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On Monday, March 23 I had an appointment to see my tax accountant in Eagan, MN. I got there and discovered I'd left my mortgage statement at home on the other side of the Twin Cities so, after kicking myself for being unprepared, I stopped in to the Apple Valley branch of Wells Fargo and asked if they could print a copy. The branch refused, telling me I'd have to use their online system. Online mortgage statements weren't available several years ago when I took out my mortgage, so I had never signed up for the service. After 15 minutes of sitting through the various automated menus over the telephone at a banker's desk, I had to give up and leave in order to get to my appointment. I promised to fax the accountant my statement later. While I know it's not the bank's fault that I forgot my statement, is it legal for them to refuse to print a mortgage statement and, instead, insist that customers go online? I would think there are some pretty strict regulations about what information they have to provide and the route customers must take to get it.
Clarification: My question is not about lack of instant service, but with the fact that the bank told me my only option was to go online. Had I chosen to stay and miss my appointment, the banker would have allowed me to complete the online enrollment there at her desk - and the person was friendly throughout the experience, even as I became more impatient. So the issue is really around their policy requiring self-service *on line*. I include the circumstances for context (full disclosure: and out of aggravation with Wells Fargo policy and practice), rather than to criticize their employees. Thanks for taking the time to consider my question.
The Branch does not have access to the mortgage statements. Wells Fargo Mortgage and Wells Fargo Bank are two different sections of the company. If you had spoken with a mortgage rep (some branches have them in the store) maybe they could have gotten you a statement, but a regular banker would not be able to get that information. Same goes for Student Loans and Wells Fargo Auto Finance and Wells Fargo Financial. All part of the same big company, but different sections.
In the first place, there is no legal requirement for a bank to provide instant replacement copies of statements. I suspect many would require the replacement statement to be mailed to the address on record to prevent fraud or oklahoma theft. Secondly, mortgages are usually a different division than the branch bank office. The branch locations may not have the authority or the right access codes to provide a replacement statement. I wouldn't even call this bad customer service. You expected the branch office to provide extra services beyond their normal scope to cover your error.
If I were you, I would send them a certified return receipt letter explaining that you were charged with another customer's bill, and when confronted with the evidence that they refused to refund the erroneous charge. That is a legal record (the signed return receipt) that they received that letter. Then go back to the place, and ask the manager if they got the letter. When they acknowledge this, tell them that you plan on taking legal action, along with contacting the Better Business Bureau and the state Attorney General. Most likely they will be a little scared and just give you back the money.
I work for another bank, and we cannot print mortgage statements at the branch because it's a completely different department. They didn't refuse to print the statement, they simply couldn't and gave you good customer service by sitting with you and trying to help you. It's not their fault you grew impatient. You said so yourself in your question, you were unprepared. Next time you will learn.
I understand the frustration, and I agree with the others that said it is indeed poor customer service. Personally, I would go through the hassle of changing banks---I still like WAMU even though they have since changed names. I think I would have asked the tax man to go to your banks web site, with you there and doing the passwords, etc., and see if he could print it from his computer.
Although it appears that the bank has horrible service, I doubt that what they did was illegal. They did provide you with the documents, and I do not believe that they are required to replace them instantly on demand (although they would need to do so within a reasonable period, with or without cost to you). Now, this does not mean I agree with them, and they should have been able to assist you regardless of their "legal" requirements.
Great question!! I would also ask, "what about people without computers or access to computers?" I would take this up with the "powers that be" at Wells Fargo. This doesn't appear to be customer service at it's best...
It is legal for them not to provide an instant statement upon demand.
Dont think it is illegal. it is just poor customer service the bank could have printed u a copy if your copy is online, but may charge you for the service you can find it and print it out for free