Wells Fargo’s Newest Glitch Double-Bills Online Billing Customers

January 23, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

“The money is back, but I’m done with them. There’s enough stress in life financially. To have your bank make it harder is inexcusable.” Those were the words from Los Angeles singer-songwriter Cindy Alexander, who was one of many Wells Fargo customers hit in the latest “glitch” suffered at the bank, which impacted customers using online bill payment options.

The glitch in question started out reasonably enough, paying customers’ bills online as normal. Then, the system promptly paid the exact same bill—which it had just paid—a second time. This caused some customers to overdraft their accounts, and then, twisting the knife, Wells Fargo promptly slapped overdraft fees on those customers’ accounts.

To Wells Fargo’s credit, it fixed the error within hours of its emergence, and promised that any fees involved in the whole debacle would be promptly refunded. Wells Fargo’s response to the matter, though, was less than stellar.

First, it wouldn’t actively note just how many customers got slapped with the double-billing, and reports suggest it maintained a rather chilly silence on social media. Second, when customers tried to fix the problem the bank unleashed upon them, were faced with waits as long as 90 minutes on hold. At least, that’s how long Cindy Alexander waited, reports note.

Just to round the whole thing out, the whole mess occurred around a week after Wells Fargo announced plans to close 800 bank branches by 2020, calling it a “logical response” to the increasing American preference for online and mobile banking. The same online and mobile banking that just did this to them.

Between this and the various other scandals Wells Fargo’s run into over the last year—CNN Money had a wonderful video featuring “bipartisan anger” in Congress targeting Wells Fargo, and you know when Congress starts agreeing on things something is clear—its customer base has to be wondering the same thing itself.

This demonstrates, firsthand, the value of customer service, particularly in online banking. Glitches happen; they’re an inevitable part of life. The backspace key is one of the keyboard’s biggest. When a company isn’t quick to fix its errors and inform its customers, it does itself a grave disservice. One that seems to be hitting Wells Fargo in the bottom line as we speak.