Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Excuse me while I go off on a personal rant here. I know the common opinion by much of you is that I'm an over-sharer, but really I only share the mundane crap that no one cares about but me. I don't really talk about a lot of deeply personal things (often) but today I am.

Not that this is necessarily deeply personal, but I'm mad enough to chew glass right now and I yelled at some poor customer service agent who was still being trained (I apologized - more on this later) and I haven't calmed down yet.

Maybe if I post it all out there, I'll feel better. I'll feel better yet if I get some comments that you agree, this is stupid, we're not wrong, Wells Fargo sucks and blah, blah, blah.

So here's what happened. I'll back it up a few months to the beginning of the year. We have our home mortgage through Wells Fargo. It seemed every month we were scrambling to make our house payment and always just barely getting it in before we had to pay a late fee (it's due on the 1st and late by the 16th). With our tax return money, we decided to set up a Wells Fargo checking account and put in enough money to cover the following months house payment. Then, that current month, we'd put in half of the house payment with our first check of the month and the other half of it with our second check of the month. This way, we were always at least half a house payment ahead and it wasn't such a struggle.

This has been working perfectly until this month. This month Nick changed jobs. We knew we were going to be out of town and we gave ourselves permission to spend ahead of our check (meaning we borrowed from our house payment money to cover us on vacation until we got home). Nick got two checks at the beginning of the month - one as his final pay from his old job and his first check from his new job. Those came on Friday the 2nd. We also returned home from Chicago on the 2nd, but not til nearly midnight.

Knowing our regular bank wasn't open for deposits on Saturday, we decided to deposit one of his checks into Wells Fargo so we could have access to the money right away. Pay our house payment, buy some groceries, etc.

So we did and off to the grocery store we went. My swipe at Winco went through no issue. We stopped at Starbucks to buy some coffee for the house and our card was declined. At first we shrugged if off, figuring it was just a swipe error at the counter. Then I get online when we get home to pay our house payment. My account has no money in it, though it shows a deposit for 09/06 (that's today). Well, that was surprising. So I looked at the deposit information available on Wells Fargo and learned that if you deposit money after hours (meaning, after the close of a normal business day - even if the bank is open - or on the weekend - even if the bank is open), they won't process the deposit until the next business day.

Well, Monday was a holiday. That was really annoying and we were upset, but whatever. This morning, I took Nick to work and headed to the store to pick up some things we forgot about. On the way, I checked my account to be sure my deposit went through yet. Nope. Still showing a zero balance.

So I called. And I was told that the deposit wasn't going to be processed until 8:30 tonight and would made available to us tomorrow morning at 8:00. Are you kidding me? That's not the next business day. That's two business days later. I expressed as much to the poor guy on the phone (and then apologized - I told him I knew it wasn't his fault and it was only doing what he could with the information he had but I was frustrated - I have bills to pay and I have money I put in the bank that I can't touch).

Seriously? Why is this okay? Why would no one take a few minutes to let Nick know when he put in the deposit? Couldn't they have said "hey, to let you know, we'll take your check but you won't have access to it right now - we won't process it until Tuesday night and you can have it Wednesday morning". Generally if one is making a deposit, one anticipates being able to use one's money - correct??

The other check I deposited into our regular account was made available to me to use right away. I've paid all my bills (except the house payment - get this - before we had a Wells Fargo checking account, I had an online account where I could log in and pay my house payment using a credit card (which was actually just my debit card) - this feature is NO WHERE to be found now. I can only (apparently) pay from one of my Wells Fargo accounts), grocery shopped, etc. If I had put a check in Wells Fargo this morning, would I have been able to do the same? Or would my check be held until 8:30 tonight and made available to me tomorrow morning? What if I had taken that check into the bank on Saturday and requested to cash it? Would that have worked? Or would they have said "sorry, no"?

Why is it okay for a bank to take your money and essentially hold it hostage?

1 comment:

  1. its always been that way as long as i could remember, even with having a high balance you still will have a hold on your money. also with the new government bank bail out their are alot of new rules to abide by, ex you have to have a min balance of a grand over here in washington state to not get charged a fee, which is bs, cause im letting them borrow my money when its in the bank. its part of the fine print that they can hold your money till it clears and if its a holiday that next monday add an extra day. cry, i feel your pain dear.