Wells Fargo Bank is evil

Submissions for the next edition of The Giant’s Shoulders blog carnival are due in the next couple of days. I actually had the paper I’m doing for this one picked out last month even as I was submitting last month’s paper on Lister’s experiments with fermenting milk. I expect I’ll have this month’s written up this weekend…but first, partly as a reminder to myself, I just wanted to say Wells Fargo Bank is a greedy evil bastard.

Seriously, if Wells Fargo Bank was a cartoon character, it’d be someone resembling Snidely Whiplash. I can totally hear the corporation saying “If you don’t give me the deed to your ranch I’m gonna throw you on the railroad tracks!” and twirling its evil little moustache.

What prompts this outburst of a blog post, you ask? Well, even if you don’t ask, I’ll tell you anyway.

I got a phone call this evening. Someone from Wells Fargo Bank calling to tell me they were going to mail me something. “Why the heck”, I thought to myself, “do they need to call me to tell me they’re mailing me something? Why can’t they just mail it?” You see, apparently I may be eligible for over a million dollars of death and disability coverage! And I’ll have sixty days to look it over and it won’t cost me anything! Isn’t that great? But still….”Why do they have to call me to tell me they’re mailing me something? Why can’t they just mail it?”

Here’s why: evidently they feel they’re not getting enough “raping people’s accounts with Mystery Fees” income these days…so unless I’m mistaken, this insurance from Wells Fargo is an “opt out” thing. They’re calling because when they say “hey, we’re doing this and mailing stuff to you”, and I say “Oh, okay”….That’d mean I’d just consented to it. If I get busy or the mailing they send gets “lost” and I forget, Wells Fargo gets to automatically start extracting “insurance premium” mystery fees from my account. (No doubt if they happen to do it on a day when my account is low, they get to charge me an overdraft fee along with the insurance premium. Isn’t that great?) Maybe I’m misinterpreting this, but it sure sounded like this was what was going on from the obfuscated sales-pitch script the caller was going through.

I asked them to go ahead and cancel me before even sending out the stuff, since I already have insurance. We’ll see if they honor my request. I was, incidentally, quite cordial with the poor person who has to do this evil crap for a living in the call center. I’ve done tech support, I know what it’s like having to deal with awful crap that’s not your fault…

Anyway, just wanted to mention this in case anyone else has their bank pull this trick – and so in case I forget and they try to send me the stuff anyway, I’ll hopefully see this post again and be reminded to go through whatever obnoxious “opt-out” procedure I’ll have to deal with…

(I’m reminded of when BlockBuster slipped a tiny, folded notice, buried in a full-size envelope with some other stuff, alerting me in tiny print that they wanted to sell my information to junkmail marketers but they wouldn’t if I filled out their tiny little form and mailed it back to them. As I recall, I had to buy the stamp to mail it, too…)

Anyway, I just had to get that out there. I’ll be back to microbiology and biochemistry shortly. We shall begin with another bit of spiffy practical microbiology from the late 19th century…