Wells Fargo won't change my account type without new W-9?

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gruesome
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:39 am

Wells Fargo won't change my account type without new W-9?

Post by gruesome »

Am I getting "slow-rolled" by Wells Fargo so I get into a situation where I'm charged fees?

Background:

I've had a "Portfolio by Wells" relationship with Wells Fargo for ~15-20 years.

To maintain that relationship, I had to maintain $30K+ in the brokerage account. In exchange there were no monthly fees on linked checking/savings accounts. They also gave you 100 free trades per year (back when discount brokerages charged fees).

About 6 months ago, I got notified by Wells Fargo they were retiring the "Portfolio by Wells" program and, due to having a brokerage balance over $300K, I would be moved to a "Premiere" relationship as of May 9th.

After that, should my brokerage balance drop below $250K, I'd start incurring a $35 monthly fee.

An alternative to the "Premiere" relationship is a "Prime" relationship, which only requires a $25K balance to avoid a monthly fee.

I called WF customer service back in February asking to "slot me into Prime instead of Premiere": they said that wasn't possible, I had to wait for the "Portfolio->Premiere" conversion to complete, and then I could call back after May 9th to update my account from Premiere to Prime.

I called WF customer service today (May 13th), and they told me "we can't change your account type until you submit an updated W-9."

The rep told me they had to snail-mail me the W-9 (I couldn't just "print out a W-9, fill it out, and drop it off at a branch"), and I wouldn't be able to do the account-type conversion in conjunction with dropping off the W-9: I'd have to wait for the W-9 to be "processed" and then call customer service.

They said it'll take 7-10 business days for me to receive the W-9, then another 7-10 days for it to be processed after I drop it off -- and *then* I can call back to update from Premiere to Prime.

This seems like a lot of steps: I get the vibe they're hoping I drop the ball and stay in Premiere? Is this normal?
livesoft
Posts: 80237
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Wells Fargo won't change my account type without new W-9?

Post by livesoft »

I can see that submitting an updated W-9 is necessary and normal, but use snail mail is abnormal. However, many people do not wish to e-mail things with their SSN on it, so there's that.

In contrast, I did something with the US Forest Service today: Received a form as PDF via e-mail, filled it out, electronically signed it, e-mailed it back, and got back a copy signed by a US Forest Service employee all in less than hour.
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retired@50
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Re: Wells Fargo won't change my account type without new W-9?

Post by retired@50 »

livesoft wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 7:33 pm In contrast, I did something with the US Forest Service today: Received a form as PDF via e-mail, filled it out, electronically signed it, e-mailed it back, and got back a copy signed by a US Forest Service employee all in less than hour.
Let me guess... A back-country camping permit?

Regards,
This is one person's opinion. Nothing more.
livesoft
Posts: 80237
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Wells Fargo won't change my account type without new W-9?

Post by livesoft »

retired@50 wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 7:41 pmLet me guess... A back-country camping permit?
Nope. Such permits can be had by recreation.gov if allowed and in person otherwise. I needed to sign my life away to volunteer for the US Forest Service ... you know, the CYA agreement.
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CoralReef
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Location: PNW

Re: Wells Fargo won't change my account type without new W-9?

Post by CoralReef »

This sounds like typical WF incompetence/inefficiency, not a deliberate attempt to keep you in a fee-producing account. I don’t think WF is that organized.

I won’t bore you with my entire WF saga, but here are two low points:
- having to come back another day because an issue that any other bank’s branch manager could have approved, required input from a paralegal (apparently the only one serving all of North America) who was at lunch for more than two hours;
- having to go home to get a document they had scanned the day before, because they couldn’t just retrieve the scan, they had to see the original document each time.

I believe WF is the most rule-bound, inefficient bank in the US when it comes to documentation. Good luck.
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Nate79
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Re: Wells Fargo won't change my account type without new W-9?

Post by Nate79 »

Move to Schwab or Fidelity. Stop wasting your time with WF. Fees? What a joke.
student
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Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 6:58 am

Re: Wells Fargo won't change my account type without new W-9?

Post by student »

Just move your account. No need to stick with them for that kind of service.
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