Many thanks to reader Steve for bringing to my attention a two-year-old comment from something I wrote in 2014 about a then-new Propel World Amex. Commenter Claire wrote:
Wells Fargo could never offer me enough to get any of their products. When my father was in hospice someone there opened an account in his name that never had any money deposited in it. Nevertheless, they charged monthly fees to this account even after he passed away. Then they offset these fee amounts against my account because he had put my name on his real account, the only account that EVER had any funds in it, to pay his bills for him. After I thought I had it cleared up, they started in all over again months after his death and threatened to “ding” my credit report. This whole time they kept refusing to talk to me because only his name was on this phony account that some dishonest employee probably opened surreptitiously to get a commission or bonus.
Nevertheless, the stock has done very well. How can this be?
With hindsight, in light of the recent revelations that Wells Fargo has been systemically opening up accounts under false pretense and charging fees for said accounts, it’s clear what was going on. Unfortunately it wasn’t so clear at the time, not to me anyway. When you blog in this niche, your articles sometimes attract people who really hate banks. It’s hard to differentiate between the people with a legitimate gripe and the people who are a little cranky. The comments can blur together after you read enough of them, but it’s a little unsettling to read this particular comment now.