A FEW EMAILS FROM MY SAGA
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Again thank you for your help yesterday. I feel a great weight has been taken off my shoulders now.
While fresh in my mind I thought I’d offer just a few short suggestions that may help ensure few if any of
your customers endure a similar drama as I have.
What would’ve been incredibly helpful would have been a checklist sent to me at the very inception of
the mortgage application listing every single item/document that would likely be needed to expedite the
process. That checklist would include some help such as if you’re asking for a pension award letter
maybe include the website and some guidance on how one gets one. I had to learn that from scratch. If
you’re looking for P&L provide a blank. I know now you have one now but I had to create my own initially
with little idea what Wells Fargo was looking for.
Throughout this process until yesterday I didn’t even know I was going to be offered a REFI so perhaps
before you start the process in earnest another form can ask maybe five simple questions that would tell
any risk assessor whether you will in fact qualify eventually for a mortgage or REFI. With such a
mortgage “triage ” Wells Fargo might weed out hopeless cases right away and I am sure there are many.
For most of this process I had no idea that missing a deadline would result in a repeat performance of
providing all the documentation again. The tracker implies deadlines but without any implications. This
should made abundantly clear maybe with reminder emails. I am unsure your staff were aware of these
On several occasions I had to go back-and-forth to nail down exactly what Wells Fargo needed and
remember WF are pedantic to an extreme in your demands but you’re not pedantic in the detail you
provide to meet those demands. You use your own internal language that meant little to me such as
“Pension Award Letter”. In another discussion I can explain how you can use a “Useability Lab” approachto your processes like this and all your IT systems. I learned this at IBM and it will save you WF a
I don’t know if you set internal service levels metrics as one does with outside supplies perhaps. If
missing deadlines means repeating a huge amount of work the cost to your organization must be
enormous and of course you delay revenue which also has a cost. Upset customers have a different cost
and I suspect you lose some and in many cases others will never return. I would be setting a target of
98% of all transactions must be completed within the set deadline. For the remaining 2% that may miss
the deadline they should be escalated to a manager for review 3 to 7 days before that deadline expired.
Higher escalations should always be invoked for serious delays. When I spoke to the next level up in my
journey they like Craig S had never heard of me. He should have a daily list of imminent or passed
deadline situations. Do you know now how many missed deadlines you have now? Do you know what
the cost to WF is for a missed deadline?
If a customer seeks an escalation maybe the staff member tries once to contain the situation but if the
customer is not satisfied then allow the escalations. That’s what managers are there for and every one of
them should allow further escalations.
Your executive escalation department probably needs a thorough review. The manager I spoke to was
adamant no escalation could be achieved outside of him and I had the distinct impression their role was
to squash complaints and not learn from them. Maybe have someone send you a copy of the letter I was
sent. Yes and as Amy W…. is no longer in WF she should not be signing letters!
If a member of staff is absent for more than a two days their email should be redirected to someone else
charged with progressing that staff member’s case load. That situation with the call handler saying she
was on indefinite leave is unforgivable. One person who I will not name has a VM response saying they
are out until March 4th last year. I pointed this out several times to no avail. It was saying this on
I found a number of demands for information were banal. Once I missed out the blank page of a bank
statement. Now Wells Fargo may be up against some other systems outside of their control but if that’s
not the case staff should have some level of discretion where data that’s missing if deemed of zero risk in
terms of processing a loan. If there has ever been a case in WF where the “boiler plate” wrap bank
statement come in hid some secret money laundering information I withdraw my suggestion.
Maybe relatively low-level staff and first line managers need a little more responsibility than they now
have for making this type of decision and not feel afraid and the same goes for escalations. I suspect
there are legacy procedures and protocols in place and additional ones may be due to Covid which are
overzealous and if one were to do a risk analysis the extra resources and time needed to deal with this
pedantic approach I suspect it produces almost no improvement in risk but only extra cost and wasted
time. Notations of anything trivial that is missing can accompany the case so final reviewers can assess if
this an exception or a suspicious pattern.
I am reminded of a situation at Lowe’s in their garden department. Now and again they mark down some
great plants perhaps to half price or less and I have found some wonderful items there in the past.
However, when checking out a manager has to be summoned to agree to apply the new price and the
few times I’ve done this it is held up the checkout line sometimes for up to 15 minutes while the
manager is found or I have stood back and let people go through rather than keep everybody waiting.Looking at Lowe’s with hundreds of stores and potentially thousands of people being delayed and
managers running around and customers getting upset it would be interesting to work out how much
pilferage would take place if no manager was called. By accepting some minor loss you remove all the
aggravation caused by this micromanagement attitude and staff feel more empowered.
I suggested some staff are suffering from “shell shock” and working from home with many frustrated and
then angry customers takes a toll. WF is not doing enough for the troops. Many deserve a medal such as
Shelby and Jennifer.
Until you sort much of this out slow down howe much work you are taking on. I suspect there is a
“feeding frenzy” with banks acquiring as many mortgages and REFI’s as they can forgetting the overall
damage it is doing internally. I feel WF does not have the IT infrastructure, skilled staff and clearly
defined processes to handle this extra work. Ironically, you may well go much faster by slowing down!
Maybe you do all the above but if so it was not evident.