Shimon Sandler

How Twitter Saved Wells Fargo – (A lesson in using Social Media)

I was sitting at my desk. Phone rings. My wife said she was trying to buy groceries with the debit card, and the card was declined because if insufficient funds. I was shocked. This has never happened to us before. So, I logged online to Wachovia (which Wells Fargo has recently acquired).

We have a working checking account. The balance fluctuates. The problem was a post-dated check I forgot about was cashed. That shot us in the hole. Then, all of a sudden, several checks I had in the que were cashed in. Resulting in $158 in bank fees!

I stopped in a NYC branch, and tried to get my money back. I’m a longtime customer. The bank rep there was really nice and told me that I could only get my money back from the branch where I opened the account. They will be able to refund my money. She said I should make a big fuss about it.

So, I went there. I spoke to my “personal banker”. He’s a nice guy too. We spoke about the bank fees, and I followed up with an email….see below:

Hi David,
Please do not forget to follow up with refunding my fees from my checking account.
I was shocked when I saw how much money was deducted.

During this transition from Wachovia to Well Fargo, I’m sure nobody at Wells Fargo wants to see customers leaving….taking their multiple accounts & money. Especially, long-time valued customers. But, I’ll have no choice if this doesn’t get resolved quickly. There are plenty of banks to choose from in the NYC area. I have a low tolerance for this kind of stuff, and I take this very seriously.

I know you’ll do your best, as you are my personal banker.

Please let me know by the end of the day.

He replied…

The problem is this was not the bank’s error. As a courtesy I can get $70 of the charges back.

Best he could do is refund $70. No more. He told me it wasn’t the banks fault!
My next and final email to him was this:

I guess the bank fees are more important for the bank to use, than my accounts & assets. Poor business decision. As a courtesy, I’ll give you till the end of the day to salvage our relationship. If I don’t hear from you, consider me a lost customer.

Then I had a thought….use Twitter. I know big brands monitor sentiment using tools like Radian6 (check out their client list), monitor keywords, and use Twitter for customer service. Hmm. I tweeted. In my tweet, I used “bad sentiment” type of keywords. Here’s my tweet to catch their attention.
Tweeting at wellsfargo

It worked. Because approximately an hour later, I received this reply in their Twitter feed mentioning me:
Wells Fargo reply

It gets better. Big brands also monitor keywords. So, I received a couple of mentions from Ally Bank:

ally bank

Well Fargo sent me a Direct Message (DM), with a phone number to the highest escalation point at their corporate office. He told me to mention that I came via Twitter. I spoke to a very polite & professional young woman. Told her what happened. Within 1 hour I had a full refund of the $158, and it left me with a great feeling about Wachovia & Wells Fargo.

By the way, I still haven’t heard back from my “personal banker”.

To conclude:
I was very impressed how well Social Media (specifically Twitter) worked for resolving this issue, and thought I’d share it with my blog readership. It also made me think that the people managing the corporate bank twitter accounts are much more customer service oriented, business thinkers, and digitally saavy than their counterparts that sit in the retail branch.

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  1. Jim Fusco says:

    I love a happy ending!

  2. I had something similar happen to me, today! I wrote an SEO review of Volusion software yesterday on my blog. Woke up this morning and a woman from Volusion had commented on my blog addressing my specific concerns.

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