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Wells Fargo: If The Antichrist Owned A Bank...

Reviewing: Wells Fargo Checking Account  |  Rating:
lynlyn By lynlyn on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Finances Expertise:
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I always have the impression when dealing with Wells Fargo that their ultimate goal is to nickel and dime me in every way they can. They interrupt attempts at phone banking with annoying advertisements, and they've even deliberately put a link to an ad in the place where most people would expect to click to get to their online account. It feels like they're trying to trick me into doing what they want, like if they're sly enough about it I'll ingest the ads and do whatever they say.

I have a credit card with them as well as a checking account, and Wells Fargo Bank is the only bank I've ever dealt with that won't allow customers to set up an online payment in advance. They encourage people to sign up for their monthly bill pay instead, which feels too much like I'm signing away my life. I know I'm not really, and that they're not really the antichrist in the guise of a suited CEO, but something about the way they present themselves makes me leery.

It may be that banks are getting uglier to deal with overall or that changes in my banking habits are highlighting the ugly side of this particular bank. It seems like my previous bank, 1ST Bank, made every effort to keep me happy, while Wells Fargo takes every opportunity to charge me fees. If the difference is that Wells Fargo offers a no-minimum balance checking account and 1ST Bank requires you keep $100 in your account, I can easily say that letting the $100 sit there is a better financial decision. I've given Wells Fargo much more than that in fees.

My recommendation is to skip Wells Fargo if you're looking for a truly customer friendly bank. 1ST Bank was so customer friendly they had a guy named Jason who insisted he was my "personal banker." I bet he said that to all the customers, but it was still a nice touch.

You may find that you don't have any situations arise where Wells Fargo can use their crafty policies to charge you fees, and you may not mind hearing a long Wells Fargo ad when you call for your account information. If you don't find yourself bothered by advertising that gets more and more intrusive and corporations that get more and more powerful, you may not feel the same way about this bank that I do. In that case, give it a try for the free checking. But if you think your temperament is more like mine, steer clear and find yourself a credit union.