Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall 2011

This is the view outside our back door.  The fall colors are in full display and as far as Fall Seasons go, it's been a good one.  The Dog Biscuit business is good and reaching a pre-holiday fevered pitch.  Woofables will the featured business in next Month's Chamber of Commerce materials.  Should be good PR.  All of this is keeping Mamacita busy along with her consulting and keeping our household moderately sane.

I've been traveling a great deal so not home enough to cause problems or make a difference. My travels are both work related and Leadership related.  I was selected for Leadership Iowa which is a statewide Leadership program to develop business and political leaders throughout the State.  So far so good, but busy.

Kids have all but wrapped up Fall sports.  Batty is done with Cross Country, and Ick just finished Fall Ball.  Ick and Maggot still have threads of soccer, but that too is winding down. 

Next week Mamacita celebrates her birthday.  And my little sister Julia just celebrated hers.  In fact, Maggot got an opportunity to play with a band at The Mill Restaurant and dedicated the song to Crazy Aunt Julia (about a minute into the attached Video).  It's all good. 

That's about it for now.  And so it goes.  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Boycott Wells Fargo Bank!!!!

Last October, we finally sold our house in Mankato, MN after 2.5 years on the market, but we are still dealing with the fall-out.  If you recall, we sold it to a difficult lady. But right before the sale, she found hail damage on the roof, so we agreed to work with our insurance to take care of the roof as a condition of sale, but she would take care of the deductible.

The new owner proceeded to rack up window treatments and siding and put in on our insurance.  After drawn-out exchanges with insurance and contractors, our Realtor, and the difficult lady, we finally reach an agreement and checks were issued.  [side note... we didn't finally settle all this crap until Sept. 2011! - another story for another time]

Enter Wells Fargo. . .  because they held the mortgage at the time of the damage, counter checks were issued to Laura, myself and Wells.  We wrote a personal check for $17K, to cover the costs for the contractor so they could take care of everything.  WELLS FARGO refused to counter sign a cashiers check because they were no longer owners of the Mortgage on record.  Our check bounced and our lives became a unsuspecting financial mess for a few months.

This situation on top of additional fees and lack of support from the WELLS Branch in Iowa City... last June, we decided to move our many accounts (10) to another institution.  In August, Laura went in to see why we still had open accounts, which Wells assured us would be closed.  The personal banker discovered a regular monthly Wells Software fee being charged to our account.... she had no idea what this was. So, while Laura sat there, she clicked away on her computer to research this item.  After 5-6 minutes or so, her eyes got big and she said out loud, "SHIT!".

Our personal banker explained that this was actually a Quicken fee.  To everyone's dismay, we never signed up for this or have used quicken.  Because of the label on our monthly statement, we had no reason to believe this was not just another banking fee, "Wells Software fee".  And then she proceeds to tell us that we've been charged $9.99 a month since....      2005!!!!!!  

So our personal banker spoke to the Manager... and they agreed there should be some accommodation for our "inconvenience".  Not to mention lost  time sitting and waiting for these people to get their act together.  [side note:  we calculated about seven hours or so, for all of our banking issues].   Anyway, the Bank Manager told us that he would send our problem to the resolution committee.   [YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!].  Meanwhile they asked ME to call Quicken to have this fee stopped. [YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME AGAIN!!! -- What happened to customer service????]]

Three weeks passed and we finally got a call from our personal banker to inform us that Wells' Corporate HQ will reimburse us $80.  But the rest is still under review.  That was almost two months ago, and no word.

We paid more than $800 in fees without any explanation or resolution. We spent more at least seven hours trying (politely) to resolve this problem.  NOW we are officially fed up.  I'm sending this post to a few of my newspaper contacts (Gazette, Daily Iowan, Press Citizen, and to our state representatives/senators (Masher, Jacoby, Dvorsky, Johnson, Hogg, etc...) and to our congressman Loebsack, as well as Senators Harkiin and Grassley.  And last, but not least, the Better Business Bureau.

To say that we are supremely disappointed is an understatement. Poor leadership begets poor management, begets poor customer service... the people who pay your salaries, knowingly or not (as this case may be).  Absolutely appalling!!!

Lastly.... I will tell everyone I know... not to bank at Wells Fargo if they can avoid it.  This experience could have been a good opportunity to demonstrate quality and responsive service to otherwise loyal customers, instead, it has been nothing short of a train wreck with WELLS Iowa City at the wheel.