Fewer Complaints Than Expected
Considering Wells Fargo’s size, the company has relatively few complaints regarding its merchant services division. That being said, there are a few common types of customer complaints that point to where business owners are most likely to experience problems.
Poor Sales Experience
One of the most common complaints we found had to do with customers reporting that an agent was dishonest or deceptive about terms and conditions of the merchant account agreement or costs of terminals, or that the agent signed them up for additional services they had not requested. A merchant named Brad has detailed a typical negative encounter in the comment section below this review:
“Just like many of the people below in this comment section, they offered the 2.2% rate, no fees, no contract, and $50 credit towards the credit card processing machine. The first 3 months went by with Wells Fargo sticking to the agreement.
After the first 3 months, I went 2 months without running a card through the machine, no fees. Then I get a $3,800 job in January, paid for with a credit card, same brand and bank as the others. Having used the card before, I think nothing of the $10.00 interchange fee applied in February with the agreed upon fees. Then comes March, no credit card transactions, yet here pops up a $5.00 interchange fee. I think nothing of it, as it wouldn’t be worth $5.00 of my time to go to the bank to argue the fee, as we all know banks are only open when your at work as well, in addition to thinking I swiped the final payment after the January cutoff. Then comes April, and another $64.17 bank interchange fee, with no credit card swipes in February, March, or April. This high fee warranted a visit to the bank where I signed up for the merchant services.
Upon a unsucessful interaction with the phone rep and manager, I was told the Bank Interchange Fee is set by the credit card companies and then passed on to me. Not only was I not told this when signing up, I also recieved a letter stating changes to my services. Just like many others on here, I also found out I was in a 3 year contract, subject to changes, and could not cancel the service.”
Other Wells Fargo Complaints
Other common complaints reported include sudden and long-term holding of a business owners funds with no explanation, nondisclosure of the $500 cancellation fee prior to account setup, and nondisclosure of the non-cancellable policies regarding equipment leases. Merchants who have had their funds withheld may benefit from working with a high-risk specialist.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Lawsuits and Fines
In August 2017, Wells Fargo was named as the defendant in a class-action lawsuit containing the following allegations:
- Defendant takes advantage of [the industry’s inherent] confusion, inducing small, “mom and pop” merchants like Plaintiffs to execute standardized “Merchant Processing Applications” with the promise of straightforward, transparent pricing
- Merchants are asked to sign a “Confirmation Page” to suggest they have read and understood the Program Guide, even though such an effort would take an expert attorney weeks of toil
- Through the Program Guide, Defendant seeks to backtrack from the agreed-upon fees and rates that have actually been reviewed and approved by the merchant and immunize itself from liability
- After merchants sign the contracts and the parties begin to do business, Defendant implements mark-ups by inflating “pass through” costs, increasing agreed-upon fees, and imposing new junk fees
- Even if customers learn they are being ripped off, they are still not able to escape because Defendant imposes massive early termination fees
This lawsuit is significant because it accuses Wells Fargo of practices that are common to the entire credit card processing industry. As it was successful, a large number of other payment processors will be vulnerable to similar claims in the future. In April 2021, Wells Fargo agreed to pay $40 million to settle the class-action suit.
July 2021 saw a class-action suit brought against Wells Fargo Merchant Services. The lawsuit, referred to as Patti’s Pitas, LLC, et al. v. Wells Fargo Merchant Services, LLC, alleges that Wells Fargo assessed excessive charges. Wells Fargo denied these allegations but entered into a settlement to avoid the expense and uncertainty of litigation.
In September 2021, Wells Fargo Bank was ordered to pay $250 million related to deficiencies in its home lending loss mitigation program in addition to violations of a 2018 consent order. This is in addition to numerous other fines incurred by the financial behemoth over the last 20+ years.
Wells Fargo Merchant Services Customer Service Options
Wells Fargo shows general customer service options on its website through telephone support. This is a far cry from more comprehensive support options offered by merchant service providers with a reputation for offering excellent customer service.
We have located multiple Wells Fargo Merchant Services customer service numbers:
(800) 451-5817 – Toll-Free Customer Service
(866) 380-9828 – Sales