The Unplanned Bank Transfer Day Participant

So my Wells Fargo Visa credit card expires at the end of the month and I've been getting the notifications from various services that I've set up for automatic payments that it's time to update, so I called Wells Fargo to see if they have shipped my new card, and if not, if they would mind sending that along.

The agent on the phone, after I explained my situation, told me that Wells Fargo had mailed me my card last year, which I had never received. She told me that they would need to immediately close my account while they shipped me a new card.

To me, this wasn't a good thing. I still have all these services that are expecting that card to be alive so I try to explain that I would need to move these services over to another card if that was the case. She refused to not cancel my account, citing company policy.

I tried to reason with her if that if the card had been mailed to me over 12 months ago, and since there had been no activity on that card and I had never activated it, it was probably lost. I told her then that I wasn't reporting it missing and that I'd just like to my card expire, at which point, I'd be perfectly willing to let my account be disabled while the new card was being shipped, since it was effectively dead anyway.

I was placed on hold while she spoke to her supervisor and when she came back, I was informed that she had canceled my account, just like that.

So, now, I don't have a valid credit card hooked up to all these various services (and I can't look them up on the Wells Fargo site, as they actually disable your viewing of the account, since it's canceled and all).

She then told me that I'd be able to get my replacement card in 7-10 business days, but that she could rush it to me for $16. I asked if this small fee could be waived, due to the fact that I've been a model bank citizen, holding a good chunk of my savings in their bank and paying off my credit card statement in full every month, for over a decade. She refused.

So I told her that she could send it normal delivery and that I would be closing it as soon as my account reopens.

After we hung up, I then spent the next few minutes setting up a new account at the San Francisco Fire Credit Union. They offer the normal checking account services (with no fees) and have a Visa Platinum card (also, with no fees) as well as the nice feature of ATM fee refunds, which I have been using Charles Schwab up to this point.

Friends at work have been discussing the Bank Transfer Day for awhile, and a few have made good and moved their funds to local credit unions (if they hadn't already). I hadn't thought about switching, though I've had difficulties with Wachovia/Wells Fargo in the past, but this was my limit.

So Wells Fargo was willing to lose a customer that had significant chunks of money stored away over the matter of $16. Sixteen bucks is not much, value-wise, but it shows the true priorities of at least one big bank.