Earlier this year I wrote about Wells Fargo’s new fees for Quicken users. I found out because I was charged for connecting my Quicken to my Wells Fargo checking account. You see, Quicken has two methods of connecting to a bank account:
- Web Connect (check balances and transactions only)
- Direct Connect (conduct online banking and other transactions)
What frustrated me was that I only had used Web Connect, not Direct Connect, so I should have never been charged the fee to begin with. As such, I immediately canceled the service and withdrew all the money from my checking account. However, I still had my mortgage with Wells Fargo, so I couldn’t leave for good. I still maintained a Web Connect connection through my Quicken, which should have been free.
You can see the screenshot of my Quicken Screen below that specifies “Express Web Connect”:
You can also see in that screenshot that I never “Improved My Online Account Service Level” by upgrading to Direct Connect. It is an option, but it is not enabled.
My First Attempt to Cancel the Fee
As I wrote in June, I immediately called Wells Fargo and canceled the service. The customer service representative at this time was helpful, and cancelled the service and refunded the fees paid to this point. I have a copy of my email confirmation below, dated June 4. This should have been resolved after this email was sent to me:
However, starting in July, I started getting charged again, although no changes were made to how I connect via Quicken. To make matters worse, I was never notified by Wells Fargo that I was re-enrolled in this service. Apparently, they only send cancellation notices, not enrollment notices.
My Second Attempt to Cancel the Fee
As such, after verifying that I had only connected to Wells Fargo via Web Connect, I made another attempt to get this resolved on October 15. Before you wonder why I waited so long, I sold my home and thought I would be Wells Fargo free before this point – no mortgage, no nothing. Then I could just escape their wrath once and for all. However, my new lender sold my mortgage to Wells Fargo, so I’m back with them and trapped in this once more.
Regardless, I called again on October 15, and spoke to a representative that was less than helpful. She told me that I had, in fact, been connecting to Wells Fargo via Quicken, but she couldn’t tell me whether it was via Direct Connect or Web Connect. She also couldn’t tell me the difference, just that I had been connecting. I offered her proof, and she just said too bad. I ended up hanging up assuming no resolution was going to take place, but she did end up canceling the service once again, and I received this confirmation email:
But wait, it doesn’t end there. You would assume that it would be canceled at this point, correct? Nope – on Friday 10/26/12 I received another charge from Wells Fargo for Quicken Banking on my checking account:
Wells Fargo’s Response
Being an active consumer and a personal finance blogger, I wasn’t about to let this end there. I had been tweeting about my experience with Wells Fargo the whole time during this last encounter:
Oh @wellsfargo how you are terrible at customer service…three reps later and no answer… How many computer problems can you have?
— The College Investor (@CollegeInvestin) October 16, 2012
@CollegeInvestin Please provide us more details of your banking needs to try and help. ^MD
— Wells Fargo Bank (@Ask_WellsFargo) October 16, 2012
— The College Investor (@CollegeInvestin) October 16, 2012
After the last tweet, I noticed that they had a contact email for their Corporate Communications department. I’d thought I should give it a shot and see what they have to say about incorrectly billing me as a customer. I was surprised to find that my email was answered by an Assistant Vice President at Wells Fargo. However, the response was a generic reiteration of what I already knew:
I think there is some confusion. There are two types of download capabilities. Most large financial institutions charge a fee for Quicken\QuickBooks Direct Connect. Web Connect is a free service that requires the customer to log into Online Banking to retrieve a file that is then imported into Quicken. This is free at Wells Fargo as well. Direct Connect, a fee based service, allows a customer to connect directly from their desktop software and download all accounts with one click. At Wells Fargo, customers can also make bill payments through their desktop software directly from a Quicken\Quickbooks Direct Connect connection.
You can see a screenshot of their response here.
In response, I sent her a breakdown of my story above, including a screenshot of my Quicken, to show that they are incorrectly billing customers. The response from Wells Fargo? Silence on their end. I’ve been trying to setup an interview or get some written response, but nothing has gone forward.
Waiting on Resolution
Ideally, I’d like to see a response from Wells Fargo that addresses this blatant incorrect charge. Plus, I personally would like to see these fees refunded on my account. I’m sure there are countless other Quicken users that are probably being charged this fee incorrectly – and the silence from Wells Fargo leads me to believe that this could be a previously unknown, yet widespread problem with their billing system.
I’m leaving open the opportunity to resolve this, but in the meantime, if you are a Wells Fargo and Quicken customer, check your statements and see how you’re connecting to Wells Fargo. In Quicken, you can find this by going to Account Options -> Online Services. Make sure it says Web Connect, and not Direct Connect. If it says Web Connect, you should NOT be charged by Wells Fargo.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.