More on the incredible shenanigans that resulted in huge Wells Fargo Bank fines and a video that is Exhibit 101 for the sorry state of travel hacking!
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Well, I just could not keep away from saying hello to you guys…And here I am on a Saturday because, well, Wells Fargo Bank, that’s why!
I want you to really understand what went down at Well Fargo Bank. Here we go:
How exactly were employees ripping off account holders? There were four basic ways, according to the CFPB:
- Opening new deposit accounts and transferring customer money: As many as 1.5 million accounts may have been opened in the name of customers without their knowledge or permission. Employees would transfer customer money into these new accounts, subsequently generating $2 million in overdraft and other related fees.
- Applying for credit cards: Employees applied for about 565,000 credit cards on behalf of unwitting customers, who were then on the hook for annual fees, late fees, and interest charges that amounted to a little over $400,000.
- Activating new debit cards: Without permission, workers requested and issued new debit cards to account holders, often creating new PIN numbers for them in the process.
- Using bogus email addresses to sign people up for services: To enroll customers in online banking services without their knowledge, Wells Fargo employees would use email addresses unrelated to the account holder.
Okay, has that sunk in yet? If not, reread it. If still not, are you human or a robot or something, WTF! If you are a normal human being, that should make you REALLY angry!
I could go on but this guy has said it much better with the post titled “WTF WFC“. Some selected excerpts:
- The Chairman & CEO of Wells Fargo made $19.3 million last year, most of which came in the form of “performance bonus” pay. He made the same the year before. And what’s even better is that the company gets a write-off for paying that bonus in the form of stock options as opposed to cash, which means its effectively subsidized by taxpayers. Here’s how that works.
- Of the 5300 people fired, how many were just following orders, being pushed by upper management to do this in order to satisfy whomever is up the tree diagram from them? How many even knew they were doing something wrong? Were any senior people shown the door? Who is the highest ranking executive, if any, to have been thrown out?
- What happened here seems to be wholly consistent with one of the continuing messages of this blog – incentives explain everything… If you tie people’s pay or employment to a given outcome, you’re going to get more of that outcome. Which is fine, but there will be unintended consequences that may or may not be foreseen. In this case, ruthless new account opening targets led to 2 million fraudulently created accounts. Which is unbelievable, unfathomable. Until you remember that just a decade ago the same thing was happening with lending and mortgages.
- …This one involves ordinary people, lots of ’em. The scope of it is amazing, even if the dollar amount is not terribly consequential. Just the idea that something like this could be so widespread, within one of the most respected companies in America, is mind-boggling.
Okay, enough Wells Fargo. Lets continue with the sorry state of our hobby which is a DIRECT consequence of so many bloggers selling their readers out and pumping them to oblivion with the same credit cards they sell, well, pretty much every freaking day. This hobby has entered the mainstream. Here is proof, watch this video and weep! I blame these businesses. I am not angry, maybe a little pissed off as I eat my sandwich. HT: Sam
An old friend who used to troll my blog daily has reappeared, say hello to Rick I, former Frugal Travel Guy blogger. And please be respectful in your comments.
And an appropriate funny pic for today!
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