Consumer Complaints and Reviews
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.
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.
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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.
- Services: Wells Fargo Advisors serve their clientele with insurance, investing, banking and general money solutions. Their interrelationship with other Wells Fargo and Company financial departments incorporates an expansive array of money solutions for their clients.
- Products: Their financial products include a wide range of investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, futures, commodities, certificates of deposit and more. The firm provides a suite of insurance products including life, disability, long term care and annuities. Wells Fargo Advisors also offers credit and lending products, along with business services and Advisory Services for wealth management.
- Investment philosophy: The Wells Fargo mission is to help clients succeed financially. The company provides advice and guidance to help maximize all elements of the consumer’s financial life, whenever and however it is needed.
- Educational and client resources: The Wells Fargo Advisors “Our Insights” portal offers strategy and research information including market commentary, investment insights, special reports and more from their panel of experts.
- Best for Wells Fargo Advisors serve consumers looking for a one-stop shop for all financial management needs, from banking to lending.
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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