Many big corporations have an escalation group with fancy titles intended to impress you into thinking you’re going straight to the most senior people even the CEO…
There’s not enough room here to describe all the machinations that I went through to secure a REFI at Wells Fargo.
It was quite clear after several weeks had a lapsed that the process was not going well. The first thing I noticed was being asked for the same things again and again such as for a tax return that I eventually sent in on four different occasions for two different years. It was also apparent their IT systems were archaic in the extreme. Something they called a loan tracker or similar never seem to be tracking anything very accurately. I was asked on numerous occasions for all sorts of paperwork and if that wasn’t perfectly presented back to them I had to redo the document or find another one. However, they often failed to explain exactly what was needed making often vague or inaccurate requests.
Any Time I questioned anything it was all put down to banking or legal requirements or money laundering requirements and delays were excused due to Covid19. To be fair Covid19 did not help, and I had tremendous sympathy for one young lady I work very hard on my case. I could hear her young children in the background and could only imagine how hard it was to do her job. Deep into the process there was two weeks pause with no news, so I emailed her and got back a robotic response that say she was away for an indefinite amount of time. No one at Wells Fargo bothered to have informed me of this situation and I was deeply concerned for her well-being. It took the best part of two weeks for someone to pick up where she left off and we missed you had another deadline. All their heroic staff deserve a bonus for supporting Wells Fargo while much of their management did very little or nothing to back them up.
As the weeks and months past I routinely asked to have my situation escalated and I managed to get maybe two levels above my initial contact but that was typically as much as eight levels below the CEO. None of these more senior managers ever offered any help at all. However somewhere in all this someone decided I was unhappy and without reference to me it led to what was called an executive escalation and a woman called me out of the blue to inform me of this situation. I thought that now finally executives were on my case and we were going to break through the morass of bureaucracy that was tying everyone in knots. I gave her chapter and verse on everything that was going on and I asked if I could email her with any updates. She said she had no email address but that I could call her.
All she seemed to do was call some of the people I was working with to confirm how awful everything was and a week or so later I noticed an email exchanges with her email address the one she didn’t have. I emailed her to call me, and she never did. Later by FedEx overnight mail there was a three-page letter that took some of my complaints and basically spoke highly of how Wells Fargo was operating and took no responsibility whatsoever for anything that occurred. No escalation of my issue took place and I was left exactly where I was before which was nowhere.
Four months into this process and having missed yet another deadline and facing a rerun of all the bureaucracy I decided to look at the tracker that people of told me to ignore because they all agreed it was useless. However, the tracker contained all the details of my refinance and they were all wrong four months after we started. The interest rate, the points and the principal, everything even the number of years for the refinance was incorrect. No one could explain this nonsense and here I was back to square one.
Sometime around this moment another person from the executive escalation group calls me. He seemed very professional and knowledgeable and listened attentively to the details of my situation. This was on a Thursday and I was faced with a mountain of more paperwork to perform through the weekend for a deadline on the following Monday and I was dead set not to do and all I wanted this person to do was put an end to this nonsense and really escalate to find out what the heck was going on. He seemed quite prepared to do this and even asked me for more information which I emailed him all through Thursday. I sent him another email halfway through the Friday and got back on auto responder saying he was on vacation until Tuesday. In that email there was alternative contact that I later learned was his manager but what he provided was the email incorrectly spelled. So much for the non-escalation group.
When this man came back I spoke to him on Wednesday and questioned what the heck was he doing taking on board my situation with no possibility of being able to help me. I suddenly found the line went dead. I called him back several times and can conclude he hung up on me and I hope he was too embarrassed to talk to me. I did speak to his boss who is spent the whole time just being defensive and unhelpful and again no attempt to escalate my problem.
With no help in sight and the prospect of a never-ending cycle of repeated work I decided to look on LinkedIn to find a suitable executive to try and contact. What better person than the lady who signed the executive complaint letter I got several months earlier. This woman actually responded and said she would help and eventually an executive called me. Amy, the lady on LINKEDIN told me she no longer worked at WELLS FARGO but somehow, she still signs the executive escalation letters. Ignacio was the first real executive to speak to me after over four months. He was five levels below CEO of what a difference this guy made. He immediately cut through a lot of the requests and focused on a couple he said had to be done and I work with them all through a Friday and he stayed long after 5 PM his time. He called me later that evening very upset that he had failed, and another deadline based passed. Somehow, I took this bad news philosophically because I knew now I was in good hands. An hour later he called again jubilant that what he thought had failed had not and all he had all he needed was to get someone back in the office to complete the transaction. He had asked someone to come back who was at home and do this. That’s what executives can do. That’s what escalations are for but that escalation group never did a anything.
There were more nerve-racking hoops to jump through but in the end after about six months I finally secured the REFI.
I firmly believe I would still be stuck at Wells Fargo if not for the LINEDIN contact. Not every person on LINKEDIN allows messaging and it has to be done a particular way which I can share to anyone explaining their need through comment back here. I do not want this process abused for any complaint.
Before going that far try the list of executive contacts in another section. Always, always ask for an escalation. Wells Fargo have simple email address system which mostly first name period last mane at wellsfargo.com. Some use a middle initial as does Patrick Hellman here:
Be aware someone filter his email so make sure you send a link to this website and say I sent you. The will likely send complaints to him to the escalation group so be prepared to get a “boiler plate” letter saying how worthless your complaint is and how great Wells Fargo is. Yes, and you will never ever get more than $500 if it all goes horribly wrong. After all they want to be fair on everyone!