereby we could liquidate all principal and interest without penalty or other costs after 7 years. For a $100,000 investment, he told us we could take all principal and interest at the end of 7 years. The payout would be more than $140,000.
Mr. ** lied! I later discussed the annuity features with Lincoln Financial. The Lincoln representative was embarrassed by the facts I shared. Mr. ** boldly lied about the features of the investment. We filed a FINRA Complaint and the FINRA senior investigator in Los Angeles carefully explained that her department does NOT represent the plaintiff consumer. FINRA completed their investigation without any fault or penalties against Wells Fargo Advisors or Mr. ** because the contract and paperwork ** prepared had no faults. However, the senior investigator did encourage us to file for FINRA Arbitration or Mediation so we could face Mr. ** at a formal hearing and have our case considered for compensation and settlement. We may still choose to file such a FINRA process.
I also spoke directly with Mr. **'s supervisor, Mr. Mark **, in the WFA Newport Beach headquarters. Mr. ** was clearly not interested in discussing his subordinate's behavior. It is interesting to note that Mr. ** was later fired by Wells Fargo Advisors for not properly managing the actions of another WFA employee who was also dismissed for gross dishonest investment behavior. (Google it. Wells Fargo is a dishonest company.) We seek an apology and fair compensation for our losses that resulted from dishonest behavior of our WFA Michael **.
Wells Fargo currently manages one of my investments and I requested to switch it over to our main financial manager. We started the paperwork in July 2016 and now again I received more paperwork to update my account??!? I want to advise people to NOT invest with Wells Fargo. One of the reasons I want to move my investments is their fees are high and hidden. And now I know that it's very difficult to get them to release my investments.
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Years ago Wells Fargo swindled me of approximately $10,000.00 my parents left me in stocks held at their bank. When I received the stocks I asked the bank if there was any charges for them holding the stocks. They indicated there was no charge. As I was working out of the country at the time I did not pay attention. They started to sell my shares in order to pay themselves a newly established fee and I lost all my monies.
These people are incompetent criminals. I have been working for months to get my stock transferred out of their greedy hands. They always find more paperwork to fill out. At the very bottom of their SNAPSHOT it states right out they are non-bank affiliates of Wells Fargo & company. So we were duped into thinking it was safe. Where are the young lawyers?
Extremely disappointed in the way these guys recently handled a transactions between my accounts. It took three weeks to have money transferred from one account to another and I had to go thru 5 different Advisors. When the transaction was finally settled and sent to my account it was for the wrong amount... Go figure. It's obvious these guys don't know how to communicate effectively with each other or with their customers. I asked to speak with a supervisor regarding the situation but apparently I was not allowed to and no explanation was given as to why just that it was their policy. Imagine that!
I have banked with Wells Fargo for 25 years and have always had a great experience but the Advisors need to get their crap TOGETHER. I will NEVER recommend anyone to invest their money with Wells Fargo Advisors as they are incompetent of handling something as easy as moving money around from one account to another.
Wells Fargo's customer service is one of the poorest examples I've come across. They are dismissive and from my experience, do not prioritize building relationships with their customers. If a problem arises that is their fault, they do not take responsibility. I've been a customer with Wells Fargo for over 10 years and all I can say is that I've learned that it's best to stay far away from this company. Their quality control has gone downhill and I will not work with them ever again.
I have been trying close an account that was in my mother's name, she changed me to be the beneficiary back in Feb 2012 and it seems that they only received 7 of the 9 pages and after years of refaxing all of the info they say they have no record of it. I have sent them more information than what the insurance companies ask for and it's all for nothing. Since it's a small account the local Wells Fargo Advisor will not talk to me at all. They say "call corporate". I filed a Corporate complaint in mid July. On August 15th I received a letter saying they were working on it, well I called on Sept 1st to see what's going on. I was told they have not looked into it yet? Where is the Customer Service here, trust me I will spread the word to stay away from these people.
My biggest advice is do not get involved in the investment department at Wells Fargo. I am currently trying to roll one Coverdell into another (should be easy enough) but no. I have now talked to 3 different people on the phone, all who tell you that you need different forms in order to do this. Today's story is that the fax sent/received on 8/17/16 had an issue so that when it came through to their fax that it came through and split in two. Part of this went to one department and part went to another. They had contact information for me, but I was NEVER contacted to let me know there was an issue.
When I called today, I was under the impression that the rollover had taken place and the initiating account was closed. But this had not happened, so now they have two accounts open that they plan to steal another $125 out of each because they have failed to do their job and process the transaction. I demanded to talk to a manager but was told they were all in a meeting but someone would call me back today. No one called me. I demanded an email address to send the form to so that I would not have to rely on someone in one of their branches faxing the forms. They gave me one along with this other form that magically is needed to get this process moving. The worst part of this is the fact that they are taking money out of my child's college funding every time they charge these ridiculous fees, which why they charge I have no clue since they can get nothing right.
I am just writing to say that I have been very disappointed in the customer service you all provide, and I would never do business with you or suggest that anyone else do the same. This is regarding the account of my late father. In the course of dealing with taking over as successor trustee to his living trust and dealing with his estate, I have had to deal with several financial institutions and government agencies, and dealing with you all was the most frustrating and difficult experience of all.
He had apparently bought a couple of funds from a living breathing, human being at one point, but the person whom he had dealt with had since moved on to join a different organization. Apparently, his account was sent to some customer service center with no person assigned to it. It took me four phone calls to actually talk to a human being. The first three calls, I was on hold for over 45 minutes before I gave up. The worst part was your hold message which thanks people for their patience on a nonstop loop that was quite maddening.
I finally got through on the fourth call after being on hold for over thirty minutes. Of course, once I explained why I was calling I was informed I was talking to the wrong department. I was then transferred and put on hold for another fifteen minutes. I was informed that I would need to send all kinds of legal documents that I did not understand, but that a letter would be sent to me explaining what these were. I found this a bit odd as I was able to take the trust documents and a tax ID number to the bank where his bank accounts were and settle taking over those accounts quite easily. A couple of weeks later, I had not received anything so I called to follow up. I was told that you all were extremely busy, but my case had been assigned to someone, and a letter be sent within 10 days.
I had a statement from American Funds with a phone number on it so I called them to see if there was a way to start the process. I got to them right away. They transferred me to a very helpful individual who understood what I wanted and emailed me the forms I needed within a couple of hours. I completed these forms and mailed them back. Someone called me immediately after receiving the forms to clarify one question. After settling this, I received a packet from you with a bunch of totally different and difficult to understand forms which I still have.
As of today, American Funds has already closed the accounts and transferred the money to the trust bank account without any help from you at all. Based on this experience, I do not understand why anyone would do business with you. Another family member has a personal Wells Fargo advisor she deals with for her investments whom she likes. He, himself admitted that people complain to him about your poor phone service.
BEWARE! If you ever intend to get your money out or your loved ones need to settle after death, you are creating a nightmare for your loved ones! Six months -- many, many hours later Wells Fargo Advisors has decided they will "look into" trying to get an estate settled FINALLY. They keep "finding" new paperwork. Average wait time to call to ask a question 25-35 minutes. Does anyone ever return phone calls? NO. Is the same person ever available to follow through or follow up with? NO. Every time you call, you start over trying to get assistance! Then they ask me if I would like to open an account! NO. NEVER.
On December 18, 2015, I suffered major home damage and needed more cash in my banking account for repairs. I called to liquidate funds and was told my money would be in my bank account shortly after Christmas. Five different representatives and five weeks later, and the money still isn't there. You can't get anyone knowledgeable on the phone and their online "customer service" and email options are always experiencing temporary errors. What they are doing to people is criminal. I cannot express how horrible this past month has been.
Terrible customer service. Was given wrong information from 5 of Wells Fargo advisors. They tried to deduct 10% of proceeds from IRA distribution for federal taxes. I have had this account for over 10 years. I filled out proper paper wok when I opened this account. They are ignorant of the tax laws. They will not let you speak to supervisors or executive offices. They want $95.00 from each account to transfer my three accounts to a reputable broker. That's their way of thanking you for over ten years of loyal service. RUN, DON'T WALK AWAY FROM WELLS FARGO.
I do not feel that the service I was paying for was provided. I was under the impression that I was receiving a personalized service for the fee that was being charged to my account and I do not feel I received that.
Was foolishly talked into investing with Wells Fargo because I had banked with them for many years. I made it known upfront that I didn't know what I was doing and wanted someone to handle this for me so I would not ever need to return to work. Was shown all kind of graphics of "F-squared and Good Harbour." Was told how they were up 30% and when others lost money they were still strong. I made many calls to Diego ** (he NEVER called me). I was always told I was rushing things - I should just wait. I guess I was to wait to lose it all. I got out after a year and 40,000.00 lost on 350,000.00 investment. He is in Concord NC office scamming people still!!! Beware please!!!
Barbara FriedbergPersonal Finance Contributing Editor
Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.
Wells Fargo Advisors handles $1.4 trillion in client assets and is one of the country's leading financial services firms. The Wells Fargo Advisors serve their clientele in person, over-the-phone or online. The company brings Wall Street vision and Main Street values to their client relationships.
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Wells Fargo Advisors Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Wells Fargo Advisors
- Year Founded:
- One North Jefferson
- St. Louis
- Postal Code:
- United States